A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK study finds some birds could aid integrated pest management; benefits may outweigh negative effects

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Birds have long been considered the nemesis of many farmers, as they can feast on agriculturally important crops like blueberries and corn. But University of Kentucky research suggests, in some instances, the benefits of some birds may outweigh their negative effects. Birds provide an often unseen benefit to farmers as they can consume a large number of insect...

Research project in nutrition allows UK student to make impact on Eastern Kentucky community

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky A University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment student is contributing to research that could lead to healthier habits and lower negative health outcomes in her native Eastern Kentucky. “I have always wanted to give back to Eastern Kentucky,” said Lucinda Smith, a senior human nutrition major from Corbin. “When I learned through one...

UK pilot study finds high levels of contaminants in Martin County drinking water samples

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Martin County drinking water regularly exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum contamination levels for cancer-causing disinfection byproducts and coliform bacteria, according to preliminary findings of a University of Kentucky pilot study. The pilot study was conducted by Jason Unrine and Wayne Sanderson, both professors in the UK College of Agriculture,...

Asian longhorned tick found in Kentucky; insect a concern for livestock producers, pet owners

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The Asian longhorned tick, which preys on a variety of hosts including humans and wild and domestic animals, has been found in Kentucky. This new tick is known to attack animals in large numbers and will be a concern to livestock producers, wildlife enthusiasts and pet owners. “This tick is an aggressive biter and frequently builds intense infestations on domestic...

UK research reveals cover crops, no-tillage systems could slow climate change on farms

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Cover crops combined with no-tillage systems can increase soil organic carbon, which could help slow climate change on farms, according to a recent study by University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment scientists. The project was conducted at UK’s Blevins research plots. Located at UK’s Spindletop Research Farm in Lexington, the plots...

UK grain crop specialists say spring freezes slow harvest, reduce wheat yields across Kentucky

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Two very late spring freezes slowed harvest and reduced wheat yields across Kentucky, according to grain crop specialists with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Much of the state saw freezing temperatures the mornings of April 15 and 16 and again on May 8 and 9. Wheat in Western Kentucky suffered damage from the April event...

UK weekly webinar series to help Kentucky farm families work through current economic challenges

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The COVID-19 pandemic has put financial, physical, mental and emotional strains on many Americans, including farm families. To help them work through these unprecedented challenges, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is hosting “Crossing through This: Managing Farm and Family in 2020,” a weekly webinar series. The series...

UK to host virtual Corn and Soybean Field Day; two-day event to help producers set for July 21, July 28

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is hosting a virtual Corn and Soybean Field Day to help producers get the research-based information and continuing education they need in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. “These virtual field days help us fulfill our commitment of getting applied research and principles into the hands...

UK’s Heart-2-Heart campaign expands to agriculture to thank Kentucky farmers for tireless work

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky They go to work bright and early every morning regardless of the day of the week or the weather conditions to help ensure Americans have the safest, freshest food supply in the world. To thank them for their tireless work, the University of Kentucky is expanding its Heart-2-Heart campaign to the state’s farmers. “Farmers are critical to Kentucky’s economy...

Recent studies by UK entomologists find invasive paper wasps preying on monarch butterfly larvae

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky An invasive paper wasp may be stymying the efforts of urban gardeners to rebuild monarch butterfly habitats, according to recent research by University of Kentucky entomologists. Adam Baker, UK doctoral student, and Daniel Potter, UK entomology professor, found Polistes dominula, more commonly known as the European paper wasp, preying on monarch larvae on milkweed...

UK entomologists say new stinging ant species could cause problems for Kentuckians

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky University of Kentucky entomologists want people to be aware of a new stinging pest in the state, the Asian needle ant. Recently, Asian needle ants invaded a home in south central Kentucky and stung the homeowner. This is one of the state’s first reports of the ants coming indoors. The insect has been in Kentucky since at least 2013 and in the U.S. since the...

UK specialists encourage Kentucky grain producers to scout fields for crop damage due to freeze, disease

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky University of Kentucky grain crops specialists encourage grain growers to scout their fields for freeze and disease damage and determine the next steps for their crops. On May 8 and 9, temperatures in Kentucky, with the exception of the far west regions, fell below freezing for several hours. This is the second freeze event in three weeks. The first occurred April...

UK dietetic students, professors use innovative methods to make internships work during pandemic

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Kentucky students and professors in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition are developing innovative ways for students to get the internship hours they need to graduate and become registered dietitians. During a normal year in UK’s Supervised Practice Program, interns gain experience through on-site rotations...

UK study shows promise for drone fungicide applications; cost effectiveness examined

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Drones are an effective way to apply fungicides to corn facing disease pressure, according to a University of Kentucky study. The study, which was conducted during the 2019 growing season, looked at the cost effectiveness and feasibility of drone-applied fungicides to corn in Adair, Taylor and Green counties. Most corn fungicides are applied aerially in Kentucky...

UK study shows tasseling applications of foliar fungicides may provide greatest benefits

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Corn producers have the greatest chance of controlling foliar diseases and improving the crop’s stalk strength when foliar fungicide treatments are applied at the tasseling (VT) growth stage, according to a University of Kentucky study. “Foliar diseases like gray leaf spot and southern rust frequently appear after tasseling and into grain fill. This prompts...

UK entomologist offers information about ‘murder hornet’ to educate Kentuckians about insect

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The first known appearances of the Asian giant hornet, also known as the “murder hornet,” have many Americans concerned. A University of Kentucky entomologist is offering some information to educate Kentuckians about the worrisome insect. As its name would suggest, the hornet is a native of Asia but was recently found in Washington state and British Columbia,...

UK Cooperative Extension Service offers information for farmers to keep H-2A workers safe and healthy

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky It’s springtime, and Suzanne White of Cecil Farms in Daviess County has nearly 400 acres of commercial watermelons to plant, along with additional produce for her farm’s community-supported agriculture program and local distributors, tobacco and grain crops, a custom lime operation to run and an event venue to manage. She and her dad Gary Cecil and brother...

For graduating senior Kymberley Johnson, path to career with Google went through UK

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky University of Kentucky senior Kymberley Johnson capitalized on every opportunity she received during her four years as a college student. Her initiative and drive served her well as she will soon graduate and head to her job at Google in Colorado. Originally from Memphis, Johnson’s family moved to Union in Boone County when she was in high school. Her interest...

UK Cooperative Extension Service’s Healthy at Home newsletter now available in Spanish

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service’s Healthy at Home newsletter is now available in Spanish. The online publication offers educational information for individuals and families, as they work through various impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We decided to translate our newsletter into Spanish, because we did not want language to...

UK to host virtual Wheat Field Day on May 12; specialists, industry reps to make presentations

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky In this time of social distancing and much uncertainty, University of Kentucky scientists are using innovative ways to get producers the information they need to grow high-quality crops. As a result, members of the UK Wheat Science Group have turned their annual Wheat Field Day into a virtual experience this year. It is scheduled for 9 a.m. until noon CDT May 12...