A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Grazing Conference goes virtual; Red Angus Association’s Johnny Rogers to speak

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kentucky Grazing Conference will occur online. The annual event, hosted by the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council and the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, will occur on the videoconferencing platform Zoom during the evenings of Oct. 27-29. The conference begins each day at 5:50 p.m. CDT and lasts until 8...

UK agricultural engineer says timely soybean harvest important to maintain yields, quality of crops

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Kentucky has experienced a couple weeks of dry weather. As a result, soybean producers need to pay close attention to their crops to make sure they get them out of the field in a timely manner. “This year’s dry weather is the exact opposite of the wet conditions producers dealt with in fall 2019, and dry weather will push soybeans to mature quicker,” said...

UK agricultural economist says current grain markets favoring wheat, double-crop soybeans

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky As Kentucky producers begin to decide their planting intentions for the next growing season, current grain markets favor a wheat, double-crop soybean rotation over full-season soybeans. “Right now, expected market prices look incredibly attractive for Kentucky producers to plant wheat and double-crop soybeans in most scenarios,” said Greg Halich, agricultural...

UK entomologist receives prestigious Early Career Innovation Award for work with honey bee biology

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky A University of Kentucky entomologist recently was recognized by her colleagues around the world for her innovative research and teaching practices. Clare Rittschof, assistant professor in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, received the Early Career Innovation Award from the Entomological Society of America. With more than 7,000 members, the society...

UK celebrates land-grant heritage and mission; recognizes outstanding researchers in ceremony

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment celebrated its land-grant heritage and mission and recognized some of its outstanding researchers during a recent ceremony. Dr. Scott Hutchins, deputy under secretary for research, education and economics with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was the event’s keynote speaker. An entomologist,...

UK graduate student Cristina Castellano aspires to be ‘forensic scientist of the plant world,’ solve mysteries

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Growing up, University of Kentucky graduate student Cristina Castellano thought she might like to be a forensic scientist, but her interest in agriculture steered her toward plant pathology, which she terms as “the forensic scientist of the plant world.” “Plant pathologists and forensic scientists use a lot of same technologies to find solutions to problems,”...

UK agricultural engineer says field drying could be advantageous for corn producers in short run

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Kentucky grain producers are expected to harvest a large corn crop this year and much of it will likely go into storage along with hopes of better marketing opportunities in the next few months. With good weather conditions predicted for the next few weeks, Kentucky producers may let their corn dry in the field a little longer before harvest as it could reduce...

UK to host regional fencing schools this fall to help livestock producers learn new techniques

Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky will host two regional fencing schools this fall to help livestock producers learn about the newest fencing techniques and sound fence construction. The schools are Oct. 13 at the Wolfe County Extension office in Campton and Oct. 15 at the Barren County Extension office in Glasgow. Each day will begin with registration at 7:30 a.m. local...

Pasture renovations suggested by UK forage experts to help horse farm implement rotational grazing

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Spendthrift Farm is one of Lexington’s iconic Thoroughbred breeding and racing operations. Due to recent expansion, the farm wanted to renovate some unused fields and develop them into pastures to use in a rotational grazing system. They turned to forage experts with the Horse Pasture Evaluation Program in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food...

UK freshman agricultural and medical biotechnology major has big dreams of making positive impact

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Mary Kate Miller has big dreams of making a positive impact on Kentucky agriculture as a future elected public official and on the health of its residents as a future pharmacist. Those dreams began while she was a Henderson County 4-H’er, and this August, the freshman agricultural and medical biotechnology major moved into a dorm at the University of Kentucky...

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...