A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence accepting applications for summer USDA internship program

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Undergraduate students can apply for a hands-on research internship next summer with the University of Kentucky Grain and Forage Center of Excellence. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduates summer internship program allows students to complete meaningful projects in the UK College of Agriculture, Food...

New tool to help Kentucky grain producers plan disease management strategy for growing season

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Kentucky grain producers have a new, free tool at their disposal to see the past yield losses and economic impacts of common diseases affecting corn and soybeans. This tool can help them plan their disease management strategy for the upcoming growing season. Developed by the Crop Protection Network, the Field Crop Disease Loss Calculator can tell producers how...

Department of Agriculture to host first Hemp Summit Dec. 4 at Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) will host a Kentucky Hemp Summit on Dec. 4 for those interested in learning more about the hemp industry, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced. “We decided to host a Kentucky Hemp Summit so that Kentuckians can learn more about this crop that connects the Commonwealth’s past to its future,” Quarles said. “The Summit will feature...

U.S. Department of Agriculture rolls out proposed regulations for hemp mandated by Farm Bill

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday issued its proposed regulations on hemp production as mandated by the 2018 Farm Bill. The USDA established the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program through an interim final rule, which outlines provisions for federal agriculture officials to approve plans submitted by states for the domestic production of hemp. Kentucky was...

USDA Farm Service Agency issues safety-net, conservation payments to Kentucky farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Kentucky is processing $9,688,641 in Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments for the 2018 crop year. Additionally, Kentucky FSA will distribute $32,039,597 in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) rental payments to landowners to support voluntary conservation efforts on private lands. FSA began processing...

Kentucky hemp program application period for 2020 opens Nov. 15 with new online application

Kentucky hemp growers and processors may apply for a hemp license from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) hemp program for 2020 beginning Nov. 15, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced. Ryan Quarles “We are constantly looking for ways to improve our hemp program,” Quarles said. “We are making significant changes to the application process for the 2020 growing season...

UK researchers studying better ways to detect worms in apples; codling moth infestation can be costly

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Worms poking out of apples may be a cute back-to-school theme, but they are not a welcome sight in orchards. Researchers at the University of Kentucky are studying noninvasive ways to improve detection methods for the codling moth in apples. Codling moths are the most devastating insect pests of apples. Each spring, adult moths lay their eggs on or around developing...

Kentucky Agricultural Training School to host late-season workshop on Aug. 22 at UK Research Center

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The Kentucky Agricultural Training School will host a late-season workshop from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. CDT on Aug. 22 at the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center in Princeton. The daylong, hands-on clinic is ideal for corn and soybean producers and crop consultants and is part of the UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence’s mission to provide producers...

USDA to require most cattle to have electronic ear tags; switch to strengthen animal traceability system

The Federal Government will require most Kentucky cattle to bear a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag in the next few years, the Kentucky Office of the State Veterinarian has announced. “By 2023, only RFID tags will be considered official identification,” State Veterinarian Robert C. Stout said. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture is requiring the RFID tags and phasing out metal tags to...

USDA, UK, Purdue partnering to provide technical assistance for long-term rural economic growth

Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced the names of 47 rural communities and regions that will receive technical assistance to help create and implement long-term economic development plans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing the assistance through an initiative called Rural Economic Development Innovation, REDI. USDA’s Innovation Center created...

U.S. Department of Agriculture legal opinion says hemp can be moved across state lines

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The U.S. Department of Agriculture has published a legal opinion stating hemp can be transported across state lines, an action saluted by Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. “The policy announcement from the United States Department of Agriculture confirms what Kentucky has been saying all along,” Quarles said. “The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp legal nationwide,...

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program celebrates 50 years of service to Kentucky

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program is celebrating a half century of teaching low income families how to eat healthier while stretching their food dollars. In Kentucky, the U. S. Department of Agriculture program is administered through the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and is particularly focused on helping low income, limited...

UK study: Affordability will determine autonomous machinery adoption by grain producers

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky When autonomous machinery becomes available, grain producers who adopt it would likely see economic benefits, but only if the machinery is not cost prohibitive, according to a University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment study. While autonomous technology, such as driverless tractors, is not commercially available in the U.S. yet, it could...

Pew Trusts: Kentucky leading the way as Farmer’s hope for riches from legalized hemp, despite risks

By April Simpson Pew Charitable Trusts Michael Calebs begins feeling nostalgic standing in the airy barn on his rolling, 400-acre farm. He recalls the hard labor of his youth: climbing up to horizontal beams to hang floppy tobacco leaves to air cure so the leaves could develop a sweet taste. Calebs places a small amount of Kodiak snuff between his cheek and gum on a recent afternoon while walking about...

Summer internships for undergraduates available with UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Applications are available for undergraduate students interested in interning this summer with the University of Kentucky Grain and Forage Center of Excellence. The program allows students to complete meaningful research projects in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Internships will occur at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton or...

Kentucky Department of Education Summer Food Service Program seeks sponsors statewide

Kentucky Teacher Sponsors are being sought for the 2019 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Children enjoy their lunch during a kickoff event for the Summer Food Service Program at Calvary Elementary School (Marion County). In 2018, 166 sponsors served nearly 3 million meals to children age 18 and younger at 2,600 meal sites in Kentucky. Photo by Mike Marsee While sponsors are being accepted in all...

Climate Change: A look at the latest National Climate Assessment report — and a heads up

Staff report Thirteen federal agencies released findings this week in a 1,600-page report on climate change. The U.S. Global Change Research Program is a consortium of 13 federal agencies that include the Department of Defense, NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency. The fourth National Climate Assessment is the latest of required reports on federal research into climate change. Mandated by...

Bevin requests USDA emergency disaster declaration to provide low-interest loans for Kentucky farmers

Gov. Matt Bevin has submitted an emergency disaster designation and declaration request in support of Kentucky’s farmers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. The request follows months of heavy rains and severe weather in the Commonwealth, resulting in flooding and wind damage in many Kentucky counties. These weather events adversely impacted the yield...

UK agricultural economist: Grain markets favor storage; alternative structures likely option

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Continuous years of large crops and demand uncertainty makes grain storage attractive for producers this fall. While Kentucky producers have added on-farm storage to their operations in recent years, many will store corn and soybeans in alternative structures through the winter, particularly as markets are showing positive returns. “Higher futures prices in spring...

Quarles proclaims October Farm to School Month to promote local foods for Kentucky students

Serving local foods in Kentucky schools benefits the entire community, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said in proclaiming October as Farm to School Month in Kentucky. Quarles “Eating healthy local foods helps Kentucky kids do their best,” Commissioner Quarles said. “At the same time, when schools buy local, farmers and food businesses increase their sales, and that boosts the local economy....