A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

MARS Equestrian Fellow at UK’s Gluck Equine Research Center continues to help older horses

By Holly Wiemers University of Kentucky Horses aged 15 and over make up between 20 percent to 30 percent of the U.S. equine population. An important milestone will be reached this year in the quest to learn more about this population. October marks the one-year anniversary of Amanda Adams, associate professor at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center specializing in aged horse research,...

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...

HealthyWoods app helps owners understand woodlands with research-based information

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky A new mobile app makes receiving research-based woodland management information as easy as reaching for the phone. HealthyWoods, a collaborative effort between forest specialists from Kentucky and other hardwood-producing states in the Appalachian region, provides woodland owners with a convenient tool to scout the health of their woods. “Traditional extension...

UK Forestry and Natural Resources technicians study new invader in Kentucky forests — laurel wilt disease

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Megan Buland bent over a spicebush in Floracliff Nature Sanctuary, looking for the elusive spicebush swallowtail caterpillar in its tiniest larval stage. Buland, a forest health technician with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is getting a baseline count this summer as part of a study on the effects of the fungal disease,...

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...

Free pasture-finished beef production workshop offered online by UK, Virginia Tech and WVU

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Beef producers and consumers have a growing interest in forage-finished beef. The University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech and West Virginia University are offering a free pasture-finished beef production online workshop Aug. 11-13 from 7-9 p.m. “Getting adequate growth to reach a ‘finished’ state and addressing market issues can be challenging for producers...

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,...

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...

Extended heat wave in forecast will put stress on Kentucky livestock producers, corn growers

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Things are heating up again in the Bluegrass. As the week progresses, the humidity and temperatures will rise and Kentucky’s agricultural producers need to be aware of the impacts the heat may have. “We are looking at an extended period of heat stress, beginning July 15,” said Matthew Dixon, meteorologist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture,...

UK’s James B. Beam Institute receives donation of distilling equipment to advance teaching, research

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits at the University of Kentucky received a large donation of distilling equipment from the institute’s founding partner, the James B. Beam Distilling Company. Jim Beam’s donation included two tractor-trailer loads of stills, tanks, pumps and instruments from the historic craft distillery in Clermont, reducing...

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 leads national team studying pandemic’s effect on local food systems; USDA partners in research

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Services Division is partnering with the University of Kentucky, Colorado State University and Penn State University on a $1 million cooperative research agreement to conduct a national study on the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on local food systems. Co-principal investigators Lilian Brislen and...

UK equine specialist reminds horse owners to begin planning for future hay needs right now

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky In the midst of a bountiful first cutting of hay, a University of Kentucky equine specialist reminds horse owners to start thinking about how much hay they need in the future. “The photos I’m seeing look great,” said Bob Coleman, extension equine specialist with the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “There is some good-looking hay out there,...

Quarles, UK encourage Kentuckians to grow victory gardens; campaign to reach every Kentucky county

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced a new Kentucky Department of Agriculture partnership with the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky’s Nutrition Education Program to encourage Kentuckians to get in touch with their agricultural roots during the coronavirus pandemic. “Since starting the Kentucky Hunger Initiative years ago, the Kentucky Department...

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...

First-generation students can find support to overcome obstacles during college journey

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky For students returning to school or just starting their college careers, the fall semester may look different than they were expecting. Yet, for many of those students, the first in their families to enroll in college, the opportunities for success are still out there, and professors, administrators, staff and even nonprofits are available to help them succeed. Though...