Summer is officially here and unfortunately so is our drought status. Western Kentucky slipped down to “extreme” drought status while the rest of the state is experiencing a “moderate” drought. We still have a chance to turn things around and come out OK on crops and pastures but only time will tell.
Summer time also means Farm-City Field Day and that’s right around the corner on Thursday, July 12, beginning at 9 a.m.
We’ve already discussed the heifer development stop and the alfalfa planting in some detail. Also mentioned was the warm season grass planting for wildlife. Once these grasses are well established (about three years from now) they can be a lifesaver if and when we do have to weather a drought. They’ll be green and growing while the cool season pastures brown and wither away.
Two other stops on the tour are proving to be hot topics this year as well. We’ve been getting calls regularly on pond weeds and dying ash trees. KSU will have a pond stop to discuss pond weed management and fertilization – not of the weeds but the microorganisms in the water column itself!
The UK and State Division of Forestry will cover woodlot management while discussing the Emerald Ash Borer that is threatening our ash trees.
On an earlier visit at the site, Sherman Peyton, the event’s host, was lamenting that he was going to give up growing potatoes because he couldn’t out compete the Colorado Potato Beetle and none of the sprays were working. I suggested he try Bt, a naturally occurring bacterial disease of insects.
They are fairly specific so you have to get the right strain for the caterpillar or larvae that you seek to control. One application and the potato plants that were once covered hardly showed any larvae. A couple weeks later he needed to make another application. Being specific to the bad bug, it’s safe for humans and most beneficial bugs and is degraded by sunlight.
While the garden isn’t a stop on the tour, you will get to see it as you enter the farm for the Field Day. You’ll also get a chance to visit the many booths of the Field Day sponsors and supporters. This is also where we’ll settle down for the steak dinner cooked by the Cattlemen and complimented with the sides provided by the VFW.
The Franklin County Farm Bureau is the major funding source for Field Day and after lunch you’ll find out who will be getting the Farm Bureau scholarship this year and maybe win a few door prizes. Free tickets are available at Farm Bureau offices on Wilkinson Blvd. and in Prevention Park.