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Columns

  • Adding warm-season annuals to grazing system offers several advantages

    Warm-season annuals thrive in the heat of July when temperatures exceed 75 degrees F and other grasses are struggling. During this time cool-season grasses decrease in plant yield, and quality as the plant goes into the reproductive stage. This time frame is called the “summer slump.” Utilizing warm-season annuals during the summer may reduce or end overgrazing of cool-season pastures and the need for feeding stored feeds.

    Animal performance

  • Reduce your risk of being victimized by identity thieves

    Over $2.5 billion were lost to identity theft in 2012. Victims younger than 18 represent 6 percent of the total.

    The perpetrator is almost always a family member, frequently the parents.

    Parents who have financial problems will use their child’s social security number to fraudulently obtain credit cards, apply for loans and even employment. The children don’t have any idea until they later apply for jobs, credit cards or loans and find out that they have a negative credit history themselves.

  • Time to prune peonies, pinch mums

    June has arrived to bring us closer to the summer solstice and 15 hours of daylight each day. June has been the most popular wedding month since Roman times, because they were practical planners.

    Think about it. A June marriage meant childbirth in the spring, not the dead of winter and no interference with the fall harvest. Plus, the weather is usually pretty good for outdoor events.

    Work in the garden and lawn is now in high gear, precisely because of that weather.

  • Watch for Full Strawberry Moon

    Watching the sky at night is way more interesting than watching TV.

    Of course, living in the country gives me much better reception folks can get in town. There is very little light pollution when you live out in the boonies. A clear sky at night is not just an indicator of fair weather. It’s an opportunity to appreciate beauty and science all at once.

  • Warmer weather means tick season is here

    Ticks can make outdoor activities very uncomfortable in Kentucky, as well as posing a potential public health threat. Tick season extends from mid-March through August.

    Lone Star Ticks

  • Avoid home selling turnoffs

    If you’re buying a house, you probably know what turns you off in homes that you tour: messy, cluttered houses, strong odors, color schemes that are unique and so on. Most people can’t wait to get out of a house like that. When you are selling your house, be sure to prepare. Avoid these major turnoffs and you go a long way toward making your home a place visitors won’t be in such a hurry to leave.

    Pets

  • Outdoor cats susceptible to strokes, too

    By Jane Sinnett, Guest Columnist

    You don’t think of it happening to that sweet, soft, bundle of fur that literally vibrates with contentment while lying in your lap as you stroke the silky fur.

    But happen it does. Adult cats of both genders and any breed can suffer from strokes. It has been found most feline strokes are diagnosed during the summer months in outdoor cats living in the northeastern United States or in southeastern Canada.

  • Know what labels mean

    When you go grocery shopping, you’ve probably seen some new terms on the labels of your favorite foods. These terms are not meant to cause confusion but can help you make more informed choices about the foods you eat. This is a good thing, as concerns among consumers about food origin, safety and quality continue to increase.

    However, not everything may be a benefit to you. Read the label carefully.

  • Wet spring brings array of common pests

    Gnats are any of several species of small, non-biting flies. They appear suddenly, forming annoying swarms in the air as they mate. While they look like mosquitoes, these gnats cannot bite. Usually, they live for just a few days, and then disappear. Some are attracted to light and may be a nuisance, landing on people or entering homes or businesses.

    The immature stages of gnats develop in standing water in pools, containers, ponds, clogged rain gutters, or in some cases, wet soil in seepage areas. Most feed on algae or decaying plant matter.

    Management

  • Raised garden beds equal less work

    Full time work off the farm leads to busy time on the farm. Thank goodness I love what I do, in both places. It also leads to some really long days and one very tired farmer. I usually write this on Friday mornings, and after such a week of wonderfully perfect working weather, I’m a little tuckered, and perhaps just a little slap happy, so be prepared.