The following Agriculture & Natural Resources articles printed in the 2019 Summer edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter.
Cost-Share Applications Anticipated in June
We anticipate having applications available in June for two cost-share programs. Please follow up with our office in early June to get an application and ask about deadlines. These cost-share programs are offered through the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund in partnership with the Oldham County Agriculture Development Council.
The first cost-share program is the County Agricultural Investment Program. This cost-share offers 11 investment areas that give Kentucky farmers the ability to increase net farm income, add value to their products, and diversify their operations.
The second cost-share program is the Youth Ag Incentives Program. This cost-share program was developed to benefit youth actively engaged in agriculture and focuses on youth developing agriculture projects.
Both cost-share programs require that awarded applicants participate in an educational program or field day related to their cost-share project. For upcoming opportunities, review the articles in this newsletter as well as the events calendar on page eleven.
As a reminder – cash receipts are not eligible for reimbursement in these cost-share programs. CAIP applicants must have a farm serial number to complete an application. If you are unsure of this number, please contact the Farm Service Agency at (502) 845-2820 for more information.
Please call our office or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about projects that qualify. More information about guidelines is also available online at oldham.ca.uky.edu/grants-cost-share.
Appointments will be available with our program administrator for help completing cost-share applications. Please call (502) 222-9453 to schedule an appointment.
Pasture Seeding & Management Program – August 8
“It is amazing how pasture green-up fades the memory of our winter of mud. Don’t lose the mental picture of destroyed pastures because improving pasture productivity begins right now.” UK Forage Specialist Jimmy Henning shared this advice in a recent column in The Farmer’s Pride. I echo his thoughts. Some of the green-up we are seeing now actually is our desired forage grasses. But much of it is just grassy weeds and broadleaf weeds. Will livestock graze some of these weeds? It depends. Horses tend to be the most selective in what they graze, and other livestock may be as well. For instance, I haven’t noted any livestock that will consume nimblewill, and that’s a weedy grass that is fairly common here. I would challenge you to look closely at pastures to determine what your animals are consuming and what they are leaving untouched.
Some producers have adequate acreage and a feeding program that allows leeway in the amount of desired forage in pastures. But many do not. Consider that the amount of good forages you have also plays a big role in preventing soil erosion. Annual weeds that colonize thinned or overgrazed pastures die out by late fall, leaving no root system to hold your soil in place. When good topsoil is lost through erosion, it becomes more difficult to get desired forages established in following years.
What should you be doing now to get a handle on pastures?
- If you haven’t had soil tested in the last three years, pull samples to determine soil pH and nutrient levels.
- When was the last time you fertilized pastures? Nutrition is just as key in keeping pastures healthy as it is for livestock. If it’s been a while since fertilizer was applied, test soil and make plans to address fertility needs.
- Use rotational grazing. This improves grazing efficiency and allows rest and regrowth periods for pastures.
- Don’t allow the good stuff to be overgrazed. Manage grazing so that pasture is rested when grasses get down to a 3-4 inch height.
- Monitor what livestock are eating and what they are leaving behind.
- Identify problem weeds and make plans to control these.
- Make plans for areas that need to be reseeded. Late August through the end of September is the best time to sow fescue and orchardgrass.
Dr. Henning will be here on Thursday, August 8, at 6:30 p.m. to talk about Pasture Seeding & Management. This is a great opportunity to learn from an expert with years of experience helping producers improve pastures. We will have dinner and a great talk with Dr. Henning. This class counts as an educational credit for related CAIP cost-share projects.
Announcing Oldham County Ag Connection – September 19
The latest agriculture census shows that farms are still a big part of Oldham County. Our farms don’t necessarily look the same as in the past though. We are kicking off a new program here to highlight agriculture in the county, and our inaugural speaker for this event is David Knopf, Regional Director of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Mr. Knopf will give an overview of the changes in agriculture activity here since 2012.
This is a great opportunity for all residents — including consumers, farmers, elected officials, and business professionals — to understand the agriculture activity in Oldham County. Please save the date and join us for this event.
Oldham County Ag Connection
Thursday, September 19th
Welcome and Introductions
Guest Speaker David Knopf, Regional Director, National Ag Statistics Service
“Changes in Oldham County Agriculture since 2012”
Register via 222-9453 to reserve your seat and meal.
We will host quarterly meetings of the Oldham County Ag Connection with future speakers and topics of interest to both producers and consumers.
More Upcoming Events
Summer Extension events are listed under Upcoming Extension Events. Take note also of the following fall dates:
Beginner Beekeeper Survival School – Starts September 7
Regional Beef Field Day, Shelby County – October 7
Master Gardener – Starts October 15
Master Horseman – Begins November 7
Written by Traci Missun, Oldham County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent.
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