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Agricultural News Volume 1, Issue 1

Dates of Interest call for more details May 8th Master Cattlemen 6:30p May 8th 4-H Dairy Club 6:30p May 9th Farm Bureau Meeting May 15th District Board Meeting 12:00p May 13th Dairy Club Meeting 6:30

May & June 2017

Rob’s Report by Robbie Smith

Hay season is fast approaching and as usual weather will play a major role in decision making . I have had a number of conversations already with folks about what they are seeing in their hayfields, and many are not impressed. Most are not seeing the quantity that they normally see at this time of year. Most of that is due to

Effect of Stage of Harvest of Fescue Hay on Quality and Animal Gain.* ID-62

May 18th Bee Club Meeting 6:30 June 8th NC Beef Cattle Meeting 7:00 June 10th Garden Tour 8:00a June 12th 4-H Dairy Club 6:30p

Robbie Smith Agent for Horticulture

cooler night temperatures suppressing growth. However, please don’t make the mistake of waiting until the volume is there to cut, make your decision solely on the quality of the forage and not quantity. The chart below provides a visual for making your decision on quality versus quantity. You can always cut early, reapply nitrogen and then make a second harvest in 4 to 6 weeks.

Stage of Harvest

Dry Matter lb./ day

% Di% gestibil Proity tein

lb. of Hay Fed per lb. Gain

lb of Hay per Acre 1st

lb. of Gain per Day

Late boot to head, cut May 3







Early bloom stage, May 14







Early milk stage-seed forming, May 25







Page 2 Agricultural News

Starting the Conversation: Transferring Your Farm to the Next Generation The average age of farm operators in Kentucky is increasing, and over the next several years, many farm families will consider transitioning their farm to the next generation. The decision of when and how to begin the farm transition process can be difficult; often, farm families tend to avoid the issue because it can be a difficult topic to discuss. It is important to realize that at some point every farm business will experience a transfer of ownership, either with or without owner participation. The farm business can transfer in one of two ways: either as a viable farm business or as a set of assets. Typically, the goal of many farm families is to successfully transfer a viable farm business. Approximately 30% of family farm businesses successfully transfer to the second generation, with less than 10 % successfully transferring to the third generation. The majority of failures occur following the owners death due to limited foresight, planning, and capital. However, with proper planning and family communication your farm business is less likely to become a failed statistic. Many producers recognize the need to develop a transition plan. Creating a will or an estate plan is a step in the right direction, providing a means by which to distribute assets. However, a comprehensive farm transition plan takes a much more in-depth look at the farm business. A comprehensive farm transition plan can assist your family in successfully transferring the ownership and management of a viable family farm to the next generation. For many with a family farm, the primary goal of a farm transition plan is to facilitate the transfer of ownership and management of the farming operation. However, transition planning is also a tool to reduce estate taxes, help secure the financial future of both the new and retiring generations, develop management skills, and establish goals for your farm, such as keeping your land in agriculture. Finally, a sound farm transition plan can provide peace of mind that all family members understand the

future plans for the farming operation. Good family communication has been identified as one of the key factors leading to a successful transfer of the farm business to the next generation. Communication is the first step in developing a farm transition plan. Farm family transitions are typically smoother if heirs are allowed to provide input to the process, and family members have a shared vision. Often it is difficult to treat all heirs equally during the transition of a family farm; however, it is possible to treat all heirs fairly. Good communication about how and why certain decisions are made can be helpful to both on-farm and off -farm heirs. Each family has its own dynamics, and it is important to be conscious of the relationships between heirs and spouses, as well as the family business needs. To ensure that your goals for the family farm reflect the vision of other family members, the first step is to schedule a family meeting and start an open dialogue about the process. A good family meeting typically takes place at a neutral location, not at the kitchen table or in the barn. Everyone needs to feel at ease to share his/ her opinions. Additionally, do not try to tack a family meeting onto another family event. This is not a conversation to have during a holiday dinner. It is a business meeting and should be scheduled as one. During the first family meeting, the idea is to begin the conversation about transitioning the family farm. Talking points to start the conversation include discussing with each heir how he/she perceives his/her role on the family farm. Talk with family members about what role each person would like to play during the process of transferring the family farm. It is also important to ask family members about their goals for the future of the farm. One important question to ask is whether the (Continued on page 13)

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Thoughts on the 2017 Tobacco Season Following a very difficult and disappointing 2016 growing season, 2017 could be another challenging year for Kentucky tobacco farmers. While aggregate contract burley prices and contract volume may not change much in 2017, individual company decisions appear to vary considerably across buyers compared to previous years. Burley contract volume remained relatively flat to down 5 to 7% for some contract growers, while one major buyer adopted a double-digit percentage drop across the board for their growers. In total, my best guess is that U.S. burley contract volume may be down by around 5% for 2017. Many burley contract prices by grade remain similar to last year, with some adjustments in the +/- 3 to 5 cents/lb. range. Noticeably, there was significantly more price volatility in lower stalk leaf (i.e., flyings) with one major buyer dropping X grades by 15 cents/lb. The weighted average contract price for #2 quality burley leaf among the top four buyers ranged from $1.86 to $2.00/lb. For 3rd quality leaf, the weighted price differential among the top four buyers was nearly 25 cents/lb. Despite the significant price variability among companies, the overall weighted average burley contract price for the 2017 crop is similar to previous years. However, I would caution against

using similar burley market prices received in recent years for 2017 budgeting purposes given the potential for overproducing the 2017 crop relative to anticipated demand levels. USDA’s March planting intentions survey (conducted in early March prior to most contracts being offered) revealed a 7% increase in Kentucky burley tobacco acres for 2017, with dark fire-cured up 5% and dark air-cured 10% higher. A very short 2016 dark tobacco crop coupled with continued growth in smokeless sales probably warrants a modest increase in 2017 dark tobacco acres. However, a similar statement cannot be made with much confidence for burley. Assuming average national yields, the announced USDA planting intentions for burley would result in a U.S. burley crop exceeding 170 million pounds in 2017. In response to declining domestic use (caused by lower cigarette consumption and higher import use) coupled with weak leaf export demand (caused by a stronger dollar and declining global burley consumption), a U.S. burley crop in excess of 130 million pounds would likely prompt a very volatile and selective market (i.e. more critical grading which could

1/ Based on an average market price of $1.90/lb. and 150 hours of hired labor/acre

(Continued on page 11)

Page 4 Agricultural News

Buttercups in Grazed Pastures One of the signs that spring has arrived is when the yellow flowers of buttercup begin to appear, but it’s during the winter months that the vegetative growth of buttercup takes place. As a cool season weed, this plant often flourishes in over grazed pasture fields with poor stands of desirable forages. In fact, many fields that have dense buttercup populations are fields heavily grazed by animals during the fall through the early spring months. Buttercups are sometimes classified as short -lived perennials, but often grow as winter annuals. Plants typically produce five, shiny yellow petals in the early spring. There are four different species of buttercups that may be found in Kentucky: bulbous buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus), creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens), tall buttercup (Ranunculus acris), and small flower buttercup (Ranunculus arbortivus). Although each of these plants may have somewhat similar flower heads, each of these buttercup species differs somewhat in their vegetative leaf characteristics. New seed are produced during the time petals are showy. Waiting until after flowers appear can be too late to implement control tactics. This is one reason buttercups can survive year to year and new plants emerge each year. Most buttercup plants emerge from seed during the fall or late winter months. Therefore, pasture management practices that improve and promote growth of desirable plants during these months is one of the best methods to help compete against the emergence and growth of this plant. Whereas, livestock animals allowed to overgraze fields during the fall and winter

months is one of the main factors that contribute to buttercup problems. Mowing fields or clipping plants close to the ground in the early spring before buttercup plants can produce flowers may help reduce the amount of new seed produced, but mowing alone will not totally eliminate seed production. For chemical control, herbicides registered for use on grass pastures that contain 2,4-D will effectively control buttercup. Depending on other weeds present products that contain dicamba+2,4-D (eg. Weedmaster), aminopyralid (eg. ForeFront, Milestone), triclopyr (eg. PastureGard, Crossbow), or metsulfuron (eg. Cimarron) can also be used. However, legumes such as clovers interseeded with grass pastures can be severely injured or killed by these herbicide products. For optimum results apply a herbicide in the early spring (February - March) before flowers are observed, when buttercup plants are still small and actively growing. For best herbicide activity wait until daytime air temperatures is greater than 50 F for two to three consecutive days. Consult the herbicide label for further information on grazing restrictions, precautions, or other possible limitations. For fields heavily infested with buttercup a variety of control tactics may be needed. Apply a herbicide to help reduce the population of buttercup plants in the spring plus use good pasture management techniques throughout the year to help improve and thicken the stand of desirable forages. by Dr. J.D. Green, Extension Weed Scientist

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Managing Spring Grass: Going from 0 to 60! Spring can often be one of the most challenging times of the year for graziers. Grass growth goes from nonexistent to excessive in a matter of weeks and in many cases grazing livestock have a hard time keeping up with it. This can result in lower quality forage that is less palatable. The growth of new forage is also delayed by not removing the growing point of our coolseason grasses. The presence of the growing point suppresses tiller formation at the base of the grass plant. The following suggestions can help you to control spring growth and get the most out of your spring pastures. Implement rotational grazing. In order to fully utilize the spring flush of pasture growth YOU must be in control of grazing. In a continuous grazing system, the cows are in charge. Start grazing before you think the pastures are ready. One of the most common mistakes that graziers make is waiting too long to start grazing in the spring. If you wait until the first paddock is ready to graze, by the time you reach the last paddock it will be out of control. Starting early allows you to establish a “grazing wedge�. Rotate animals rapidly. The general rule is that if grass is growing rapidly then your rotation should be rapid. This will allow you to stay ahead of the grass by topping it off and keeping it in a vegetative state. Do not apply spring nitrogen. Applying nitrogen in the spring will actually make the problem of too much grass at once even worse. In many cases, you are better off to save your nitrogen for stockpiling in the fall. Remove most productive paddocks from rotation and harvest for hay. Graze all paddocks until the pasture growth is just about to get away from you and then

remove those productive paddocks from your rotation and allow them to accumulate growth for hay harvest. Increase stocking density in the spring. If it is possible, a good option for utilizing spring growth is to increase your stocking density. This will allow you to harvest more of the available forage and convert it into a saleable product. This can be done by adding some stockers or thin cull cows to your rotation and then selling them when pasture growth slows. Even out seasonal distribution of forage by adding a warm-season grass. Adding a welladapted warm-season grass that produces the majority of its growth in July and August would allow you to increase your seasonlong stocking density to better utilize the spring flush of pasture growth. Bush-hog out of control pastures. The benefits of clipping include maintaining pastures in a vegetative state, encouraging regrowth, and controlling weeds. Clipping pastures costs money, so make sure that the primary reason for bush-hogging is pasture management, not aesthetics. There is not a one-size fits all when it comes to grazing. One of the most important features to build into your grazing system is flexibility. This will allow you to adapt as situations change. Grazing systems are not static entities, but rather dynamic works of art that evolve as your skill level increases! Dr. Chris D. Teutsch, Associate Extension Professor, Forage Specialist, University of Kentucky

Page 6 Agricultural News Scouting for True Armyworms Is Highly Recommended in Small Grains and Early Corn

During the week of April 15 to 21, 2017, there were 301 (Princeton) and 4 (Lexington) captures of true armyworm (Mythimna unipuncta) moths in pheromonebased traps in those locations. For Princeton, this is a 1/3 fold increase in 1 week (KPN), while in Lexington, there was no change in the number of moths captured. Although there is only one trap in each site, the captures in Princeton is an indicator of increased activity by armyworms (egg oviposition and hatching of larva) in wild grasses, small grains, and early corn in western Kentucky. Consultants and farmers are also confirming the presence of flying moths in their fields. There have been armyworms flying since the beginning of March (Beware of True Armyworms). The temperatures were favorable for mating and egg oviposition during most of this time, except during the freeze of mid-March. Based on historical data and accumulated degree day (Acc.DD) models, in all probability, armyworm larvae may have been feeding on wild grasses or wheat fields in undetectable numbers. The required Acc.DD of 612 for larval development and subsequent feeding (Table 1) was completed on April 20 [630 Acc. DD for Caldwell County (Calculating Degree Days in KY)]. So far, there are no reports on caterpillar damage. Armyworms need at least 1 week to start laying eggs, then eggs will hatch 6 to 10 days later (Table 1). Larvae will start feeding immediately after hatching in both wheat and early-planted corn. Predictions on insect numbers are not 100% accurate, but based on the discussion presented above, I expect that armyworm

feeding may become abundant by the end of April or first week of May. Thus, scouting for armyworm larvae should be a priority in the following days to avoid damage from this pest. Armyworm larvae are highly active at night and on cloudy days. Larvae can damage plants by eating leaf margins of upper leaves, defoliating entire plants, and clipping heads of maturing plants. Scouting and Management I am aware that preventive sprays is the standard practice for aphids and armyworms in western Kentucky; however, preventive treatments for armyworms are not justified in terms of farm economy or environmental sustainability. Insecticide usage should be the last resource. I hope that insecticide sprays this year are based on tallies of armyworm larvae. Follow these guidelines to scout for armyworms in small grain fields:

Examine a 4-square-foot area in 5 random locations

Count numbers of larvae between 1/2 and 3/4 inches long

Follow these guidelines for making insecticide application decisions:

Control in small grains is recommended when average of larval tallies is greater than or equal to 16 worms per 4 square feet

If armyworms are larger than 11/4 inches long, control is not profitable

If the average number of larvae is equal or above 16 caterpillars, an insecticide application might be required.

Page 7 Volume 1, Issue 1

Page 8 Agricultural News

Page 10

Page 11 Volume 1, Issue 1

HERB-CRUSTED SIRLOIN TIP ROAST WITH CREAMY HORSERADISH-CHIVE SAUCE INGREDIENTS 1 beef Sirloin Tip Center Roast (2 to 2-1/2 pounds) 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper salt Sauce: 1 cup dairy sour cream 1/2 cup prepared horseradish 2 tablespoons milk 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper INSTRUCTIONS FOR HERB-CRUSTED SIRLOIN TIP ROAST WITH CREAMY HORSERADISH-CHIVE SAUCE 1.


Heat oven to 325°F. Combine parsley, thyme, oil, garlic and black pepper; press evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat

(Continued from page 3)

easily put downward pressure on market prices.) As always, burley returns are extremely variable based on assumed yields and labor expenses. H2A wage rates for Kentucky for 2017 increased to $10.92/hr compared to $10.85/hr last year. Housing, travel, workers comp, and other fees must be taken into consideration for those employing this legal seasonal workforce to determine the total hired labor wage rate. Most other input costs will remain close to last year’s levels as well. Assuming an average burley price of $1.90/lb. for the 2017 crop, 150 hours of hired labor, coupled with relatively

3. 4.

thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef. Do not add water or cover. Roast in 325°F oven 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours for medium rare doneness. Meanwhile combine sauce ingredients in small bowl; cover and refrigerate. Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135°F for medium rare. (Do not overcook.) Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 10 to 20 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10°F to reach 145°F for medium rare.) Carve roast into thin slices; season with salt, as desired. Serve with sauce.

Nutrition information per serving: 303 calories; 17 g fat (8 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat); 108 mg cholesterol; 144 mg sodium; 6 g carbohydrate; 0.9 g fiber; 33 g protein; 6.0 mg niacin; 0.6 mg vitamin B6; 3.7 mcg vitamin B12; 3.2 mg iron; 45.1 mcg selenium; 8.0 mg zinc. This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc; and a good source of iron. flat input costs generates the following net returns to compensate for a producer’s own labor, management, and land under different wage and yield scenarios (see table below). Given these assumptions, improved yields and labor efficiency will be critical to generate a profitable burley crop in 2017. William M. Snell, Extension Professor, Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program Co-Director, Economic & Policy Update Editor

Page 12 Agricultural News

Alfalfa Weevil – The Next Step Alfalfa weevils have been very damaging in some fields this year (Figure 1). While Individual larvae feed for about 3 weeks, a wide window for egg hatch this year has resulted in an extended season. Unfortunately, additional damage is still possible as larvae pupate and adults emerge.

regrowth. However, the weevil can still inflict some serious damage. With very

Figure 2. Mature alfalfa weevil larva in a cocoon that has been partially removed (Photo: Lee Townsend, UK).

Figure 1. Undamaged weeds are the only green foliage in this alfalfa field following significant alfalfa weevil feeding (Photo: M. Baxter).

good curing conditions, mortality of larvae present at harvest can be high. Many will die of starvation or exposure if the alfalfa cures quickly and the crop is baled without delay. Larvae under windrows can survive if it rains or curing conditions delay curing and baling.

Most alfalfa weevil larvae are completing their development. Taking a page from the caterpillar manual, mature weevil larvae spin coarse silk cocoons in which to pupate (Figure 2). Cocoons can be found in stem tips or in leaf litter on the ground. An alfalfa weevil emerges about 7 to 10 days in the pupal state (Figure 3).

Scout to Determine Need for Management Weevils that survive to the pupal stage and emerge as adults may congregate under windrows to feed on crown regrowth. There may be enough adults present to

With much of larval feeding damage over, harvest can give alfalfa plants a chance for Plant height 2”



8” +


# of larvae per 30 stems* > 20

> 33

> 47

> 60

Apply short residual insecticide


Sample again in 2 days if larvae per 30 stems is in this range

17—20 17—32


Table 1. Assessing alfalfa weevil larvae on first cutting re‐growth (5 to 7 days after harvest)

(Continued on page 13)

Page 13 Volume 1, Issue 1 (Continued from page 12)

justify an insecticide application. Watch fields carefully for the normal green‐up that indicates active re‐growth. Surviving larvae may feed on developing leaves and new adults can cause “notch‐like” feeding holes on leaves, which gives foliage a feathery appearance. Use the table below to evaluate larval numbers and plant height to determine if control is needed. Treatment may be justified if there is feeding on 50% or more

goals of the current owners and the potential heirs are similar. Once you begin the dialogue about how each family member feels about the farm transition process, then you can begin to address some of the more detailed questions. If you are considering transitioning your farm to the next generation, there are several key questions that need to be addressed. Typically, farm families find it helpful to work with a team to develop and implement a farm transition plan; team members may include a facilitator, accountant, attorney, and extension educator. Each member of the team can provide expertise in establishing a transition plan that will work within your family. Jennifer L. Hunter, Associate Extension Professor, Family Finance & Resource Management, Dept. of Family Sciences 859-257-3290

Figure 3. Alfalfa weevil pupa in cocoon (Photo: Lee Townsend, UK) of the crowns or re‐growth is prevented for 3 to 6 days. Use adequate water (15 gallons per acre or more) if an insecticide application is necessary. By Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist


Page 14 Agricultural News

UK entomologist offers tips on ticks A mild winter can have its downsides. One is that more ticks probably survived than normal. The result is more hungry ticks out earlier than usual, according to Lee Townsend, extension entomologist in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

The bite of the American dog tick is usually less irritating than one from a lone star tick, but this species is a potential carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. CDC information indicates an occurrence of one to six cases each year based on Kentucky’s population and diagnostic history.

Typically, warm weather brings ticks out of hiding to find the blood meal they need to continue their life cycle. In the past two weeks, Townsend has received calls about ticks on both people and pets.

Prevention is the key to reducing exposure to ticks. There are several effective precautions to take. Wear a repellent. One repellent containing permethrin can be put on clothing and is particularly effective. Avoid walking through uncut fields or brush and areas with tall vegetation where ticks are most likely to occur. Wear lightcolored clothing so ticks are easy to spot. Check pets when they come in from outdoors.

The two most common ticks found in the state are lone star tick and the American dog tick. The adult female lone star tick has a white spot on its back. The male is entirely reddishbrown. American dog ticks are reddish -brown with mottled white markings on their backs.

“In tick-prone areas, check yourself, children and other family members for ticks every two to three hours, and when returning home from hikes and other outdoor activities,” Townsend said. “Common places to find ticks are behind ears, hair, neck, legs and around the waist.”

The American dog tick, left, and the lone star tick are most easily identified by their mouths. The lone star tick's is longer. PHOTO: Courtesy of Lee Townsend, UK entomologist

“Most tick bites are itchy nuisances that last for seven to 10 days,” Townsend said. However, a small percentage of lone star ticks may be carrying erlichiosis, a bacterial disease. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 to 50 cases may be diagnosed in Kentucky each year. In addition, saliva injected as this tick feeds may cause some people to develop a “red meat allergy,” a condition diagnosed more often as awareness of it increases.

Individuals who find a tick on their body, should remove it by using fine-tipped tweezers, getting as close to the skin as possible to make sure the entire tick is removed. Once it’s removed, individuals should wash the bite area and their hands and apply an antiseptic to the bite site.

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FSA News Crop reporting deadlines are JULY 15, Enrollment Period for 2017 Safety 2017 for Corn, soybeans, tobacNet Coverage Continues Through co. Please do not forget to report. Aug. 1 Producers can call FSA to schedule an apProducers on farms with base acres under pointment if they choose. the safety net programs established by the USDA Farm Service Agency Offers 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Agriculture Text Alerts to Nelson County Produc- Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverers age (PLC) programs, can visit their local FSA office to sign contracts and enroll for Subscribers Can Receive Important Prothe 2017 crop year. The enrollment period gram Reminders and Updates will continue until Aug. 1, 2017. Nelson County USDA Farm Service Agency Since shares and ownership of a farm can (FSA) Executive Director Adam Haggard change year-to-year, producers on the farm announced that farmers and ranchers in must enroll by signing a contract each proKentucky now can receive notifications gram year. from their county office through text messages on their cell phone. If a farm is not enrolled during the 2017 enrollment period, the producers on that Whether producers are in the field, on a farm will not be eligible for financial assistractor or even on horseback, this service enables FSA customers and stakeholders to tance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2017 crop should crop prices or farm receive notifications while on the go. Producers will receive text messages regarding revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the important program deadlines, reporting program. Producers who made their elecrequirements, outreach events and updates. tions in 2015 must still enroll during the Producers can text KYNELSON to 2017 enrollment period. FSANOW (372-669) to subscribe to text message alerts from Nelson County. Stand- The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety ard text messaging rates apply. Contact net to agricultural producers when there is your wireless carrier for details associated a substantial drop in prices or revenues for with your particular data plan. Participants covered commodities. Covered commodimay unsubscribe at any time. ties include barley, canola, large and small Please contact your local FSA office at 502- chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain 348-8664 ext. 2 if you have questions resorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peagarding FSA’s email news service or the nuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short new text message option. grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Any producer that has had a change of Upland cotton is no longer a covered comaddress, phone number, bank account modity. For more details regarding these or email should contact the office with programs, go to these changes.


Phone: 502-348-9204 Fax: 502-348-9270

317 S 3rd St Bardstown, KY 40004






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