During the 2011 growing season, several of my columns mentioned the fairly severe drought in Henry County which occurred in July and August. These months are prime growing season days, with several critical processes taking place in our crops and vegetables. We suffered diminished yields in virtually all crops, including corn, soybeans, tobacco, vegetables, fruits, hay and pasture.
The irony to all this talk of drought is the fact that 2011 will be recorded as the wettest year ever in Louisville, and likely in Henry County also. While we don’t have historic data for rainfall, we now have the CoCoRaHS rainfall reporting system, with several very diligent recorders volunteering in Henry County.
With their good work, we can now give actual numbers for 2011 and into the future.
Just how wet was 2011? Three recording stations (Campbellsburg, New Castle and Turners Station) recorded about 61 inches of rain.
I’ve always read that the average rainfall in this region of Kentucky is about 45 inches per year. With this in mind, we had more than 16 inches above normal, but were abnormally dry when we needed the rain for crops. What a year!
Here’s hoping 2012 is a bit more “normal.”
Pesticide applicator certification
The Henry County Extension Service will hold a Private Pesticide Applicator Certification from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Jan. 5, at the Henry County Extension Office. Private pesticide applicator certification (a pesticide card) is required to purchase and use restricted-use pesticides. Once secured, certification is good for three years.
Please contact the Extension Office at 845-2811 to register and to gain further details of this training meeting.
There are many opportunities for fellowship, networking and learning for agricultural enterprises in January. The first week will feature the Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference in Lexington on Jan. 5-6.
As mentioned above, a pesticide applicator certification class will be held in Henry County on Jan. 5.
Kentucky is host for the 2012 American Forage and Grassland Council Conference in Louisville beginning Jan. 8.
A trio of state groups (namely horse, tobacco and cattleman’s) meet in Lexington on Jan. 12 and 13.
Our beginning farmers class will start Jan. 20 at the Shelby County Extension Office and our vegetable academy will be Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at the Henry County Extension Office.
For details on these meetings and conferences, please contact the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811.
NRCS announces the cut-off date for Conservation Stewardship Program sign-ups is January 13, 2012.
Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by this deadline to be considered during the first ranking period of 2012.
The CSP is a voluntary program that encourages agricultural and forestry producers to address resource concerns by (1) undertaking additional conservation activities and (2) improving and maintaining existing conservation systems.
For more information you may contact the NRCS office at 502-845-2890, or visit at 1125 Campbellsburg Road, New Castle, KY 40050.