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Hay Day set for Thursday

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By Steve Moore

The North Central Kentucky Hay Day will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, May 12, at the Henry County Fairgrounds. The Hay Day will include hay equipment demonstrations, cattle and horse demonstrations, fence building demonstrations, educational seminars, and a large trade show under the marketing pavilion.

Educational sessions will include: advantages of high moisture hay, understanding forage quality, new research concerning alfalfa hay making, how to take forage samples, and choosing hay for horses. These sessions are scattered through the day, mixed in with the equipment demonstrations. The KDA Hay Testing Van will be on site and available to test hay samples brought to the event.

An on-site lunch is available, compliments of the vendors. We hope you will be able to come on out to see and hear about some of the latest news in the forage industry.

Insect season
As the warmer weather finally rolls around, the chances for human and insect interaction increase dramatically. These ‘collisions’ are not always pleasant, since the wants and desires of one species doesn’t always suit the other. Case-in-point: ticks love to catch rides and feast on the blood of the first mammal who happens by their perch in tall grass, humans don’t much like these hitch-hikers, in fact we find them quite repulsive.

Another case-in-point: carpenter bees love to find exposed natural wood under a roof in which to tunnel and lay eggs, humans don’t much appreciate the fact that something that looks and sounds like a bumble-bee is creating lots of sawdust and drilling holes in their house or barn.

While one can’t avoid all interactions with the insect world, there are several points to consider about the two cases mentioned here. First, ticks can be carriers of some illnesses such as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The best way to avoid tick bites is to avoid walking through uncut fields and over grown areas. Walk in the center of mowed trails to avoid brushing up against vegetation. Consider applying insect repellent to shoes, cuffs, socks and pant legs (be sure to read the directions). If a tick does attach to you, remove it carefully and keep the tick in a container with alcohol for at least three weeks in case any disease related symptoms appear.

Carpenter bees resemble bumble bees, but the upper surface of their abdomen is shiny black, whereas the bumble bee has some yellow marking. The ‘pregnant’ females excavate tunnels in untreated, unpainted wood and lay their eggs there. The entrance holes are perfectly round, and about the diameter of your little finger. Painting the exposed wood is a good preventative, and keep barn and shed doors closed to limit access.

Liquid sevin or a synthetic pyrethroid can be applied as a preventative. By the way, the males are quite aggressive, getting right in your face, but they can’t sting. However, the less aggressive female packs quite a painful sting when handled or molested. Be careful!

The Henry County Extension Office and the University of Kentucky offers free insect identification. Call (845-2811) or come by the office with specimens and we’ll get them to our entomology department.