Phase 1 apps due June 10; notification in late June

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By Steve Moore

As a reminder, the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund Phase I Cost Share Program is now taking applications, and will do so until June 10 for any 2011 Funds. 
Applications are available at the Henry County Extension Office at 2151 Campbellsburg Rd., about two miles north of New Castle and across from the entrance to the Henry County Country Club.  In addition to answering nine questions about your farm and farming operation, you will need to submit your Tax ID number and your farm’s FSA number on the application.
 If you have questions about exactly what items are considered ‘eligible expenses’ for each of the 11 Investment areas, we can help here at the Henry County Extension Office.  However, you probably can do this much more easily if you have Internet service at home.  Go to agpolicy.ky.gov/index.shtml, click on ‘help for farmers’ up in the green line, click on ‘programs,’ click on ‘County Agricultural Investment Program,’ then click on whichever of the 11 areas you wish (ie ‘Agricultural Diversification’), then click ‘2011 Guidelines.’ You should then be able to see all the various rules, regulations, and items considered as eligible expenses. 
With applications due by June 10, the timetable for producers to be notified concerning approval may be close to the end of June.  All applications are scored, and the array of scores is then reviewed by a committee of the Administrative Entity. Once this is done, program Administrator Laraine Staples will send letters to all applicants.  Depending on the number of applicants, and the amount of funding each has requested, approval letters will be sent to those scoring high enough until all available funds are spoken for. 
Those who do not score highly enough to be approved will be sent a letter stating this fact.  A deadline for completion of projects will be given to all approved applicants.  After this deadline, any funds which have not been utilized by the first group of applicants will be offered to the next highest scoring applicants.  While the deadlines have not been finalized this year, last year the first deadline was October 15 and the final deadline was December 15.  This allows Henry County to officially close the books on the 2011 CAIP Funding Program and be able to apply for 2012 funds.

During the May 12 Hay Day at the Henry County Fairgrounds, Kim Fields brought the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Hay Testing Trailer and was able to test some hay brought in by some Henry County farmers.  The tests on some of that hay, taken during that first full week of May by some brave farmers, were really good.  Nutrition levels for energy and protein were extremely high, making the hay a very valuable commodity for most any livestock.  While research and testing always tells us that early maturity hay is higher in nutritive content, it is usually a tough call to cut much hay in early May because of normal wet weather patterns.  This May has proved very problematic as well, with rain or thunderstorms nearly every day.

When we do get some haymaking weather, the quality of our hay will be somewhat less than it could have been.  How does a farmer know exactly what quality of hay is in the bale or in the barn?  We recommend contacting the KDA Hay Testing Program at 1-800-248-4628 to schedule an analysis so that decisions can be made concerning feeding programs this winter.