In my growing up years, the number one pest on Boyle County farms was the nodding head thistle (musk thistle). I spent untold days and hours out in the fields grubbing them from our pasture and hay fields, all the while knowing that the ones on roadways or in unclipped pastures were going to produce plenty of seeds to blow onto our farm to fight the next year.
After I came to Henry County, I found the nodding head thistle was as much a problem here, and farmers were sick and tired of fighting this pest. Three decades later, I don’t see much of a problem anymore. What happened?
I recall going out to some farms with then County Agent for Agriculture Jim Prewitt and a couple of UK Extension entomologists to release some thistlehead weevils. With its release, along with the release of the rosette weevil, it appears that they are very much involved in the demise of the nodding head thistle. Both can be found now on musk thistle. The thistlehead weevil and rosette weevil pose no threat to non-target organisms and crops, and disperse on their own to increase their range.
Hats off to the forward thinking entomologists and to the University science which has helped us manage a big problem.
Equine Farm & Facilities Expo
The 4th Equine Farm and Facilities Expo will be 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, May 31, with a meal provided. The Expo will be held at Margaux Farms located at 596 Moores Mill Road near Midway. Margaux Farms is a leading Thoroughbred breeding operation focused on producing sound and durable top-quality racehorses. Margaux Farm stands several stallions, including five-time Grade 1 Winner Devil His Due and is managed by 2001 Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club President Steve Johnson. I have been privileged to visit this farm and have been impressed with their use of many innovative management practices related to forages.
Wagon tours include farm stops:
1) Selecting the Right feed – Dr. Laurie Lawrence
2) Tall Fescue: Friend or Foe – Dr. Ray Smith
3) Muck Management and Herbicides – Drs. Bill Witt & J.D. Green
4) Field Renovation Options: Roundup Ready Alfalfa®, Teff and Others – Dr. Garry Lacefield
An RSVP is appreciated. Please contact the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811, or call directly to Woodford County Extension Office at (859) 873-4601.
Phase I cost-share applications
Appearing in this edition of the Henry County Local is the second legal notice of the 2012 KADF Phase I cost share funding for Henry County farmers. The Henry County Cattleman’s Association, with the approval of the Henry County Agriculture Development Council, is offering more than $300,000 in Henry County Agriculture Development Funds. With this second notice, the program will have a three-week farmer application period from Tuesday, May 29, until Friday, June 15. Applications are open to all Henry County farmers and farm owners, and are available at the Henry County Extension Office at 2151 Campbellsburg Road, near New Castle. Contact the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811 for more information.
At the conclusion of the Application period, all applications will be scored and ranked in accordance with a standard state scoring system. Successful applicants will be notified of acceptance into the program as soon as possible. Up to $2,500 in Henry County Agriculture Development Funds can be reimbursed on a 50 percent Cost Share basis upon completion of program requirements.
Rinse and return
The 2012 Rinse and Return opportunity for Henry County will take place on Tuesday, June 19. Rinse and Return is offered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to recycle plastic pesticide containers. Any plastic pesticide container is eligible for the Return program after it has been triple rinsed and the labels removed. Farmers are encouraged to return clean empty containers to the Shelby County Highway Barn between 9 am to 12 p.m. on June 19. Contact the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811 for further information.