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Friday, September 9, 2016

Budget Likely to Overshadow Ag Issues as Congress Returns

(Casey Wooten, Bloomberg BNA) The House is expected to be back on the road again in October for general election campaigns.

Rural Economy
Indeed, there have been steep drops in the prices of some farm commodities over the past few years, and that has had an impact on the rural economy.

Zack Clark, government relations representative at the National Farmers Union, said lawmakers know it.

Still, there's little that Congress can do legislatively in the short period it has left, but Clark says groups like his will continue to push lawmakers to provide more assistance to farmers over the next few months and into the upcoming lame-duck session at the end of the year.

Funding, TPP
Congress must pass a bill to fund the government by the end of September.

Many agriculture industry groups said that though it isn't likely Congress would take up the broad Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in September, the groups would continue to push for a vote in the lame duck.

"For those members of Congress that are concerned about agriculture, the single thing that they can do to help agriculture is to take up the Trans-Pacific Partnership," Jon Doggett, executive vice president of the National Corn Growers Association, said.


Ohio County Youth Ag Days Celebrates 20 years


The Ohio County Cooperative Extension Service hosted their annual youth ag days this Wednesday and Thursday at Luttrell Farms. This year was a little more special than others, because this was the 20th year of the Youth Ag Days. 

This year, there was approximately 300 fourth grade students that participated from six different schools. The students attended 12 different sessions with demonstrations including topics of corn, GPS, Soil Erosion, Soybeans, Electrical Safety, Bees, etc. 

To celebrate 20 years of the youth ag days, on the first break of the day, the Luttrell family was presented with a plaque for there time and dedication to the program and the students were served cupcakes, which were a crowd favorite. 

"This week went extremely well. It was a hot one, but a good one," said Darren Luttrell, owner of Luttrell farms and host of Ohio County Youth Ag Days. "This year, we experienced our first group of second generation kids. We had teachers who had attended the ad day as a fourth graders, and are now bringing their students."

Luttrell said over 20 years, we have wondered if you are making an impact. He said he and his wife got confirmation after reading a young lady's Facebook post last night saying she attended the Ohio County Youth Ag Day when she was in the fourth grade, became an FFA member in high school and volunteered at the program and is now in college studying agriculture. "It has been worth it," said Luttrell. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Class 4 Announced: December 2016 - March 2018

CORE stands for Crop Observation and Research Education.  The CORE Farmer Program began in January 2010.  Since it was incepted, more than 60 young farmers have completed the program.  New classes are enrolled every three years.  Classes are comprised of 7 learning sessions, lasting 3 days each. Most seminars will be held in winter months, when on-farm activities are slowed. 

A selection committee appointed from the KyCorn Growers leadership chooses the participants of each class. Class 4 members:

Andy Alford, Alford Farms, Warren County

Alana Baker, River Bend Farms, Trigg County

Megan Bell, Bell Farms, Graves County

Lucas Bollinger, Bollinger Family Farms, Christian County

Daniel Carpenter, UK Extension, Larue County

Brad Hines, Hines Farms, Larue County

Justin Jeffries, Worth and Dee Ellis Farms, Shelby County

Willis Jepson, Jepson Family Farm Partnership, Simpson County

Mindy Jones, Hopson Farms, Henderson County

Bryan Kuegel, Flat Lick Farms, Daviess County

William Pearson, Pearson Farms, Logan County

Quint Pottinger, Affinity Farms, Nelson County

Robert Rouse, Sanger Farms, Fulton County

Eric Schwenke, Schwenke Bros. Farms, Boone County

Spencer Sims, Sims Family Farms, Anderson County

Zach Sheldon, Horn Farms, Daviess County

Chad Lee Named Director of UK Grains Center of Excellence

Chad Lee, UK grain crops extension specialist was named director of the UK Grains Center of Excellence. He began his new role on August 1. 

"We are thrilled to have such a familiar face to grain producers across the state serving as director of this turnkey project for Kentucky grain research," said Laura Knoth. "KyCorn is looking forward to the development of the center and the opportunities it will bring for Kentucky grain farmers."

The center's faculty and staff will be primarily located at UK's Research and Education Center in Princeton, and will focus their studies on water quality and sustainable methods for intensive agriculture production of grains. As director, Lee will coordinate the center's research and outreach efforts as well as develop and expand partnerships.

"The biggest enjoyment I get from my job is when a farmer tells me that I've helped him improve his or her operation," Lee said. "The center is just one more way we can continue to serve Kentucky grains and forages producers."

Lee has been a member of UK's faculty since 2002, where he has conducted a variety of applied research and outreach programs for grain growers. He has also served on a number of agriculture boards.

Friday, August 26, 2016

USDA to Measure Small Grain Production

(NASS) LOUISVILLE, Ky. - During the first two weeks of September, growers of small grains around the country will receive survey forms from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The agency is taking a comprehensive look into the 2016 production and supply of small grains, which includes winter wheat for Kentucky.

"We will contact 1,271 producers in Kentucky to accurately measure 2016 acreage, yield and production for wheat," said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. "The data collected from this survey will also help set acreage and production estimates at the county level."

County-level estimates are used by other USDA agencies to set standards for insurance and risk protection programs many farmers rely on to protect their operations.

"Farm Service Agency (FSA) relies on the county-level estimates for Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC), County Loan Rates, and its disaster program calculations," Knopf said. "The Risk Management Agency (RMA) uses the data for administering the Area Risk Protection Insurance Plan, establishment of transitional yields, and determining when to make crop loss insurance payments. When drought and flooding impact crop production, or even in a year with good yields, these data are crucial to the agriculture industry."

NASS will contact Kentucky survey participants to gather information on their 2016 production and the quantities of winter wheat stored on-farm. As an alternative to mailing the survey back and to help save both time and money, growers will have the option to respond to the survey securely online. Farmers who have not responded by Aug. 30, may receive a phone call from a NASS representative who will help them fill out the survey form.

NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified.

Survey results will be published in several reports, including the annual Small Grains Summary and the quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released Sept. 30. These and all NASS reports are available online For more information, call the NASS Kentucky Field Office at 1-800-928-5277

2016 Kentucky State Fair Coming to an End

The 2016 Kentucky State Fair will come to an end this Sunday, August 28. Last week, we told you a few places you would be able to find KyCorn at State Fair this year. Let's take look at how the rest of the fair went. 

Those who stopped by the Teach Ky Ag booth in South Wing B had the opportunity to place a magnetic cut out of their county on the wall map of Kentucky and learn what their county contributes to Kentucky Agriculture. After the puzzle is complete, it reveals color-coordinated regions.

Also at this booth, you can complete an information scavenger hunt to learn different agriculture facts. All answers to the scavenger hunt can be found on the wall under the different categorized boards such as: Corn, Wheat, Soybean, Goat/Sheep, Poultry, Beef, Horse. 

Also, taking place this week was the 53rd Annual Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast. The event began in 1964, auctioning off the Grand Champion Ham to the highest bidder and giving the money to the Charity of their choice. This year the winning bidder was Central Bank coming in at $600,000. The proceeds from the winning bid will be donated to several charities and organizations including University of Kentucky Athletics, Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky, University of Kentucky Hospital, God's Pantry Food Bank, Sunrise Children's Services, and Kentucky Community and Technical College.

Before the auction started, while guests were finishing up their breakfast, guests were addressed by Governor Matt Bevin, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Rand Paul, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.  

KyCorn once again sponsored the Sale of Champions, which allows exhibitors to sell their champion livestock to hometown and national supporters. You can see the 2016 Sale of Champions results here

If you are going to be at the State Fair this weekend, don't forget to stop by and see us at one of the various locations!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Calling all Photographers: Share Your Best Corn Pictures With NCGA

The National Corn Growers Association invites photographers of all skill levels to help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the third annual Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. Through this contest, NCGA captures high-resolution photos of corn growth from seed to harvest and the families that grow it. Even those who have already submitted can enter additional photos as participants will be able to submit multiple entries until November 30, 2016.
Please make sure to submit the highest resolution version of each entry possible. The best submissions are featured in NCGA's major publications such as the Annual Report.

Entries will also be considered for prizes with cash awards for the top three entries in five categories including: Farm Family Lifestyle, Farming Challenges, Growing Field Corn, Scenery/Landscape and the Soil Health Partnership's new Conservation category. Additional first, second and third prizes will be awarded for the entries with the most "likes."
For more information on prizes and on these categories, click here.
It is important to note that the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest is specifically geared toward photos of field corn and not sweet corn. 
While entries will only be accepted until November 30, 2016, entries may accumulate "likes" until December 31, 2016. Winners will be announced in January of 2017.
Register, upload your best farm photos and come back often to submit new entries. The first step is to click here.