April 24, 2014

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Boost your older home’s energy efficiency Print E-mail

Over the years, improved technology has made many new homes more energy efficient, but you shouldn’t shy away or move from an older home just for better energy efficiency. You can upgrade your older home to make it energy efficient.

Prior to the mid-20th century, fully automated, controlled and mechanized heating, cooling and ventilation systems did not exist. Instead, older homes had passive and manual features incorporated into their design to meet heating, cooling and ventilation needs.

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Safety tips for lightning, thunderstorms Print E-mail

Did you ever wonder why we have more thunderstorms during the spring and summer? It’s because weather patterns are more active as they move through Kentucky during these seasons, especially in the afternoon and evening.  The weather conditions also increase the potential for lightning to strike people at work or play outdoors and possibly while they’re inside a building.  Although thunderstorms are more common during the spring and summer, they can take place all year long and at all hours.

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Caring for show animals Print E-mail


Livestock shows are some of the most popular and widely recognized 4-H events. 4-H’ers who participate in livestock shows have been caring for their animals for many months now. With the first county fairs just a few weeks away, they should continue to keep their animals as healthy and comfortable as possible. This can be tricky sometimes with the higher temperatures and humidity that come with the summer show season. Animal comfort tends to decline as the heat and humidity rise.

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Internet Safety for Youth Print E-mail

School will soon be out for the summer and that means children and teens find themselves with more free time for activities they enjoy.  Summer fun can include everything from sports to shopping and, for most young people, it will include socializing with friends.

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Protecting Pollinators Print E-mail

Insects pollinate a large percentage of food crops grown in the U.S. and all over the world.  Many different species of pollinators exist, but the insect best equipped for this job is the honey bee. Honey bees are exceptionally efficient at collecting and transferring pollen among the flowers of a particular crop.  In a practice known as “flower fidelity” groups of foraging bees will visit just one type of flower, collecting and storing pollen in baskets located on their legs.  As the bees fly from flower to flower, pollen particles are transformed between male and female parts triggering the plant’s reproduction cycle which results in a fruit or vegetable that may eventually find its way to a dinner table.

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USDA will be accepting new offers for contracts Print E-mail

Beginning May 13, 2013, the USDA-Farm Service Agency will be accepting new offers and approving new contracts under CRP's Continuous, CREP, FWP, and SAFE signups.

The following practices are available under continuous signup: CP-8A Grass Waterways Non-easement; CP-9 Shallow Water Areas for Wildlife; CP-21 Filter Strips, CP-22 Riparian Buffers, CP-29 Marginal Pastureland and Wildlife Habitat Buffer, CP-23 Wetland Restoration; CP-33 Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds; and CP-38 State Acres for Wildlife, and CP-42 Pollinator Habitat.

Landowners enrolled in the CRP program receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland. Land that is not currently enrolled in CRP can be offered during sign-up if all eligibility requirements are met. Expiring CRP continuous contracts can be re-enrolled with an enrollment date of October 1, 2013.

The authority for this sign-up will end September 30, 2013.

For more information about the CRP continuous sign-up visit us online at www.fsa.usda.gov or contact your local FSA office.

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Safely Riding an ATV on Hills Print E-mail

Kentucky is known for its rolling hills, but these hills can pose great dangers when navigated by inexperienced all-terrain vehicle drivers. Understanding how to safely ride on hills is important for ATV drivers of all ages and experience levels.

Navigating hills improperly could cause the driver to lose control or cause the ATV to overturn. Both could result in serious personal injury or death.

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Travel safe and smart this Summer Print E-mail

Summer is upon us, and for many, the season means at least one family vacation or weekend getaway.  According to a TripAdvisor survey, 90 percent of Americans were planning to take two or more leisure trips within the next year and 24 percent were planning five or more trips. Of those surveyed, 79 percent said they plan to spend at least $3,000 on these vacations. As you start planning your next vacation, you can take precautions to keep yourself, your family and your finances safe when you travel.

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Help livestock beat the heat Print E-mail

Humans aren't the only ones that suffer from the heat of summer. Farm animals feel the heat, too. With summer temperatures already upon us, it’s time to think about ways to know when your livestock may be in danger from the heat and what to do to reduce their plight.

The University of Kentucky Agricultural Weather Center provides warnings of the potential danger to livestock. Livestock become uncomfortable when the heat index reaches about 90 degrees. The heat index is a combination of air temperature and humidity and is used to describe how it feels outside.

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Controlling flies on cattle Print E-mail

Warmer weather brings more pest problems. Horn flies and face flies are key pests of cattle in Kentucky. Both species breed in fresh pasture manure piles but present very different threats and management problems. Fortunately, there are a variety of fly control options.

Horn flies are blood feeders. They remain on animals most of the time, taking 20 to 30 small blood meals per day. More than 100 flies along the sides and backs of each animal every day during the fly season can mean 12 to 15 pounds lower weaning weights for spring calves and poor gains for older animals. The close association between the horn fly and the animal, however, does make many control methods quite effective.

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