Agriculture http://wkyufm.org en To Save These Pigs, Ky. Farmer Says We Have To Eat Them http://wkyufm.org/post/save-these-pigs-ky-farmer-says-we-have-eat-them Robertson County has the smallest population of any county in the state of Kentucky, and it's the only one, word has it, without a stoplight.<p>So it's an unlikely place to find a campaign to keep the food system more genetically diverse. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:52:00 +0000 Leslie Guttman 51373 at http://wkyufm.org To Save These Pigs, Ky. Farmer Says We Have To Eat Them Test Hemp Crop Grows With Arrival of More Seeds http://wkyufm.org/post/test-hemp-crop-grows-arrival-more-seeds <p></p><p>Kentucky's first experimental hemp crop has grown with the arrival of another shipment of imported seeds that immediately went into the ground.</p><p>The state's agriculture department says nearly 950 pounds of Canadian seeds cleared customs without any legal drama. An earlier shipment from Italy was detained for a time by customs officials in Louisville, setting off a legal fight between the state agency and the federal government.</p><p>Adam Watson, the agriculture department's hemp coordinator, said the Canadian seeds were planted last week. He said seeds put into the soil in late May have already sprouted into leafy plants that are six feet high or taller.</p><p>Test plots across the state will help researchers and farmers determine the crop's potential in Kentucky. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:51:56 +0000 Associated Press 51067 at http://wkyufm.org Test Hemp Crop Grows With Arrival of More Seeds Farmland in Kentucky Shrinking http://wkyufm.org/post/farmland-kentucky-shrinking <p></p><p>The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farms and land devoted to farming in Kentucky has drastically decreased in recent years. The census of agriculture says between 2007 and 2012, Kentucky had the greatest percentage decrease in farmland of and state in the country.</p><p>Farmland declined in the state over that time by 943,000 acres, or 6.7%. The number of farms in Kentucky also declined, from 85,260 in 2007 to 77,064 in 2012. Daniel Smaldone, a spokesman for Kentucky Farm Bureau, says the state probably saw a decline because some land was unproductive and some was intentionally rotated out of production.</p><p>Other states with the largest percentage declines in farmland were Alaska 5.4%, Georgia 5.2%, Mississippi 4.6% and Wisconsin 4.1%. Mon, 07 Jul 2014 10:38:45 +0000 Associated Press 50641 at http://wkyufm.org Farmland in Kentucky Shrinking Bowling Green Woman Aims to Become First Female to Head Kentucky Agriculture Department http://wkyufm.org/post/bowling-green-woman-aims-become-first-female-head-kentucky-agriculture-department <p></p><p>Jean-Marie Lawson-Spann is on a mission to become Kentucky’s first female agriculture commissioner.&nbsp;</p><p>The Bowling Green Democrat announced her 2015 candidacy in Frankfort Wednesday and is making a series of stops across the state in the coming days.&nbsp;</p><p>At the WKU Ag Expo Center Thursday, Lawson appeared alongside former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Billy Ray Smith who called her "the right person at the right time to move Kentucky agriculture forward."</p><p>The 36-year-old Lawson-Spann is a marketing executive whose family owned a farm equipment business for decades.&nbsp;</p><p>"I had direct responsibility for marketing and business development," she explained.&nbsp; "I traveled the commonwealth finding ways to grow our family's businesses and I want to bring these same marketing and business talents to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture."</p><p>Lawson-Spann is also the host of a local radio show focused on agriculture.&nbsp; If elected, she pledged to create and expand markets for Kentucky farmers and continue efforts toward allowing farmers to grow hemp for industrial purposes.</p><p>"I want to make one thing perfectly clear," stated Lawson-Spann.&nbsp; I'm not running against anyone.&nbsp; I'm running for the office of Commissioner of Agriculture for the commonwealth of Kentucky."</p><p>First-term Agriculture Commissioner James Comer could seek re-election, though he’s also considering a run for the Republican nomination for governor next year.&nbsp; Thu, 19 Jun 2014 19:27:08 +0000 Lisa Autry 49829 at http://wkyufm.org Bowling Green Woman Aims to Become First Female to Head Kentucky Agriculture Department WKU Becomes Home to Hemp Pilot Project http://wkyufm.org/post/wku-becomes-home-hemp-pilot-project <p></p><p>Hemp seeds are in the ground in south central Kentucky.</p><p>Twelve varieties of the seeds were planted this week in a small, experimental plot at the WKU farm.&nbsp;</p><p>The research at WKU will be similar to projects at the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University, but WKU Agriculture Professor Todd Willian says the results may not be entirely the same.</p><p>"Soils can vary even in short distances.&nbsp; Of course the climate is relatively the same, but a little bit different when you go further north, so it will be interesting to see," stated Willian.&nbsp; "We really don't know exactly how it will grow.&nbsp; We know it grew well in the past in Kentucky, but that was many, many decades ago."</p><p>The Bowling Green hemp is being grown with a focus on fiber and hemp seeds.&nbsp;</p><p>The crop has a growing season similar to corn and should be ready for harvest this fall. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 21:49:15 +0000 Lisa Autry 49151 at http://wkyufm.org WKU Becomes Home to Hemp Pilot Project Kentucky Hemp Development Could Get Boost from County Loan Program http://wkyufm.org/post/kentucky-hemp-development-could-get-boost-county-loan-program <p></p><p>Kentucky’s burgeoning hemp industry may receive a shot in the arm later this year if the state changes a loan program for agricultural processors.</p><p>Roger Thomas is the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. He says a loan program designed to cover the costs of processing other agricultural products could apply to hemp processing once state universities have determined which hemp products are best suited for Kentucky.</p><p>“If the research proves that it’s a viable crop for Kentucky farmers, then perhaps later this year the Ag Development Board might look at tweaking some guidelines to allow the County Agricultural Investment Program, the county funds, to be accessed for that purpose.”</p><p>State agriculture experts predict that the cost of creating infrastructure for a new hemp industry will affect how successful it can become. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 18:42:24 +0000 Jonathan Meador 49056 at http://wkyufm.org Kentucky Hemp Development Could Get Boost from County Loan Program Financial Impact of Kentucky Hemp Remains to be Seen http://wkyufm.org/post/financial-impact-kentucky-hemp-remains-be-seen <p></p><p>Now that hemp seeds have made it into Kentucky soil, larger questions remain about the impact industrial hemp will have on the economy.&nbsp;</p><p>Proponents like Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer say hemp has a market that includes hundreds of products ranging from cosmetics to automobile paneling.</p><p>University of Kentucky Agriculture Professor Will Snell</p><p>“It’s going to be a piece of the puzzle for some producers, potentially, but at the present time I think the market will evolve slowly, and don’t necessarily think at this point in time, especially in the short run, it would be a significant number of producers," says University of Kentucky Agriculture Professor Will Snell.</p><p>Snell co-authored at 2013 report that suggested only a few dozen jobs would be created and that hemp would amount to less than one percent of Kentucky’s farm cash receipts.&nbsp;</p><p>Hear more about Kentucky’s hemp comeback and its prospects of boosting the economy during Morning Edition Monday at 7:50 a.m. central time, 8:50 a.m. eastern time. Sun, 01 Jun 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Jonathan Meador 48840 at http://wkyufm.org Financial Impact of Kentucky Hemp Remains to be Seen Kentucky's First Test Hemp Crop Is Planted http://wkyufm.org/post/kentuckys-first-test-hemp-crop-planted <p>Hemp has turned into a legitimate test crop in Kentucky after a legal battle over imported seeds. Researchers are planting seeds to start gauging the potential for the non-intoxicating cousin of marijuana.</p><p>University of Kentucky agronomy researchers planted a small plot Tuesday at their Spindletop Farm near the Lexington campus. Dr. David Williams says 13 varieties of hemp were planted and with good weather and enough rainfall, the crop should be harvested in October. Factors Williams and others will look for after treating all types of hemp in the trial the same will include whether one yields more quantity than another and how qualities like the plants' fibers or seeds compare.</p><p>The seeds were part of a shipment released after a legal standoff between Kentucky's Agriculture Department and the federal government.</p><p>Another test hemp plot affiliated with Murray State University has also been planted. Wed, 28 May 2014 11:38:13 +0000 Associated Press 48705 at http://wkyufm.org Kentucky's First Test Hemp Crop Is Planted Industrial Hemp Could Take Root, If Legal Seeds Weren't So Scarce http://wkyufm.org/post/industrial-hemp-could-take-root-if-legal-seeds-werent-so-scarce The most recent farm bill is allowing a handful of farmers across the country to put hemp, the nonpsychoactive cousin of marijuana, in the ground.<p>The bill allows small-scale experimentation with the plant. But despite the new law, many farmers say they're getting mixed messages from the federal government.<p>Jim Denny is one of more than 100 growers given the nod by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to start planting hemp seeds. On his farm in Brighton, Colo., just outside Denver, Denny is prepping for planting season. Wed, 28 May 2014 07:33:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 48695 at http://wkyufm.org Industrial Hemp Could Take Root, If Legal Seeds Weren't So Scarce Feds Release Hemp Seeds to Kentucky Officials http://wkyufm.org/post/feds-release-hemp-seeds-kentucky-officials <p>A 250-pound shipment of hemp seeds detained by federal officials for two weeks has been delivered to Kentucky's Agriculture Department.<br /><br />The seeds that spurred a legal fight are expected to be planted in Kentucky soil in the coming days for research projects.<br /><br />The seed from Italy arrived on a UPS truck Friday at the department's office in Frankfort.<br /><br />Holly Harris VonLuehrte, chief of staff to state agriculture commissioner James Comer, says the seeds will be divided into batches for pilot projects around the state. Six universities are helping with the research.<br /><br />The seeds were sprung from confinement after federal drug officials approved a permit Thursday, ending the standoff. The state agriculture department sued the federal government after the shipment was stopped by U.S. Customs in Louisville earlier this month.<br /><br /> Fri, 23 May 2014 16:36:39 +0000 Associated Press 48506 at http://wkyufm.org Feds Release Hemp Seeds to Kentucky Officials