agriculture

Food and Dining
2:04 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Mint in Juleps Keep Churchill Downs Local on Kentucky Derby Day

Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

The thoroughbreds that run in the Kentucky Derby hail from Central Kentucky, Florida, Louisiana. The dresses and hats are made all over the world. But there’s one Derby week tradition you’ll find every year at Churchill Downs that’s still made right here at home—the mint garnishing every signature julep is grown at Dohn & Dohn Gardens, a small family farm in southern Jefferson County.

If you order a mint julep at the track this week, you might notice that the mint sprigs are a bit shorter than usual.

Read more
Local News
11:53 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Up Front TV: Kentucky Ag Commissioner James Comer on Hemp, GOP's Future, Felon Voting Rights

James Comer
Credit Up Front with Jonathan Bastian

Many see state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer as the rising star in the Kentucky Republican party. His name is frequently floated as a candidate for Governor in 2015. We spoke about his push for hemp, a dating violence bill he supports in the general assembly, and the economic future of Eastern Kentucky.

Politics
6:06 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Former Kentucky Ag Commissioner Richie Farmer Sentenced to 27 Months

Richie Farmer
Credit File photo

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer has been sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Farmer previously plead guilty to corruption charges for misappropriating government resources while in office. The sentence also requires Farmer to pay over $120,000 in restitution for abusing his power.

Farmer’s attorney Guthrie True says he's disappointed in the ruling. He'd sought to have Farmer serve only 21 months.

Read more
Environment
2:51 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Report: Soil Conservation Could Help Reduce Climate Change-Related Crop Losses

A new report says farmers are relying too much on crop insurance to manage the risks of farming, and soil conservation would be a better long-term solution.

From 2001 to 2010, the Federal Crop Insurance Program averaged about $4 billion a year in payouts to farmers for lost crops. Last year, that amount was a record-breaking $17.3 billion to farmers across the country…nearly all for crops lost because of drought, heat and hot wind. More than $1.5 billion of that money went to farmers in Kentucky and Indiana.

Read more
Local News
1:40 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Bill Would Give Kentucky Farmers Tax Credit for Food Bank Donations

Kentucky farmers who donate produce to food banks would get a tax credit under a bill being considered in Frankfort.

The measure is sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom McKee.  He says the ten percent credit could help get more fruits and vegetables to a growing number of families in need.

Politics
12:02 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Agriculture Education, New Markets Focused in New 5-Year Strategic Plan

Credit Creative Commons

Kentucky's agriculture leaders are supporting a new five year strategic plan to help the industry in the state.

The plan, put together by the Kentucky Agriculture Council, puts emphasis on agriculture education, creating new markets and recruiting new people to farming.

The plan runs through 2018 and has the support of Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

Gov. Steve Beshear also supports the plan, which he says is a extension of the first agriculture strategic plan presented to him five years ago.

Read more
Local News
3:54 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Comer Says Corn, Soybean Yields Better Than Expected

File photo

The drought last summer will reduce corn and soybean harvests in Kentucky, but not to the degree once feared. That’s the assessment of state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

"Yields are a little better than what we thought they were going to be, which says a lot about technology about the corn seed, because there are a lot of those counties, in Fulton County and Calloway County, that didn’t’ get any rain in May, June or July but they still yieled something. So, that was encouraging," Comer said during a visit to Frenchburg this week.

Local News
3:50 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

More Indiana Counties Under Drought Disaster

Photo courtesy of USDA

The lingering drought has led the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare a natural disaster in 14 more of Indiana's 92 counties.

The USDA added the north-central Indiana counties today.  Along with adjacent counties, they qualify for low-interest relief loans from the federal government.

Fifty counties earlier had been declared natural disaster areas.  

Read more
Local News
6:31 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Farmers Welcome Federal Drought Aid

Federal aid is available for farmers in 1,016 drought-stricken counties across 26 states.

A federal disaster declaration will allow the farmers to apply for low-interest loans and it will reduce the penalties for grazing livestock on land set aside for conservation.

Farmers across the country have been hard-hit by the hot and dry weather that has persisted in many parts of the country since the growing season began.

As WFPL reported on Monday:

Read more
Environment
7:00 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Drought Endangers Corn Crops, Could Raise Food Prices

Despite scattered thunderstorms during the past week, parts of Indiana and Kentucky remain in a drought. That condition is hitting corn and soybean farmers particularly hard.

Half of Indiana’s and nearly half of Kentucky’s corn crop are in jeopardy, rated as “poor” or “very poor” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says once a crop is rated “very poor,” there’s not much that can be salvaged.

“Probably getting close to virtually gone. Very little yield potential left in that corn,” he said.

Read more