Four Key Benefits of Why to Shop Local at the Farmer’s Market

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National Farmers Market week is celebrated August 5th through August 11th this year. Many studies show that farmer’s markets are improving the community, the economy, and the well-being of citizens across the United States. According to the Farmers Market coalition group, here is a deeper look at the four key benefits of buying products at the local farmers market:

  • #1- Stimulates Local Economies
    • Growers selling locally create 13 full time jobs per $1 million in revenue earned.
    • According to the US Census of Agriculture data, farms selling local food through direct to consumer marketing channels like the farmers market were more likely to remain in business than other farms not utilizing the direct to consumer marketing channels.
  • #2- Preserves Americans Farmland
    • Farmers markets provide beginning farmers, ranchers, and food entrepreneurs entry points to start small and give them the opportunity to test new products. In the 2017 National Young Farmers Coalition survey, community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers markets were the marketing channels that generated the highest proportion of new and beginning farmers’ sales.
    • At a farmers market, 100% of food dollars goes back to the local farmer. When consumers spend at traditional food outlets, farmers and ranchers receive only 15 cents of every food dollar.
    • Between 2011 and 2012, there was a 52% increase in the number of farmers markets operating during the winter months. Those 1,864 winter markets provided an extended opportunity for vendors to do business and sell their products.
  • #3- Increases Access to Fresh, Seasonal Produce
    • A 2012 grocery retail study showed that consumers ranked farmers markets as the most trusted food outlet to supply local foods. Consumers rated it an 8.2, on a scale of 1-10. Natural food markets and locally owned grocery stores were next highest in the rankings.
    • 7,377 markets and direct-marketing farmers accepted SNAP EBT in 2017, which resulted in $22 million in SNAP spent at farmers markets. This number means fresh food access and more money for small farmers.
  • #4- Supports Healthy Communities
    • A study lead by the Project for Public Spaces revealed that people who shop at the farmers markets have 15-20 social interactions per visit. As compared to only one or two social interactions per visit at the grocery store. This evidence shows that the social space at farmers markets has important public health implications.

 

Why Farmers Market graph provided by Farmers Market Coalition

 

After reading about the many benefits, it is important to take time to shop the farmers markets in your area! Shopping at the farmers market is a great way to support local food, farmers, and prosperity!

Stay tuned for more information coming later this week from Warren County Agriculture on others ideas to help celebrate national farmers market week in the Bowling Green area! Keep an eye on the Warren County Agriculture Facebook page for future videos and food demonstrations coming soon from other staff at the Extension Office! #nationalfarmersmarketweek2018 #kyproud

 

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Don’t sweat it, cool season gardening is just around the corner!

As the temperature starts to cool and the risk of frost becomes of concern, understand that summer vegetables are ending for the season. Don’t stop with summer vegetables! Gardening in the fall provides a new variety of vegetables such as fresh broccoli, greens, carrots, and radishes for the home gardener to enjoy!

Fall gardening

Fall vegetables gardening

How do you know when summer garden vegetables have finished producing for the year? Crops will begin to droop and will no longer produce fruit. Once this occurs, pull out the last of the summer crops. If diseased plants have been an issue, make sure to remove all plant material from the garden and dispose of them properly in the trash. Next, till up the ground about six to eight inches deep to prepare the ground for planting.

Use a garden rake to prepare the seed bed for planting

Before planting a fall vegetable garden, make sure to have the soil tested. Contact your local agriculture or horticulture extension agent to learn the correct procedure on how to collect a soil sample from the home vegetable garden. Collect the soil sample and take it to the extension office and expect to receive recommendations in one to two weeks. The soil testing report gives an overall picture of what the soil needs for optimum plant growth. August is a good time to have the soil tested, so gardeners have plenty of time to apply fertilizer before planting.

Green leaf lettuce

What to plant? When thinking about fall gardens, think green! Greens are great vegetables to grow when it starts to get cool. They even taste sweeter when picked after a frost. Some greens to plant are mustard greens, turnip greens, lettuce and spinach. Another great group of vegetables to grow are root vegetables. Carrots, radishes, and turnips grow well in the cooler months and give a great variety to the greens. So don’t stop now, get those seeds or small transplants planted and watch them grow!

For more information about fall gardening crops, check out the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service publication for Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky ID-128, http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/id/id128/id128.pdf.

Written by: Katherine Ullery, Warren County Extension Master Gardener Intern 

Basil Magic: Pesto!

Do you have a lot of basil growing in the garden this year? If yes, take basil and magically turn it into pesto! Basil pesto is easy to make and only requires a few basic ingredients.

Basil offers gardeners unique flavors and varieties including holy basil, cinnamon basil, purple or opal basil and more. The classic type grown is the sweet basil. To make the best pesto, harvest leaves in the morning when oils are at their peak and take inside to the kitchen to process. Wash freshly harvested leaves under cool running water to remove any dirt and cut leaves from the stem. Put leaves in a salad spinner to remove excess water and spin dry.

Culinary Herb Basil
Culinary Herb Basil

Now, it is time to prepare the pesto! Take 1 cup of fresh basil and place it in a food processor. Next, add 3 tablespoons of roasted walnuts or pine nuts, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, and 2 to 3 cloves of garlic on top of the basil in the food processor. Pulse a few times to combine ingredients and then slowly add in olive oil until a smooth paste consistency.

Use freshly made basil pesto in soup, pasta, fish, or served on top of toasted bread. Store any leftover pesto in a closed container in the refrigerator for one week. Pesto is also good to freeze and then use when needed.

Basil pesto sauce
Freshly made Basil Pesto

For other ideas on how to use fresh basil this season, check out these recipes from our Plate it Up! Kentucky Proud project that give suggestions on how to use basil as an appetizer, entrée, pasta, salad, and vegetable dish.

Tomato basil bruschetta: https://fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/sites/fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/files/tomato-basil-bruschetta-web-card_0.pdf

Mozzarella basil chicken with roasted grape tomatoes: https://fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/sites/fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/files/mozzarella-basil-chicken-w-roasted-grape-tomatoes-web-card_0.pdf

Herbed pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes: https://fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/sites/fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/files/herbed-pasta-with-roasted-cherry-tomatoes-web-card_1.pdf

Fresh corn salad: https://fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/sites/fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/files/fresh-corn-salad-web-card_0.pdf

Tomato basil salad: https://fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/sites/fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/files/tomato-basil-salad-web-card.pdf

Enjoy! Happy Gardening!

Button’s Wharf Farm

Kristin sits down with Diane Button from Button’s Wharf Farm in Glasgow, KY to talk about her high tunnel peppers, cowboy candy, pepper jam, and all her great added value commodities available at the SOKY Marketplace every weekend.

“It’s part of the family farm. My husband was born and raised on this farm.”

“When we built our house over here, in order to get an address for it we had to name the subdivision. So a very good friend of mine suggested that we call it something about a wharf since we were living on Barren River Lake.”

“I start my pepper plants by seed here in the house. I have a plant stand that was recommended to me by my horticulture agent. We seed our trays in February because they do grow slowly. Peppers go really slowly in my opinion. Then, by end of March, we’re ready to place them in the high tunnel.”

“I used to teach school, and I did so for almost 30 years, and that’s public work. Now I like being on the farm. I like taking seeds and putting them in the ground, and I love watching them grow. It never ceases to amaze me.”

Download the recipe for Joanna’s Jalapeño Pepper Poppers here!

Go “Greens”! Meet Sunny Point Gardens

Joanna and Kristin visit Sunny Point Gardens to discuss their wide variety of fresh salad offerings and micro-greens. Learn how these crops are planted, grown, harvested, cleaned and processed, ready to sell and ready-to-eat right out of the packaging!

“We basically specialize in lettuce and salad greens. We also do cut flowers.”

“We felt like we needed to come up with a way to grow lettuces and salad greens year round, so we decided to do what we call controlled environment agriculture in greenhouses where we heat and cool them.”

“We try to keep everything out of our greenhouses, all the insects and diseases, so we never have to spray anything on our crop. It’s produced in a clean environment. Everything that we bring to market is washed, and dried, and bagged up. It’s 100% useable and ready to serve!”

“I tell people I put my boots on really quick in the morning, but they take a lot longer to take them off in the evening. I’m really tired, but I’m ready to go again the next morning.”

“We really enjoy our customers. We have made some of the best friends, lifelong friends, through farming. It makes the hard work worth it…”

 

Container Gardening

 

Don’t miss Strawberry Season!

 

Joanna and Kristin take a trip to Do Dot’s strawberries to meet two young farmers who really define what it means to answer that question of “Why do you farm?” “You gotta’ love it!” You’ll also learn how to make a delicious and simple recipe for a very “berry” salsa…  

“I grew up as a farmer’s daughter. My dad was a grain farmer. I just always saw his love for agriculture and the way he took pride in his work, so I knew I wanted to do something related to agriculture.

We saw that there was a demand for locally grown strawberries here in our area, so we just got into contact with a couple of producers here in Kentucky and they helped us along the way. Helped us to where we are now, and we’re thankful for their help for sure!

Right now we have an acre and a half. This is our third year. Our first year we just had 2,000 plants, just like a 6th of an acre.”

“My father and I have a cattle operation in Smiths Grove, KY. That’s what our day to day operation is. Lindsey and I have some on her family farm down the road in Oakland. That’s about all I do. We have about 400-450 cows.

Why do we farm? You gotta’ love it!”

 

strawberrysalsa

Nuisance Weed Spraying Program

The KY Dept. of Agriculture will provide the sprayer and enough chemical for the treatment of 10 acres. KDA representative will demonstrate proper mixing and application techniques. A number of nuisance weeds can be treated under this program. This program is limited to broadleaf weeds. If additional chemical is provided by the participant, an additional 10 acres can be treated. The participant must provide water source, tractor and operator. All chemical products must be labeled and product label will be followed. A maximum of 7 participants per county. This program is designed to target weeds that have a negative impact on agriculture.

If you are interested in participating in this program you will need to complete the online application found at http://www.kyagr.com/consumer/nuisance-weed-spraying-program-application.aspx. Applications can be completed from February 1 to February 28. You can NOT have participated in the last 3 years!

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Dicamba Training

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In October 2017 the EPA approved revised labeling for new formulations of dicamba products which are marketed as Engenia (BASF), Xtendimax (Monsanto), and FeXapan (DuPont).  These new herbicides were developed in conjunction with the release of dicamba-tolerant soybean (Roundup Ready2 Xtend soybean varieties).  All three products, which were first available for applications during the 2017 growing season, are now classified by the EPA as “RESTRICTED USE” pesticides, meaning that either a commercial or private pesticide certification license must be held by individuals who purchase and apply these products.

One of the significant changes with the revised labels is the requirement that applicators must attend a dicamba-specific training session prior to using these herbicide products. Furthermore, the revised labels have more detailed restrictions outlining how the products should be applied including additional record keeping requirements and clarification regarding buffers and what constitutes sensitive areas and crops.  These new label guidelines must be followed when applying preplant, at planting, or postemergence on Dicamba-Tolerant soybean varieties, and with applications on corn, small grains, or other approved sites for applications.

To meet the mandatory dicamba training requirement for applications in Kentucky individuals must attend a training session that has been approved by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.  These training sessions will be presented by University of Kentucky weed scientists or by the registrants who market these dicamba products.  After an individual has completed the training the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will issue a ‘certification’ that will allow the participant to purchase and apply these dicamba products during the 2018 growing season.

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  • Be sure to bring photo id and applicator number.
  • Warren County Extension Office 3132 Nashville Road Bowling Green, KY, 42101

RSVP to Joanna Coles (270) 842-1681

Grow Your Business: Build Your Social Media Presence

Take your business to the next level with our very own program entitled Grow Your Business, Build Your Social Media Presence. This class is designed to be a four-part series where each level builds off the first and hopefully at the end see an impact in your business. For more information please see below.

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See the tentative agenda below:

tentative-agenda-e1514925129861.jpgTo register please complete the registration form and return to our office with your payment. Please make checks payable to Warren County Soil Test.

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Click here for the Social Media Informational Sheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-2018 Kentucky Agricultural Economic Situation & Outlook

Contributors: Kenny Burdine, Todd Davis, Jerry Pierce, Will Snell, Tim Woods, (Ag Economics), Jeff Stringer, Bobby Ammerman, Chad Niman, and Billy Thomas (Forestry)

U.S. Agricultural Economy

The U.S. agricultural economy entered 2017 following three straight years of declining income and prices, after an unprecedented/record breaking period of growth during the 2007-2013 period. USDA is projecting 2017 net farm income to total $63.2 billion, up $1.7 billion (+2.7%) relative to 2016, but still off nearly 50% from the record high established in 2013. U.S. ag cash receipts are forecast to be 2.4% higher in 2017 in response to improved livestock sales (+7.6%) versus slightly lower crop receipts (-2%). Production expenses were up slightly (+1.5%) with higher labor, fuel, livestock, and interest costs, but lower feed, seed, fertilizer and chemical expenses. Government farm payments fell to $11.2 billion (-$1.8 billion) as large declines in Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) payments offset higher Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments. These direct government payments (excludes crop insurance indemnities) accounted for 17.6% of the U.S. net farm income in 2017 vs 21.1% in 2016.

1

Despite a lot of political discussion and ag-related concerns about trade this past year, U.S. agricultural exports rebound to $140.5 billion (+8%), in FY 2017, benefiting from a weaker U.S. dollar, an improving global economy, and abundant U.S. supplies. The U.S. exports agricultural commodities/products to nearly 200 nations, but our top three foreign customers – China, Mexico, and Canada, account for nearly one-half of the U.S. ag export value. Undoubtedly the strong export market helped support ag prices in 2017 in the midst of abundant global  supplies. Any future disruption in trade could put additional downward pressure on prices.

Ag lenders remain cautious in the midst of a prolonged downturn in the farm economy. Relatively low interest rates (along with cash purchases) have constrained growth in farm debt levels and also provided support to land values in the midst of the sharp-downturn in the ag. Despite the slumping farm economy, the overall balance sheet for U.S. agriculture as a whole remains relatively strong compared to the farm crisis days of the early 1980s. However, available cash flow/working capital for lower-tiered managers and some highly leveraged/young producers remains a concern for bankers, especially if the current economic conditions lingers.

Without a major supply shock, prices for most ag commodities will likely remain relatively low in 2018 (compared to levels observed during the 2011-2014 period) in response to abundant global grain supplies, growing meat supplies, and potentially a stronger U.S. dollar.

Politically, agriculture will continue to monitor changes in trade policy, tax, health care, and immigration reform, along with debate over the 2018 farm bill and the increasing concentration among agricultural input suppliers and processors. Food price inflation remained benign in 2017 and is expected to remain below historical levels in 2018 as consumers benefit from intense competition in the grocery sector, abundant ag/food supplies, and continued food marketing efficiencies and innovations.

 Kentucky’s Agricultural Economy

The University of Kentucky’s Department of Agricultural Economics is forecasting that Kentucky ag cash receipts will rebound in 2017 to $5.6 billion, 3.5% higher than last year, but well below the record $6.5 billion in 2014. Improved prices will enable sales growth for most Kentucky livestock enterprises –poultry (+10%), horses (+10%), cattle (+5%), dairy (+12%), and hogs (+11%). Poultry also benefitted from a rebound from avian influenza outbreaks, which constrained growth the past two years. Increased soybean acres and record yields are expected to elevate soybean production to record levels. Potentially record corn yields will help offset lower acres and depressed prices. Kentucky’s tobacco sector rebounded from a poor crop in 2016, with sales expected to once again exceed $300 million.

2

Poultry remained Kentucky’s number one ag enterprise, accounting for 20% of projected 2017 sales, followed by equine (18%), soybeans (15%), cattle (14%) and corn (13%). For 2018, Kentucky ag cash receipts are expected to be relatively flat ($5.7 billion) with modest gains in poultry, horses, and soybeans, offsetting expected losses in tobacco, corn, and cattle. Look for continued growing demand for local produce/meats, nursery items, and value-added agriculture.

Kentucky net farm income has followed national trends, falling to $1 billion in 2016 compared to averaging $2.1 billion over the 2013-2015 period. Average net farmincome for farms participating in Kentucky’s Farm Business Management (KFBM) program declined to around $100,000 in 2015 and 2016, down from record highs exceeding $400,000 during 2011-2013, and compared to a ten year average of $283,000. Preliminary indications reveal that KFBM average net farm income will improve modestly in 2017 due primarily to higher crop yields, improved livestock prices, and stable input prices.

3

 

Commodity Spotlights (2017-2018)

 

Beef Cattle

  • Calf prices rallied from fall 2016 levels and are roughly $30 per cwt higher than one year
  • Growth in the beef cow herd still ongoing, but has likely
  • Increases in production for all major meats will pressure beef (and cattle) prices in
  • Backgrounding/stocker operations should be opportunistic on placement and aggressive with price risk management.

Poultry

  • Wholesale broiler prices are up from 2016
  • Sector largely back on track following avian influenza outbreaks in recent
  • Production likely to increase another 2% nationally in 2018, with continued growth in Kentucky.

Hogs

  • Kentucky inventory continues to grow, breeding herd up 7% in 2017.
  • Eastern Corn belt hog prices to average $7 per cwt carcass basis higher in 2017.
  • Sizeable production increase likely at national level for 2018, prices unlikely to hold at 2017 levels.

Equine

  • Equine market has generally been steady since recovering from the global recession.
  • Signs point to strength in 2017 –Keeneland yearling sale up 13%, Fasig Tipton yearling and breeding sale up as well.
  • Equine likely to gross nearly $1 billion in Kentucky farm receipts for 2017, with modest growth in 2018.

Dairy

  • Farm level milk prices increased by more than $1 per cwt in 2017, with lower feed and hay prices leading to improved margins.
  • 2017 was a better year than 2016, but certainly not a good year for dairy producers.
  • Kentucky dairy cow numbers continue to decline.
  • Increase in S. cow numbers and milk per cow suggest another production increase and consequently lower farm prices in 2018.

Corn

  • U.S. corn harvested area reduced by 3.6 million acres in 2017 to 83.1 million acres. A record U.S. yield of 175.4 bu./acre produced the 2nd largest crop of 14.6 billion bushels.
  • Carryout expected to increase to 5 billion bushels, which is the largest quantity since 1987. The stocks-use ratio in 1987 was 55% but is 17% in 2017 because of strong use.
  • The 2017 S. Marketing Year Average Farm Price projected at $3.20/bushel, which is only 5% above the 2006 U.S. MYA price.

Soybeans

  • U.S. soybean planted area increased by 6.8 million acres in 2017 to 90.2 million acres. The 2nd largest U.S. yield of 52.5 bu./acre produced a record crop of 4.4 billion bushels.
  • Carryout expected to increase to 425 million bushels, which is the largest quantity since The stocks-use ratio in 2006 was 19% but is 9.8% in 2017 because of strong use.
  • The 2017 S. Marketing Year Average Farm Price projected at $9.30/bushel which is 45% above the 2006 U.S. MYA price.

Wheat

  • Wheat harvested area reduced by 3 million acres in 2017 to 37.6 million acres. The 2017 yield was also reduced 6.4 bu./acre from last year to 46.3 bu./acre. The 2017 wheat crop is 568 million bushels smaller than last year to 1.7 billion bushels.
  • Carryout expected to decrease by 246 million bushels to 936 million The stocks-use ratio in 2017 is 43.8%, and is below 50% for the first time since 2014.
  • War of attrition on supply side is reducing stocks – not strong growth in
  • The 2017 S. Marketing Year Average Farm Price projected at $4.60/bushel, which is $0.71/bu. higher than last year. However, the 2017 U.S. MYA price is only 8% above the 2006 U.S. MYA price.

Tobacco

  • Global burley supply and demand appears more balanced entering the 2017 marketing season, primarily in response to a 30% reduction in world burley production over the past three years.
  • S. burley demand remains soft with exports down nearly 30% since 2015, domestic cigarette production down 8% so far this year, and imports currently accounting for nearly 2/3 of use by domestic manufacturers.
  • A better quality crop and improved supply/demand balances should result in leaf prices being stable to slightly higher, boosting the value of Kentucky’s tobacco crop to around $350 million in 2017 compared to a post-buyout low of $283 million in 2016.
  • Anticipated ample burley supplies and softening demand will likely reduce U.S. burley contracts in 2018, with modest growth in snuff consumption enabling dark contracts to remain relatively stable.

Fruits, Vegetables and Greenhouse

  • Markets were generally stronger for produce in Kentucky in 2017 as hurricane effects substantially elevated prices for late summer and fall crops.
  • Market signals typically tied to nursery production and services (home improvement market, housing starts) have indicated steady recovery from the most recent recession.
  • Accelerating local food movement and demand for value added products provides additional opportunities for growth, but labor uncertainties remain a major concern potentially constraining future growth.

Forestry

  • Overall forestry sector increased to an estimated $14.5 billion in total economic contribution to Kentucky in 2017 with primary industries including sawmilling showing the largest increase of over 14% from 2016.
  • Exports and high domestic demand for white oak and tie logs will remain strong in 2018 pushing overall timber prices up.
  • Pulpwood markets still sluggish but potential re-opening of Wickliffe pulp and paper plant may positively affect markets in Western Kentucky.