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!
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.
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.
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.
Commodity Spotlights (2017-2018)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Register Now for the Kentucky Grazing Conference: Pasture Management to Control Weeds and Improve Production
The 2017 Kentucky Grazing Conference will focus on pasture management to control weeds and improve pasture production and will be held: October 17th in Lexington and October 18th in Hopkinsville. The Keynote speaker is Kathy Voth, who has presented nationally on using grazing to control weeds and is a founding partner and editor of the popular online newsletter “On Pasture.”
Other speakers will discuss management and chemical options to control weeds including: Dr. Chris Teutsch, UK; Dr. Scott Flynn, DOW; Dr. Greg Brann, NRCS; Dr. Michael Flessner, VT; and Bill Payne, retired dairyman. The popular KFGC Forage Spokesperson contest will be held at the Lexington location. Early registration is $40 and ends October 4 or you may choose the value option of conference registration plus a one year KFGC membership for $50. KY Forage and Grassland Council membership is normally $25. Early registration ends October 4th. Go to the UK forage website and click on “Grazing Conference Tab” to register (www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage) or for full program. Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are also available.
We have had several calls about yellowing alfalfa lately and wanted to share this article.
Alfalfa fields may periodically exhibit yellowing of foliage. There are several possible causes for such symptoms.
Leaf spot diseases. During springtime, several leaf spotting diseases–including Lepto leaf spot and summer black stem & leaf spot—are common in alfalfa. Very wet weather in spring and early summer favor activity of leaf spotting diseases in first and second cuttings. Wet and humid weather during summer favor other leaf spotting and blighting diseases. In all such cases, leaf spots and blights weaken the plant but alfalfa often outgrows the damage in later cuttings. Maintain a regular cutting schedule, cutting at 30- to 35-day intervals.
Potato leafhopper. Potato leafhoppers are common in Kentucky alfalfa fields. Information on recognition, scouting, and control are available from UK’s Entomology Extension program. See our previous article or your county Extension office.
Soil compaction. Wet soils this spring during preplant operations or hay harvesting operations can result in severe compaction in some fields. Check for soil compaction by digging and examining both root systems and soil structure. If the compaction is so severe that the taproot cannot pass through the compacted zone, yields will be reduced significantly and plowing and replanting might be the only option. Remember, it is much easier to prevent than to alleviate soil compaction.
Potash deficiency. High quality alfalfa removes a large amount of potassium from the soil each year. Soil test K levels should be monitored closely and fertilizer K should be applied whenever it is recommended. It is possible that some plants in your field may exhibit mild potash deficiency symptoms even if potash levels in the soil are adequate, since roots that are limited by compaction and/or root rots will be less effective at taking up potash. Maintaining soil test levels and preventing soil compaction will help to assure maximum productivity and stand longevity.
Root rots. There are a variety of root-rotting diseases of alfalfa that are favored in the saturated soils. The most damaging is Phytophthora root rot; which can attack any part of the root system of plants of any age. Aphanomyces and Pythiumorganisms are also known to attack the fine feeder roots of mature plants of alfalfa when soils are saturated. Always select varieties with R or HR ratings to Phytophthora and Aphanomyces root rots when seeding alfalfa in Kentucky. Unfortunately, there is no known resistance in commercial cultivars to Pythiuminfection, but improving soil drainage and minimizing soil compaction will help with all three diseases.
Poor nodulation. Check nodulation of new seedings by carefully digging and washing root systems and examining for nodules. Poor nodulation of roots may be the result of root-rot infections or of poor viability of the Rhizobium bacterium on the seed. If poor viability on the seed is the cause, an inexpensive practice to improve the chances for nodulation can be found at: http://plantpathology.ca.uky.edu/files/ppfs-ag-f-04.pdf.
Crown rot diseases. Dig plants and cut into the crowns. Those that are showing brown discoloration are exhibiting crown rot. A variety of soil-boirne fungi can cause crown rot. Adapted varieties of alfalfa can sometimes recover from crown rots. However, if severe, crown rots can be a significant problem for long-term health of the stand. Thus, if you see a high frequency of crown rot in a particular field, that is usually a flag to rotate.
Probably the best indication of when to rotate is stand density. Approximate guidelines as to economically acceptable stands from Dr. Garry Lacefield, UK Forage Agronomist, are:
3 crowns per square foot for hay
1 crowns per square foot for grazing
Dr. Lacefield points out that these are approximate guidelines. For example, a beef cattle producer often will meet his/her production goals well with a much lower density of alfalfa crowns than a hay producer. He also indicates that, for the Upper Midwest, for high-quality dairy hay productions, the standards are based on stem density, since this more closely correlates to forage production than crown density.:
55+ stems per square foot: no yield reduction
40-55 per square foot: some yield reduction
Below 40 per square foot: give consideration to replanting
If stands are less than needed for your yield goals, plan a rotation away from alfalfa followed by re-seeding.
~ Drs. Paul Vincelli, Chris Teutsch and Kiersten Wise, revision from an early extension article on this topic by Paul Vincelli and Greg Schwab.
Woodland management is focus of UK forestry extension short course
PHOTO: Matt Barton
Kentucky forests are becoming fragmented, and landowners’ objectives are changing. Woodland owners who are wondering how to get the most from their property can benefit from attending one of three short courses being offered around the state this summer by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
Kentucky boasts nearly 12.5 million acres of forests. More than 300,000 families and individuals own fewer than 10 acres. Well-managed forests can provide extra income and recreational opportunities for their owners, as well as a beneficial environment for wildlife. The 2017 Woodland Owners Short Course will cover all those aspects for both novice and experienced landowners.
“The Woodland Owners Short Course connects professionals with landowners to help the owners achieve their particular management goals, whether that might be recreation, timber harvesting, wildlife or food production,” said Billy Thomas, UK extension forester. “Folks aren’t always aware of all the resources that are available to help them achieve their objectives.”
The one-day course is offered once in each of the three geographical regions of the state. Planning committees have developed the regional programs with local needs in mind, so each region’s course will vary slightly from the others.
Participants can choose from two concurrent tracks, Green and Gold. In Central Kentucky, the Green track will be tailored to landowners with fewer than 10 acres, while the Gold track will target landowners with 10 or more acres. In Eastern and Western Kentucky, landowners who have just acquired woodlands or who are beginning to think about management and wondering what their options are should enroll in the Green Track, while more experienced woodland owners can take advantage of the information available in the Gold Track. Past attendees of the short course will also find valuable information by returning to the course through the Gold Track.
Depending on the track and the region, sessions will cover such topics as timber improvement practices, wildlife habitat management, invasive species, tree identification, hunt leasing, food plots and mushrooms, financial and technical assistance programs and timber sales and trespass issues.
In the east region, the course is scheduled for Aug. 12 in the Laurel County Cooperative Extension office, 200 County Extension Road, London. There will be a field site visit to BPM Lumber Mill. Register by Aug. 4. The west region course is Aug. 26 at the Warren County Extension office, 3132 Nashville Road, Bowling Green, with the field visit to the Lacy Farm. Deadline for registration is July 21. In Central Kentucky, the Sept. 23 course will take place in the Erlanger Branch of the Kenton County Public Library, 401 Kenton Lands Road. The Kenton County Extension property will be the site for the field visit. Registration deadline is Sept. 15.
Each short course begins at 9 a.m. local time, with on-site registration at 8:30 a.m., and concludes around 4:30 p.m. Lunch is included. Due to limited space, organizers strongly encourage preregistration. When preregistering, sessions are $20 for individuals and $30 for couples. The day of the program, sessions are $30 for individuals and $40 for couples.
For a detailed listing of course topics at each location and to register, visit the short course website at http://forestry.ca.uky.edu/wosc. Registration is also available by phoning 859-257-7597.
The 2017 Woodland Owners Short Course is a partnership between the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, UK Department of Forestry in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Kentucky Division of Forestry, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky State University, Kentucky Tree Farm Committee, Kentucky Woodland Owners Association, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kentucky Forest Industries Association, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the Kentucky Chapter of the Association of Consulting Foresters of America Inc., Merrick Printing, Kenton County Library and Kenton, Laurel and Warren County Cooperative Extension offices.
Low pathogenic avian influenza detected in western Kentucky
Christian County flock depopulated; surveillance continues
For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Federal and state authorities say a case of low pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a commercial poultry flock in western Kentucky.
Kentucky State Veterinarian Robert C. Stout said the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the presence of H7N9 low pathogenic avian influenza in samples taken from the Christian County premises.
The virus exposure at the premises was initially detected by the Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville while conducting a routine pre-slaughter test last week. Dr. Stout said there were no clinical signs of disease in the birds. The affected premises is under quarantine, and the flock of approximately 22,000 hens was depopulated as a precautionary measure, Dr. Stout said.
“Dr. Stout and his staff have extensive experience and expertise in animal disease control and eradication,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “They have an excellent working relationship with the Kentucky Poultry Federation and the poultry industry. They are uniquely qualified to contain this outbreak so our domestic customers and international trading partners can remain confident in Kentucky poultry.”
Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) may cause no disease or mild illness. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) can cause severe disease with high mortality.
The OSV and its partners in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) are conducting surveillance on flocks within a six-mile radius of the index farm, Dr. Stout said. The company that operates the farm is conducting additional surveillance testing on other commercial facilities it operates within that area.
The Office of the State Veterinarian, an agency of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, works with USDA APHIS, other government agencies, the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, the Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Center, private veterinary practitioners, and producers to prevent and eradicate disease in Kentucky livestock and poultry.
Dr. Stout encouraged poultry producers and all other bird owners to take biosecurity measures to prevent their birds from being infected with avian influenza or other bird diseases:
Keep your distance – Isolate your birds from visitors and other birds.
Keep it clean – Prevent germs from spreading by cleaning shoes, tools and equipment.
Don’t haul disease home – Clean vehicles and cages.
Don’t borrow from your neighbor – Avoid sharing tools and equipment with neighbors.
Know the signs – Watch for early signs to prevent the spread of disease.
Report sick birds – Report unusual signs of disease or unexpected deaths to the Office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian at (502) 573-0282, option 3, or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website says that avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans. APHIS issued a reminder that the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F kills bacteria and viruses.
Poultry and eggs generated an estimated $1.2 billion in cash receipts to Kentucky farmers in 2015, the Kentucky office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported. Kentucky farmers produced 307.7 million broilers and nearly 1.3 billion eggs in 2015.
Kentucky entry requirements are listed on the OSV website at kyagr.com/statevet. For more biosecurity tips and other information about avian influenza, go to healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov. For more information about the Christian County investigation, contact Dr. Stout at (502) 782-5921.
The University of Kentucky has information to assist farmers in accessing damage the freezing temperatures did to the wheat crop. Here are some resources to help. If you have questions please contact the Extension Office at 270-842-1681.
YouTube Video: How to Access Winter Wheat Damage
UK Publication: Identifying Wheat Growth Stages
Kentucky agricultural cash receipts set a record $6.5 billion in 2014 before retreating to $5.8 billion in 2015. UK’s Department of Agricultural Economics is projecting that Kentucky ag sales will fall to $5.4 billion in 2016, off 7% from 2015 and 17% from our 2014 record. Kentucky’s top two major ag enterprises had decent years as poultry rebounded from the effects of avian influenza, while the equine sector had another stable year. Most of the decline in Kentucky ag sales for 2016 can be attributed to rapidly falling cattle receipts which fell by more than 30% in response to mounting beef, poultry, and pork supplies. Grain receipts were mixed as soybean sales increased while corn and wheat sales declined. Tobacco receipts slumped to their lowest post-buyout level due primarily to unfavorable weather and curing conditions. Poultry remained Kentucky’s number one ag enterprise, accounting for 23% of projected 2016 sales, followed by equine (17%), soybeans (15%), corn (13%) and cattle (12%). For 2017, assuming a normal growing season, Kentucky ag cash receipts are expected to stabilize with modest gains in poultry, hogs, horses, and tobacco offsetting expected losses in grains, dairy, and cattle.
Kentucky’s net farm income peaked at $2.97 billion in 2013 before slipping to $1.7 billion in 2014 and 2015. Kentucky net farm income is expected to dip to less than $1.5 billion in 2016, potentially its lowest level since 2010. A significant decline in cash receipts the past couple of years plus the ending of the tobacco buyout payments in 2014 have been the major reasons behind the rapid fall in Kentucky’s net farm income since it peaked at nearly $3 billion in 2013. Looking into 2017, profitability in the grain sector will once again be tested given projected prices and slowly adjusting land rents. Increasing livestock/meat inventories will continue to challenge beef returns. The equine and poultry industries are expected to have solid years. Tobacco returns should improve assuming better yields and quality. Look for a continued growing demand for local produce and value-added agriculture.
Assuming no major supply/demand shocks, net farm income for Kentucky farmers may show signs of stabilizing in 2017 as the global markets work off excess supplies and global economies begin to show modest growth which should help to stem the downward spiral in commodity prices. Production expenses are projected to be fairly stable, but government payments may be lower given the structure of the current farm bill. Issues to monitor in 2017 will be the value of the U.S. dollar, energy prices, interest rate changes, 2018 farm bill discussions, additional buyer/seller concentration in ag markets, and potential changes in labor and trade policy. The big winners in the current depressed ag economy are consumers as prices for many food items were stable to lower in 2016 and food price inflation is expected to remain below historical levels in 2017.
Source: 2016-2017 Kentucky Agricultural Economic Situation and Outlook, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment