Ranunculus (buttercup) risk in pasture and hay

 

Worldwide, there are approximately 600 species of Ranunculus, commonly known as buttercup or crowfoot. According to the current USDA PLANTS database, nearly 30 different Ranunculus species are found in Kentucky. Fresh Ranunculus leaves, flowers, and stems have a sharp, pungent taste and are usually avoided by grazing livestock. Some Ranunculus species contain varying quantities of ranunculin, a compound hydrolyzed to protoanemonin when plants are damaged – for example, by grazing or mowing. Protoanemonin is a vesicant, causing blistering of the skin, mouth, and digestive system on contact. Ranunculus species with high ranunculin concentrations are the most toxic. Dried Ranunculus is expected to lose toxic potential fairly rapidly, although specific research has not been published to confirm this. Protoanemonin forms a non-vesicant compound, anemonin, upon drying.

Ranunculus ingestion can cause mouth pain, blisters, drooling, oral and gastric ulcers, colic, and diarrhea. Clinical signs can be severe if large quantities of Ranunculus are ingested, but the acrid taste usually deters further grazing in horses and cattle. Clinical signs are typically seen only when other forage is unavailable and animals are forced to consume Ranunculus. Sheep may be more likely than other grazing animals to eat the plants, particularly immature stages. Horses are probably the most sensitive species to the gastrointestinal effects of Ranunculus. One anecdotal report has suggested a possible association between presence of Ranunculus in pastures and abortions in cattle. Another suggests the same possible association in horses. Attempts to reproduce the disease have not been successful in either horses or cattle, and the hypothesized association remains unconfirmed.

A review of UKVDL records over the last 13 years found no cases of livestock deaths attributable to Ranunculus ingestion. It is possible that cases of colic or diarrhea have been caused by Ranunculus ingestion but were never attributed to the plant. Because animals avoid grazing Ranunculus when possible, it proliferates in overgrazed pastures. Overgrazing is prevented by maintaining appropriate stocking rates. Ranunculus poisoning is most likely in starving animals. The risk in Kentucky is minimal as long as plenty of other forage is available; unpalatable fresh plants are generally avoided when possible, and dried plants are less toxic than fresh.

 

Dr. Megan Romano, DABVT

Clinical Toxicologist

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

University of Kentucky

megan.romano@uky.edu

 

 

Update: a recording of this webinar is available by clicking HERE.

A short video covering the cattle market and a short intro on CFAP payments is HERE.

Are you interested in applying for Direct Payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program but aren’t sure how?

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) will host a webinar on Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET, for farmers, ranchers and other producers interested in applying for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).

#UKAgPrograms  #UKAgriculture

 

To register:  https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_SPWI7yOFSqaGG1JKzhEbjA.

 

For more information:

https://www.ams.usda.gov/content/usda-host-webinar-producers-interested-applying-direct-payments-through-coronavirus-food

Rinse and Return Recycling Program

The Rinse and Return Program is a voluntary, cooperative program sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Agri-Business Association of Kentucky (ABAK). Other partners include the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, which helps coordinate the Program on a county level, Farm Bureau, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the local conservation districts, and the Ag Container Recycling Council. Due to the materials previously held by these pesticide containers they cannot be recycled with your ordinary household plastics. This program allows for the proper recycling of these pesticide containers. This reduces the amount of material entering the landfill or being disposed of by other means. Some of the end products include drainage pipe, highway sign posts, underground utility conduit, and wire/cable spool flanges. The Rinse and Return Program has collected 1,892,000 pounds of pesticide containers since its inception with more than 100 counties participating. It started out in 1991 with three participating counties and gathered 10,000 pounds of material in the first year. KDA field technicians believe the 2 million pound mark can be achieved this year. Please check out the Rinse and Return Recycling Program schedule for the collection date and time in your area.

Pressure Rinsing

  • Remove cover from container. Empty the pesticide into the spray tank and let the container drain for 30 seconds.
  • Continue holding the container upside down over the sprayer tank opening so rinsate will run into the sprayer tank.
  • Insert the pressure-rinse nozzle by puncturing through the bottom of the pesticide container.
  • Rinse for length of time recommended by the manufacturer (generally 30 seconds or more).

Triple Rinsing

  • Remove cover from container. Empty the pesticide into the spray tank and let the container drain for 30 seconds.
  • Fill the container 10% to 20% full of water or rinse solution.
  • Secure the cover on the container.
  • Swirl the container to rinse all inside surfaces.
  • Remove cover from the container. Add the rinsate from the container to sprayer tank and let drain for 30 seconds or more.
  • Repeat steps 2 through 5 two more times.
  • Puncture container.

You can visit the website at https://www.kyagr.com/consumer/pest-and-recycling.html

 

Our Rinse N Return Program drop off date will be on Monday, August 3, 2020 from 10am - 12pm at the Whitley County Extension office.

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Try a small-scale garden this year

Source: Rick Durham, UK extension professor

People living in urban areas might not think they have the space to garden, but that is not the case. A University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service publication, ID-248: Gardening in Small Spaces, shows you how you can garden in a small area. Besides space, an issue that may limit gardening is sunlight. Most vegetables require full sun, meaning six or more hours of direct sunlight each day. If you have an open yard free of tall trees or a south-facing sunny patio, you should have sufficient light. If you only get four hours or so of light, try lettuce, spinach and radishes for the spring garden, or Swiss chard, cucumbers or winter squash for the summer garden. Gardening with limited space is best done in raised beds in the yard or containers for the patio. Beds can be made of many materials such as wood, plastic, vinyl or concrete blocks. Kill or cover any existing grass within the bed area and add 6 to 8 inches of amended soil. Amended soil includes 25% garden soil and 75% organic matter such as a mixture of peat, humus and compost. Little fertilizer should be needed if the mix contains at least 25% compost. For patio gardening, use pots or other containers to grow vegetables. These containers should be filled with potting soil, not garden soil. Use containers large enough to provide soil for good plant root growth. Plants in containers will need occasional fertilizer. Consult the fertilizer label for specific instructions. Larger pots will need less frequent watering than small pots, although container vegetables may need water once a day in the heat of summer. Make sure there are drainage holes to allow excess water to escape the pot. A five-gallon bucket is the perfect size for a tomato, while a 10-inch pot will hold a hot pepper plant. The Gardening in Small Spaces publication includes information on plant spacing for beds and containers. A companion publication, ID-128: Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky, provides information on planting dates and care instructions for most vegetables. Both publications are available online.

Gardening in Small Spaces is available at http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/ID/ID248/ID248.pdf.

Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky is at http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/id/id128/id128.pdf.

You can also contact your Whitley County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service for a copy of either publication or for additional gardening information.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability. 

Composting basics

Source: Rick Durham, extension professor

Composting is a great way to add valuable organic matter to your soil while reducing the amount of yard and food waste that ends up in landfills. It’s also something that nearly everyone can do.

Compost is the result of a natural process where decaying organic substances, such as plants, are broken down by microorganisms. This produces a nutrient-rich, organic material that you can apply to your lawn or garden, much like you would a commercial fertilizer.

You can start a compost bin or pile in your backyard. You can purchase a bin or make one using inexpensive, leftover materials like pallets or chicken wire. The bin can be as big or small as you want, but for most rapid composting, a pile that is at least 1-yard tall and 1-yard wide and 1-yard long is best. Make sure you place your compost in an area that is flat and well-drained.

Once you have defined a compost area, collect yard waste and food scraps. Yard waste includes twigs, shrub trimmings, grass clippings, leftover straw and leaves. Most fruit, vegetable and grain scraps are compostable as are coffee grounds, herbs, nuts and egg shells. Avoid meat scraps, oils and dairy products. Remember, you need to have a mixture of “brown” material (dried leaves, straw, twigs, coffee grounds, even cardboard) and “green” materials (fresh grass clippings, vegetable scraps, other fresh plant materials) for the composting process to work. Mix or turn the pile once a week to help speed the breakdown of organic materials. If the compost pile is extremely damp, turn it more often. If it is dry, add some water or fresh plant material. It can take four to six months to complete the composting process. You will know it’s finished when the compost is dark brown, crumbly and smells like soil.

Compost can be used in the vegetable garden or spread around ornamental plants in the landscape, but be careful not to use too much. A 1-inch layer of compost, worked into the top few inches of soil, will feed plants for several months.

More information on composting or other gardening tips is available at the Whitley County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

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Want to grow hemp in 2020?

Here are some things you need to know

Source: Doris Hamilton, hemp program manager, Kentucky Department of Agriculture

There is an astronomical amount of interest for growing hemp in Kentucky, yet many new growers may not realize that applying to participate in Kentucky’s program is an involved process that requires fairly significant leg work on their part.

To grow hemp in Kentucky, you must submit an application and receive a license from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The application deadline to grow hemp this year is March 15. Here are some tips to help you with that process.

  • Before you do anything, KDA asks growers to assess their financial risk before entering the industry. The hemp marketplace is still in its infancy. The supply chain is still developing; hemp varieties are unpredictable and many regulatory issues remain unresolved at the federal level.
  • To be considered for the program, you must get the background check application from KDA’s website and submit it to the Kentucky State Police. Once you receive the results, you can upload them to your KDA grower application. Background checks are required for individual applicants and key participants within a business. These must be completed 60 days or less from the time the application is submitted to KDA. The program only approves applicants who have not been convicted of a felony or a drug-related misdemeanor in the past 10 years.
  • Each field must be at least a quarter of an acre, and producers must be able to plant 1,000 plants. You cannot grow hemp in your yard or within 1,000 feet of a school or public park.
  • Know where you want to grow. You must provide KDA with a growing location for your hemp. If you change your growing location after submitting an application, you will be charged a $750 site modification fee. All growing locations must have a Kentucky address. If the property doesn’t have an address, you must estimate one. The online application software includes a mapping feature that enables the applicant to identify hemp fields, greenhouses and storage areas.
  • The KDA has a Summary of Varieties List that includes more than 200 tested varieties to help educate farmers about their THC testing history. This tool helps producers select varieties that are likely to test below the legal limit of 0.3%. If you want to grow a variety that is not on that list, after obtaining your license, you must submit a “New Hemp Variety or Strain Request Form” along with a certificate of analysis that shows the variety has a total THC not more than 0.3%. The KDA does prohibit some varieties due to their THC testing history in Kentucky, where they consistently test above the legal limit.
  • You must secure your own seeds and a buyer for your product. You should read these business contracts carefully and be comfortable with their requirements.
  • Hemp is eligible for crop insurance in 2020. Contact your local crop insurance agent for more information before the crop insurance sales closing date of March 15.

Once approved for the program, keep copies of your grower license within easy access and near hemp materials. You may be required to display it for KDA officials or law enforcement.

More information and the hemp grower application is available on the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s website, https://www.kyagr.com/marketing/hemp-pilot.html. More information on UK’s hemp-related agronomic and economic research is available at https://hemp.ca.uky.edu/ or by contacting the Whitley County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.