Cirque du Slug
The ground dwelling leopard slug Limax maximus, which James Harwood, associate professor in Entomology, says can be found in suburbia, greenhouses, and farmland, turns into a high wire artist when its thoughts turn to procreation. Unlike other slugs, it mates suspended in the air on a thick mucus strand.
Photo credit: James Harwood
Don’t be a Drip
Follow the advice of Ashley Osborne, UK Environmental and Natural Resources Initiative, and pledge to save 40 gallons of water a day. It’s simple. Brushing your teeth? Turn off the water and save as much as eight gallons a day. Sweep your driveway rather than hose it down and save 22. If everyone who receives The Ag Magazine took the pledge, we’d save nearly 800,000 gallons of water in a single day—that’s enough to produce more than an acre of corn!
And that ain’t chicken feed.
The tangy, tasty blueberry, the essence of summer, is a natural for Kentucky and not just because of its color. The fruit is native to North America and gaining in popularity among Kentucky growers. Mostly passed over by pests or diseases, an acre of mature bushes can yield 5,000 to 11,000 pounds of berries if planted on a good site. They do require an acidic soil, however, and that’s not all that common in the state. But John Strang, extension professor in Horticulture, says soil amendments can create a welcoming environment for our true blueberry.
A Growth Industry
The national greenhouse and nursery industry showed its biggest growth 20 to 30 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2000 that Kentucky’s industry started to expand,doubling its numbers in the first eight years of the new century. According to Dewayne Ingram, UK professor for nursery crops, the growth in the state coincides with Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund investments
in research, extension, marketing assistance, and advertising cost-share programs through the Kentucky Horticulture Council. The economic downturn temporarily impacted some of the product line, but the industry remains strong.
It’s No Picnic
Outdoor dining can be rife with bacteria—Salmonella, E-coli, Clostridium, Streptococcus; the list goes on and on. And so might the stomach problems they cause. Dietetics and Human Nutrition interim chair Sandra Bastin preaches the mantra, “Keep cold foods cold (below 40°) and hot foods hot (above 140°). And wash your hands!”