October 11, 2002

Please do not delete this message. It is the only copy county agents in your office will receive of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H/Youth Development exclusives. This packet is for the week ending October 11, 2002.


Benefits of Fall Soil Sampling


Successfully Storing Summer Clothes


Kentucky 4-H Members Place High

In Several Dairy Judging Contests


Benefits of Fall Soil Sampling

Source and Writer: Greg Schwab

Editor: Ellen Brightwell

True or false? Spring is the best time to take soil samples.

False. Fall is the optimum time to take soil samples for fertility analyses. Time and money are among the reasons to do fall soil sampling.

Fall sampling gives you plenty of time to follow fertility recommendations before planting season. As soon as you receive the soil test results, look at the recommendations for pH, a measure of soil acidity that affects plants’ uptake of all nutrients, and for lime. If the soil pH is too low, it decreases the uptake of essential nutrients, and elements like aluminum and manganese can become toxic to growing plant roots.

Applying limestone neutralizes soil acidity. Because agricultural lime takes about six months to break down and react with the soil, it should be applied in the fall to be fully effective in the spring. Unlike fertilizer, lime is needed every three to five years, depending on your crop rotation and nitrogen fertilizer history. The only way to determine if your fields will need lime next year is by soil testing this fall.

A common complaint is that it took the laboratory too long to return the results. The turn-around time is much faster in the fall, usually within a week of submission, in the fall because fewer people are submitting samples. This is another reason fall soil sampling saves time.

All the recommended fertilizers, except nitrogen, also can be applied this fall. Often a fall application will save you considerable money because fertilizer prices generally are cheaper in the fall as a result of lower demand. In addition to lower fertilizer prices, it’s easier to get the spreader truck in the field during the fall because the soil is drier.

Farmers who don‘t soil test can only guess at the fertility needs of their fields, and far too often their assumptions are wrong. Guessing at the amount of fertilizer to apply often results in applying more than the recommended rate. Some producers want to be sure there’s plenty of fertilizer available in case they have a bumper crop next season. However, studies have shown that crops need the same amount of fertilizer in a good year as in a poor year.

If you’re interested in collecting fall soil samples, stop by your local county Extension office. We can give you details on how to take accurate soil samples and where to send the collected cores. Some counties have a cost-share program that pays for some or all of the analysis costs.

Remember, spending some effort on soil sampling this fall can keep you from wasting time and money. Fall soil samples also can provide big returns for next year’s crop because you won’t be relying on a guess of your fields’ fertility needs.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.


Successfully Storing Summer Clothes

Sources: Linda Heaton and Soap and Detergent Association

When you decide to store summer clothes, follow some common-sense guidelines to ensure that your items will look as good as new when you remove them next season.

Wash or dry clean all summer clothes before putting them away. Pay close attention to bathing suits or other clothing that might have been in contact with sunscreen or suntan lotion. Treat these items with a pre-wash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent; then wash in water temperature, washer cycle and dry according to clothing label instructions.

Don’t assume any garment is clean, because it could have “invisible stains” that might cause permanent discoloration. Also, remaining food and dirt particles might attract insects that could cause problems in your home or on stored clothes.

Before storing summer items, check them for repairs such as sagging hemlines, missing buttons, broken zippers, tears, or split seams. Make these repairs now so everything will be ready to wear next year. Also, check summer shoes and sandals for stains and needed repairs. And take care of these before putting them away.

Don’t starch or iron summer clothing before storing. Starch is a food source that will attract insects. Ironing might set stains that haven’t been completely removed. If these heat-set stains appear after winter storage, they might be impossible to remove.

Store summer clothes in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated area. The best location is a cool closet or air-tight chest. Acceptable alternatives are a cloth or canvas bag or a cardboard box. Too much heat can cause fabrics to turn yellow. Also avoid plastic bags because they hold moisture which can create mildew. Store garments away from light sources because continued exposure to real or artificial light might cause bright colors to fade.

If you hang clothes in a closet, cover with an old sheet to protect them from dust and light. Use padded hangers to prevent distortion and creases. If you store garments flat, smooth out the wrinkles before folding. To reduce wrinkling in summer knits, put white tissue paper between folds and around the garment.

If you don’t have sufficient storage space in your home, contact a dry cleaning establishment that offers box storage.

For more information, contact your (County Name) Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.


Kentucky 4-H Members Place High

In Several Dairy Judging Contests

Source: George Heersche

A group of 4-H members is adding to the list of recognitions for which Kentucky is noted by consistently placing as individuals and teams in recent regional and national dairy cattle judging contests.

They competed recently in the Mid-South Fair in Memphis, Pennsylvania All-American in Harrisburg and National 4-H Contest in Madison, Wisconsin. 4-Hers also will compete at the North American International Livestock Exposition Nov. 10 in Louisville.

In the regional and national contests, participants judged 10 classes of cows and gave several reasons for their judging scores. Our youth competed against more than 190 4-H members in these three dairy cattle judging contests.

Representing Kentucky 4-H/Youth Development at the Mid-South Fair were Brady Core of Mercer County and Miranda Quarles and Clayton Largen of Shelby County. Tyler Buckley of Shelby County, Josh Jones of Barren County and Joe Sparrow of Owen County were our representatives at the Pennsylvania All-American and National 4-H Contest.

At the Mid-South, the team of Core, Quarles and Largen placed fourth overall, second, placing score; fifth, Ayrshire; third, Brown Swiss, and second, Holstein and Jersey.

In the individual competitions, Core was overall high; second high oral reasons and placing score; ninth high, Guernsey; fourth high, Holstein, and high, Jersey. Quarles was 10th high individual; eighth high, placing score, and fifth high, Holstein and Jersey. Largen was third high, Brown Swiss.

At the Pennsylvania All-American, the team of Buckley, Jones and Sparrow placed fifth overall and Jersey; second, Guernsey and fourth, Holstein. Individually, Buckley was fifth high overall and Sparrow was third high, Guernsey.

At the National 4-H Contest, the team of Buckley, Jones and Sparrow was ninth in total score; 11th, oral reasons; seventh, Ayrshire and Jersey ;and 9th, Guernsey. Individually, Buckley placed highest in placing score; 12th high, total score; ninth high, Ayrshire; sixth high, Guernsey and eighth high, Holstein. Jones was 21st high in total score and oral reasons; second, Brown Swiss and fifth, Jersey.

Members were chosen to compete in these events based on their performances in the state dairy cattle judging contest, top 12 training workshop and Kentucky State Fair dairy judging contest.

All livestock judging events are educational experiences that help 4-H members develop skills in observation, simultaneous evaluation of many inputs, logical thinking, decision making, communication and team work. In addition, members have the opportunity to travel and meet youth from other geographic areas.

For more information on the many educational events available through 4-H/Youth Development, contact your (County Name) Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.