Farm and Dairy’s week in review: 5/16

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Week in Review 5/16

Here are this week’s top stories from Farm and Dairy:

1. You do NOT want to find this weed in your fields

Palmer amaranth is called the ‘invasive giant’ by farmers. Left untreated, the weed becomes unmanageable, growing and spreading quickly throughout fields.

Last year, Purdue University weed scientists took two time-lapse videos capturing the rapid growth of the weed. The videos also showed the effect of pre-emergent herbicides used to control it.

2. USDA confirms bird flu in backyard flock in Indiana

On May 11, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard mixed-poultry flock in Whitley County, Indiana.

This is the first time HPAI H5N8 has been detected in the Mississippi flyway. The affected premises has been quarantined and the flock will be depopulated to prevent spread of the disease.

3. The many faces of mulch: Choosing the best for your lawn and garden

Mulch isn’t just wood chips; it’s any material that provides cover for your soil. Mulches help to regulate soil temperature and and maintain soil moisture.

The type of mulch you need for your lawn and garden will depend on the purpose you have for it. Online columnist Ivory Harlow explains some of the common mulches that are used for protecting roots, choking out weeds, minimizing soil compaction and preventing sunlight exposure for plants like potatoes.

4. Holes in trees: hazards or harmless?

Experts suggest paying attention to the trees in your yard. From root decay to the risk of falling branches, ‘sick’ trees offer clues about their health.

As for holes in trees, don’t fill them with cement. Filling a cavity with cement can actually cause more damage to the tree. Instead, if the tree needs structural support, a professional arborist will suggest cabling, propping or even tree removal if necessary.

5. Pennsylvania makes preventing tractor rollovers priority; retrofits older models

The 100th rollover protective structure (ROPS) was recently installed on a tractor in Pennsylvania. Funded by Penn State Extension, the ROPS Retrofit Program for Pennsylvania Farmers is designed to prevent deaths and serious injuries from tractor overturns.

The ROPS Retrofit Program operates in five other states in the Northeast. The program rebates 70 percent of the cost of purchasing and installing rollover protection, helping to defray the costs of making older tractors safer for farmers.

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Katie Woods grew up in Columbiana, Ohio. Katie likes reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors and DIY projects.

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