The Kokomo Tribune from Kokomo, Indiana on April 2, 1992 · Page 50
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April 2, 1992

The Kokomo Tribune from Kokomo, Indiana · Page 50

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Kokomo, Indiana
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Thursday, April 2, 1992
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Farm 6 Weekly Review Thursday, April 2, 1992 Pages open minds Our time is the gift of ourselves ; TIPTON, Ind. — Time is one of the most precious gifts we can offer our children. The best present , is what we give of ourselves. Books provide us with an oppor- ! tunity to share a special moment with children. Reading a story to a child is more than an isolated event with limited effect. As we read, the child within us emerges to meet the child beside us. This is a powerful moment, a time when deep and affectionate relationships are nurtured and a foundation for learning is formed. Good books can answer children's questions. At some point in their lives, children are confronted with issues such as death, separation from parents or loss of a friendship. A story can respond to these concerns and give children a sense of hope and mastery over life's challenges. Good books can be used to introduce ideas and values to children. Instead of simply telling our children to value kindness, for example, reading a story can capture their imagination and allow them to discover these values for themselves. Books allow us to talk to children through a story. It's important to remember that children will respond individually to a story and will draw their own conclusions about what is heard or read. Because of their unique needs and backgrounds, children will remember something different from the same story. The impact of a good book is not necessarily limited to the time it is read. We can introduce simple activities to reinforce the message received by the child from the book. Reading books to young children can also have an effect on their beginning reading skills. When children near a story, they begin to associate what is spoken with what is written. They can discover that letters represent sounds that form words. They begin to acquire a longer attention span. Best of all, they will acquire a respect and affection for books. There are resources available for helping to choose appropriate books for special needs. Consult with your local children's librarian, a favorite bookstore or the Extension office for more information. Open up a whole new world of possibilities for you and the child in your life. (Newcom may be contacted at the Upton County Extension office in the Upton County Courthouse.) No '91 grains in program No conditions present for entry WASHINGTON - Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman announced 1991-crop feed grains will not be allowed into the Farmer-Owned Reserve program. Under provisions of the Agricultural Act of 1949, the entry of 1991-crop feed grains into the FOR must have been announced by March 15. The secretary of agriculture must allow entry when the average market price for corn for the 90 days preceding the announcement is less than 120 percent of the corn price support rate and the 1991 estimated corn ending stocks-to-use ratio is more than 22.5 percent. Entry may be allowed when only one condition is met. Since neither condition has been met, there is no authority to allow entry of 1991-crop feed grains into the FOR. The following factors were used in making this determination: • • 120 percent of corn price support rate, $1.94 per bushel; • 90-day corn average market price, $2.42 per bushel (Source: Five-day adjusted average corn price for the 90-day period, Dec. 12 to March 10); • estimated 1991-92 corn ending stocks, 1,091 million bushels; • estimated 1991-92 corn use, 7,925 milion bushels; • estimated 1991-92 corn ending stocks-to-use ratio (1,091 million bushels divided by 7,925 million bushels), 0.138. New barn BELLEVILLE, Pa. - Amish men raise a new dual barn on the farm of Sam M. Yoder in Belleville this week. The barn replaces a structure destroyed by fire. Belleville authorities said seven barns belonging to the Amish families were burned and have attributed the cause to arson. (AP photo) Many want organic alternatives Gardeners can reduce number and amount of pesticides used on lawns By Lindsay Bond Totten Scripps Howard News Service "Let's do it with fewer chemicals." That's the message home gardeners are sending to the lawn-care industry. Their unspoken caveat: "Accomplish the objective without compromising the lawn quality.'' Many lawn-care services, cognizant of the shift in consumer sentiment, now offer customers organic alternatives, while do-it- yourselfers are finding a greater selection on garden center shelves that promise green lawns without pesticides. Gardeners can immediately reduce the number and amount of pesticides they use on their lawns by: • Choosing natural lawn-care products. Ringer, Milorganite and Fertrell are three popular brand names. Nutrients are derived from composted sewage sludge, animal wastes and plant byproducts, such as treated sunflower hulls. The brands mentioned do not contain pesticides. • Using synthetic fertilizers that have no herbicides, insecticides or fungicides mixed with them. • Monitoring pest problems and spot-treating instead of spreading preventive chemicals over the en- ure lawn. If pesticide-free products are the canvas of the organic lawn care picture, sound cultural practices are the frame that holds it together and are. in fact, the only way to maintain a "barefoot* lawn while cutting back on pesticides. Here's a simple, four-step plan to help gardeners maintain better turf with fewer chemicals: • Fertilize twice a year, once in May and again in early September. Use a controlled-release fertilizer that feeds the lawn slowly. Studies show that repeated application of fast- release nitrogen leads to thatch buildup. Resist the temptation to fertilize the lawn in early April to "green it up." It will green up by itself. But vigorous turf needs fertilizer in May when stored nitrogen reserves are depleted. • Raise mower height. Many of the turf grass species are healthiest when maintained between 2-1—2 and 3-1—2 inches in height. But when mowing, remove no more than one-third of the grass blade at a time. Ideally, the height of the grass, not the day of the week, should dictate mowing schedules. Easier said than done. Nonetheless, mowing height is the single most important factor in turf management. "Scalping" — allowing grass to grow long, then cutting it very short — leads to thatch buildup, bare spots and weeds. Vary the mowing pattern each week. Mowing in different directions helps reduce compaction in heavy traffic areas. • Recycle grass clippings. By following the "one-third' 1 rule (no more than one-third of grass blades removed at a time), grass remains vigorous. Clippings that fall on the soil break down quickly, feeding the lawn by recycling nitrogen. A season's worth of grass clippings add up to the equivalent of one slow-release fertilizer application per year — for free! If the lawn is mown correctly, grass clippings do not contribute to thatch buildup. Thatch is composed of dead roots and crowns, not grass blades. Mulching mowers are being touted as the newest lawn management tool for homeowners. They chop grass clippings into smaller pieces inside the mower and blow them back on to the lawn. Mulching mowers are most useful when grass has grown too tall. Clippings, if left whole, would mat in clumps on the surface. Homeowners without mulching mowers can achieve the same results by following the one-third rule. • Aerate the lawn annually or semi-annually. Core aeration ("plugs" of soil are removed by a machine and deposited on the soil surface) relieves compaction by opening air spaces. Water and fertilizer penetrate more deeply and grass roots get the oxygen they need. Core aeration also hels eliminate thatch buildup. Autumn is the best time to aerate the lawn. Crabgrass and other weed seeds brought to the surface in the plugs germinate eagerly in spring, more reluctantly in fall. (Lindsay Bond Totten, a horticulturist, writes about gardening at The Pittsburgh Press.) House looks at Hungarian cheese WASHINGTON (AP) - The House Agriculture Committee will investigate Hungary's second attempt to export more cheese to the United States and the potential impact on the nation's dairy farmers. The subcommittee on livestock, dairy and poultry has scheduled a hearing next Thursday on the possibility that trade restrictions will be modified to allow Hungary to export more Goya cheese, duty- See water shortfall in West By Margaret Scherf Associated Press writer WASHINGTON (AP) - The water supply in the West is expected to be below normal this summer because of light snowfall and dry weather, says the Agriculture Department's Soil Conservation Service. Western states depend on snowmelt for about 75 percent of their water supply. Streamflows are expected to be less than 70 percent of average throughout California, Nevada, Oregon, southern Idaho, southern Wyoming, southeastern Montana, northern and central Utah, and along the northern border of Colorado, William Richards, SCS chief, said in a recent news release. Most precipitation during February fell in the southern part of the West, he said. It exceeded 120 percent of average in most of California, Utah, southern and eastern Nevada, western and southern Arizona, southern New Mexico and the western border of Colorado. free, into the United States. Dairy farmers fear milk prices could fall if the petition is granted under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Although the petition is designed to help Central and Eastern European nations improve their economies by finding new markets for cheese and other products in the United States, any one of the some 130 countries on the GSP list also would be allowed to export Goya cheese duty- and quota-free. "pur hearing will examine the possible effects of what could become a flood of duty-free and quota-free cheese into the U.S. market," said Rep. Charles Stenholm, D-Texas, chairman of the dairy subcommittee. "For many of this country's hard-pressed dairy farmers, the approval of duty-free and quota- free imports of cheese could be the final straw that forces them off the farm," Stenholm said. Testimony before an interagency group which makes recommendations on trade matters to the president indicated that approval of the Goya petition could result in between 50,000 tons and . 100,000 tons of Goya cheese entering the country annually. Goya is a hard-grating cheese similar to Parmesan. Local lad looks for markets He hucksters Hoosier products ByKenKtnmer APbMlness writer INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Hoosier farmers have good reason to root for Michael E. Yoder, the 26-year-old Indiana Univenity graduate charged with finding more outlets for Indiana foods. Yoder Joined the state Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture directly from college last year as part of a new state effort aimed at increasing exports of processed foods, lumber and other Hoosier- grown products. Since the position was new, Yoder looked to another state agency for help. He started sifting through state Commerce Department files seeking ideas that would help producers expand their international sales and marketing. "There was not a whole lot of institutional memory." Yoder said. "Basically, what I've done is start from scratch in promoting international agriculture in this state." Agriculture, one of Indiana's largest industries, brings in more than $4 billion annually. Voder's position is part of a state strategy aimed at increasing the exports of Indiana agricultural products 20 percent by the start of the next century. Exports in this case are defined as sales beyond the state border. James Labas of Weaver Popcorn Co. in Van Buren is one of those who welcomes the initiative. He said U.S. companies, especially smaller ones, nave historically focused on home markets while incurring inroads from overseas competitors with eyes trained on U.S. markets. Facsimile machines and other technology have helped break down international barriers, making export markets more important, said Labas, whose company has exported for 20 years and commands major shares of the popcorn markets in Japan and Europe. "Let's face it, as extensive as a company can be in export sales and marketing, you're limited in how many times you can get around," Labas said. "I just don't think we (Indiana companies) can do enough. That doesn't mean the effort hasn't been there, but I just don't think we've done enough," he said. Marjorie A. Lyles, associate professor of strategic management at the IU Business School, has compiled with colleague Anne McCarthy a list'of 20 Indiana export "champions" who have developed global presences through overseas sales, weaver Popcornis on the list. She agreed that some Indiana businesses need to be nudged into overseas markets. "I think a lot of small firms have been scared away by the difficulties in selling their products abroad," Lyles said. Yoder was raised in Elkhart County and spent his boyhood working on farms near Kokomo and Goshen. Since then, he's become fluent in German, proficient in French, and is learning Japanese. Since producers associations market soybeans, corn, pork and other commodities, Yoder concentrates on those who process food, such as the companies that employ workers turning grapes into wine or pork beDies into bacon bits. Paddle wheel A paddle wheel stirs vitamin-rich algae in a raceway filled with cold seawater at Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park. Companies in the park use water pumped from the Pacific's dep- ths to raise marketable seafood. (National Geographic Society photo)

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