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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Familiar events characterize fall

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This time of year is characterized by a few familiar events. These events come every year and can never be avoided. You may by now start to wonder what events I am referring to. Well they include: the fall harvest, Thanksgiving and gift giving.

There has been a lot of information handed out, printed and discussed about the issues surrounding the fall harvest. Many will tell you that the last harvest is causing concerns about grain quality. The grain quality issues all stem from a combination of events that farmers cannot control. What farmers can control is the grain once it is harvested. Specifically, farmers might want to think about drying corn at lower temperatures for a longer period of time. This will help prevent kernels from breaking and attracting insects. Additionally, farmers should sample their bin at least once a month throughout the winter season to check for mold, the hairy fungus beetle and the foreign grain beetle. One final note about harvest comes as a reminder to stay safe when working around your farm equipment, bins, and traveling the roads. For those not involved with farming, remember to look out for slow moving farm equipment on the roads.

Despite a late harvest, Thanksgiving is still approaching. However, there is good news! Corrine Alexander, Purdue University agricultural economics, says that heading into the holiday, retail food prices generally are lower than one year ago. Similarly, with adequate supplies, the United States Department of Agriculture is predicting that wholesale prices of whole turkeys will be 81 to 85 cents per pound. Last year, wholesale prices of whole turkeys were 87 cents per pound. With that said, the actual price that consumers will pay for turkey depends on a lot of host factors, including: whether you are buying a whole turkey, is it fresh or frozen, what is the brand name, etc. Overall, Americans should be thankful for inexpensive bounty they consume, since the average American family spends less than 10 percent of their take-home income on food. By comparison, the average family in Mexico spends about 25 percent of their take-home income on food.

Even though many have felt the impact of the recession, there is still a lot to be thankful for. So this Thanksgiving, when you are enjoying a hopefully slightly less pricey meal, remember those who are less fortunate.

Gift Giving

If you haven't started thinking about it already, you probably will once Thanksgiving is over. There are many reasons people give gifts to those they love and care about. So to help inform consumers about some special gifts out there this holiday season, I thought I would wrap up this week's article by discussing some educational and entertaining gifts. A variety of educational booklets (often free if you want to download them), CDs, and DVDs can be purchased through The Education Store at www.extension.purdue.edu/store/. Some particular items you might be interested in from there include: A Beginner's Guide to Vegetable Gardening CD, The 2009 Pork Industry Handbook DVD, and A Palette of Fun with Arts & Crafts.

Then for that country music fan you know, you might look into the Clover Country CD that features songs from famous 4-H Alumni. You can find information about it at www.clovercountrycd.com/.

If you are interested in finding out more about Purdue Extension publications or have questions related to agriculture or natural resources, feel free to contact your local Purdue Extension Office by calling 448-9041 in Clay Co. or 829-5020 in Owen Co. If you would like to contact me directly, I can be reached at either of the two numbers listed or via email at smith535@purdue.edu.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

*Nov. 20 -- Fall Achievement Program, Clay Co., 7 p.m.,

*Nov. 24 -- Reality Store at Owen Valley Middle School,

*Dec. 7 -- 4-H Scholarship Workshop, Purdue Extension Clay Co. Office, 7 p.m., Open to 4-H members grades 10-12, RSVP to (812) 448-9041,

*Dec. 8 -- Nuisance Wildlife, Purdue Extension Clay Co. Office, 6:30-8:30 p.m., costs $2 per person, RSVP by Dec.1 at 448-9041,

*Dec. 10 -- Income Tax Management for Farmers in 2009, Purdue Extension Clay Co., 7:30-9:30 p.m., RSVP by Dec. 1 at (812) 448-9041,

*Dec. 10 -- Crop Management Conference, Beef House in Covington, 9 a.m.-2:45 p.m., cost is $15 plus additional fees for PARP and other credits, RSVP by Dec. 4 at (812) 462-3371, and

*Dec. 14 -- Last Chance PARP Program, Cloverdale Community Building, 12:45-3:30 p.m., cost $10