University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture

Toxin Topic: Landscaping Plants to Avoid

With gardening season upon us, many people also are starting to think about landscaping their homes and farms. Often, landscape plant choices are based on aesthetics and hardiness. However, with horses in the mix, plant toxicity is perhaps a more important aspect to consider. Even if owners plant trees, shrubs, and flowers well out of pastured or stalled ...

Nitrogen Losses in Soil During Wet Weather

The steady flow of wet weather in April has caused many farm managers to worry about nitrogen losses in their fields, especially in fields where nitrogen was applied prior to the rains. Fortunately, nitrogen losses might not be as bad as many producers expect, said Lloyd Murdock, PhD, extension soils specialist with the University of Kentucky College of A...

Managing Mud on Kentucky Horse Farms

You might know the feeling when you lift your foot to take a step across your horse's paddock and suddenly realize that your boot has been left behind and your soaked foot is half a step away from it in ankle-deep mud. Mud is a problem anywhere water meets bare soil. And during the last few years Kentucky horse farms have had their share of mud.

University of Kentucky Pasture Evaluation Program Enjoys Continued Success

The University of Kentucky initiated its Pasture Evaluation Program in 2005, which has since grown along with its number of participants. Sponsored by the UK Equine Initiative, the program began in response to the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome epidemic that swept through Central Kentucky in 2001. The program has maintained several farms as regular clien...

Second Annual Breeders' Short Course Recap

The University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture partnered with the University of Minnesota to present the 2nd Annual Kentucky Breeders' Short Course held Jan. 21 and 22 in Lexington. The first day of the course was designed for veterinarians, and the second day was for horse owners. Both included a half-day session on equine metabolic syndrome ...

Equine Abortion of Unknown Cause

Pregnancy loss is relatively common in horses. Only 80% of mares bred give birth to a live foal at term. The loss of the developing foal (fetus) during gestation can fall under one of two categories: early embryonic loss, in which the loss of a fetus occurs in the early stages of pregnancy (generally less than 40 days of gestation); and abortion--a loss l...

Online Budget Tools for Horse Owners Offered by UK College of Agriculture

Budgets might seem tedious and onerous to some, but they can also aid in decision-making related to starting a new business, operating an existing business more efficiently, or planning for tax purposes. In addition, for those who have horses but do not necessarily operate a business, budgets can help provide an objective estimate of horse ownership costs.

Diagnosing Disorders of Sexual Development in Horses: Male or Female?

Fertility issues in the horse can stem from multiple causes. One cause in mares is due to a disorder of sexual development (DSD) whereby the sex chromosome complement (genotype, or genetic code) is abnormal and does not agree with the external appearance of the horse (phenotype, or observable characteristics). One common DSD observed in horses occurs when...

University of Kentucky Researcher wins Prestigious Award; Will be Honored by President Obama

David McNear, PhD, assistant professor of rhizosphere science in the University of Kentucky's (UK) Plant and Soil Sciences Department, was recently awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for his research on endophyte-infected tall fescue and how it impacts soil microbial communities, chemical properties, and nutr...

Botulism in Horses: A Deadly Disease

Botulism is a deadly disease caused by the toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The botulinum toxin is a potent neurotoxin that impairs nerve function, including those of the diaphragm, leading to paralysis. When the nerves to the diaphragm are paralyzed, the affected animal stops breathing and will die as a result.

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