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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

by Steve Cummings

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas.  I know our office staff did and continues to since we will not be back to work until January 3rd.  Our 4-H Program Assistant, Christine Fielder, enjoyed Christmas in her new house, while Pamela Redwine, Food & Nutrition Agent, and April Kilpatrick, Office Associate, enjoyed the holidays with houses full of children.  Christmas is always fun when there are children around.  I, however, enjoyed a quiet Christmas, and am now looking forward to the Liberty Bowl.  I just hope the weather cooperates.  The Extension Service Staff and I would like to wish each of you a safe and happy New Year.
Horticulture Tip:
Tis the Season – Recycle Christmas Trees as Fish Attractors in Farm Ponds
Christmas trees help create a holiday atmosphere, but the usual fate of the Christmas tree is not a happy ending.  Most families remove the ornaments and place the tree at the curb, only for it to end up in the city landfill.
This year, reuse that tree!  Placing the tree in your farm pond can provide an excellent place for fish to gather, and, as a result, an excellent place for fishing.  Small fish will use the trees as protective cover, feeding on the small invertebrates and other food they find there, and larger fish will seek out the smaller fish hiding there.
Here are some suggestions to follow:  First, be sure to remove all decorations from the tree; do not use flocked trees.  As little as one tree or groups of two to four trees can be placed in one spot.  In order to keep the trees from floating, attach weights such as tied-on cement blocks.  Place the trees in water that is deep enough to cover the tree, especially in times of low water levels, usually between 4 and 10 feet of water.  Placing one or two of these structures will be sufficient for each acre of water.  Carefully choose the location for the attractor, measuring ease of access, depth of water, and other pond features.  Be sure to mark their location so you know where to fish!
As always, practice boat safety when on the water, especially when handling heavy items such as weighted Christmas trees.  Wear your life jacket and it is always a good idea to have a friend or two with you to help.

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