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Hen under close scrutiny at FFA poultry evaluations at the State Fairgrounds.

Avian Flu Information

Extension and NCDA&CS are working together to develop a response plan for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Find the latest information regarding this at NCDA&CS.

Hen under close scrutiny at FFA poultry evaluations at the State Fairgrounds.

Avian Flu Information

Extension and NCDA&CS are working together to develop a response plan for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Find the latest information regarding this at NCDA&CS.


2016 Southern
Piedmont NC Farm School

November 11, 2015 What are you waiting for? You have the drive, creativity, and will power to start a farm, so what is holding you back? If you are in this situation, the 2016 Southern Piedmont NC Farm School is for you! We are now accepting applicants to the 2016 Southern Piedmont NC Farm School. We can only accept a limited number of registrants, and class is filling up fast! Last year, we had so many applicants that we had a waiting list, so it is imperative to fill out an application as soon as possible. The Southern Piedmont NC Farm School started over five years ago to teach new and transitioning farmers how to become better farmers, providing the business skills to maintain a profitable farm. Students learn the business skills to run a farm but also get knowledge from growers, producers, and specialists. They even get to visit their farms. Rowan, Cabarrus, Davie, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, and Mecklenburg counties have helped create the perfect farm tour model for the 2016 students. The course is seven months, with eight nightly business meetings and seven field trips. The nightly classes will be starting in February. There are two informational sessions that all applicants are encouraged to attend. The first meeting will be held on December 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension (2727 Old Concord Rd., Salisbury), and the last session will be held on January 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabarrus County office (715 Cabarrus Ave., West, Concord). Currently, the NC Farm School program has graduated over 300 students. Many state that the NC Farm School program helped them start their own farms. Kelly Connor, a graduate of NC Farm School in the Southern Piedmont stated, “It would have taken my brothers and I at least 20 years to get the information and education we have received in the short time attending the Southern Piedmont NC Farm School. This program is worth more than double the price.” 2014 NC Farm School graduates, Mike and Jenny Tate from Forsyth County who own Rebecca Knoll Farms, told the press that “after 30 years in business, I had a voice telling me to do something in agriculture, and this school helped put me in the right direction.” I have written about the benefits of the NC Farm School frequently because the agents that I work with are all passionate about helping our growers succeed. This program is one of the best I have worked with and is also one of the reasons I enjoy my job. I hope to see you at our 2016 Southern Piedmont NC Farm School graduation. If would like more information on the Southern Piedmont NC Farm School, visit our website at: http://www.ncfarmschool.com, or call your local agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

kissing bug

Kissing Bug

Some of you may have read some information about a kissing bug, this can be a pest within your home but it is often confused with other beneficial insects. If you believe you may have a kissing bug please read this article before killing the insect: http://ncsupdicblog.blogspot.com/2015/11/kissing-bugs-and-chagas-disease-in-nc.html?m=1 If you still believe you have a kissing bug please place in a glass jar fill with rubbing alcohol and bring to our office for identification. Please do not squish the bug because it prevents us from properly identifying the pest. For more information or to bring the sample in please call us at 704-216-8970 or visit 2727 Old Concord Rd., Salisbury. Here is an image of a kissing bug from NCSU entomologist Matt Bertone:


2015 NC Farm School

October 21, 2015 Blue skies, bright sun shining, cool weather, over 120 people, and combining some super awesome Extension agents and Piedmont Research staff can create an awesome NC Farm School Summit. Just a few weeks ago, Rowan County hosted the second annual NC Farm School Summit at the Piedmont Research Station. The odds were stacked against us but with a great group of staff and agents, we pulled off one of the best programs for new and transitioning farmers. I have talked in previous articles about the NC Farm Schools, specifically the Southern Piedmont NC Farm School that the Rowan County Extension helps host. This has probably been one of my favorite programs that I have ever worked with, and I truly feel that it is a program that is exactly what Cooperative Extension is all about. The program is a seven-month course, ending with a NC Farm School Summit. The summit is where all five NC Farm Schools get together, do hands on activities, and bond with NC Farm School alumni. For this year’s summit, we decided to take a new approach and have all of the activities at the Piedmont Research Station. This is a huge change because almost 90% of the program was outside, so weather played a huge role. Luckily, the weather was perfect! Participants learned about honeybees from local beekeepers, Randy Cox and Bryan Fisher. They also had hands-on irrigation, poultry housing with Lee Menius from Wild Turkey Farms, pasture management, high tunnel production, and marketing, to name a few. All of this was done at the Piedmont Research Station, where participants could see everything being used and actually touch and work with the material. This was definitely better than any in-class project. All of these programs are vital to the continuation of our local farmers, and they need all of the help and expertise we can offer them, so that farming can remain a viable career in the future. On top of all the production courses, we also had a farm safety demo with a tractor being rolled over to show the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt and driving a tractor without a roll bar. The participants also met with over seventeen sponsors, ranging from Farm Bureau, Certified Safe Farm, Soil and Water, Farm Service Agency, and many more. Some of the sponsors even gave live demos of their products. All in all, I think it was a pretty awesome day! A lot of hard work went into the program, so a huge thanks goes out to all of the agents and Piedmont Research Station staff. Without them, the summit would not have been such a huge success! The moral of this story is to be appreciative of what Rowan County has, thank a farmer, and help support our agriculture industry. If you are interested in the Southern Piedmont NC Farm School or NC Farm Schools in general, please contact your local cooperative Extension agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970, or visit the website, www.ncfarmschool.com.


Q & A Article on Fire
Ants and Homemade Pesticides

September 30, 2015 With all of this rain comes new problems that we did not have this summer. The much needed rain was a blessing to some but for growers, it came a little too late. As always, if you have questions, please give us a call so we can help others who are suffering with the same issue. Question: I have fire ants, and I want to know what to do to get rid of them? Answer: During fall and after a rain, fire ants get to be very active. There are a few things you need to remember, you do not have to stand on the mound to be stung because they forage and can sting even then and that power equipment should be cleaned before going to a different location so you do not spread them. To treat fire ants you should do a two-step method to control both the workers and the queen. To get the queen, you need to determine if the workers are actively foraging (out to find food). The easiest method to do this is by using greasy potato chips; sprinkle around the mound (not on top of the mound). If the ants come out to eat the chips, it is a good time to treat. To do this, I would recommend bait so that they can take it to the queen. When applying the bait, you will also have to apply around the mound and not directly on top. After a few days, it is recommended to treat the mound with a drench. This will get rid of the remaining ants in the mound. There are some newer products that are really good for fire ants, but make sure to read the label before applying any pesticide! For more information on fire ants, please check out our publication: https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/lawn/note145/note145.html Question: I need to dispose of some oil, pesticides, and batteries. Where can I get rid of these products for free? Answer: It is a great thing you asked! Rowan County Department of Environmental Management is having another special waste collection event on Wednesday, October 7 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Rowan County Recycling Processing Center on 1102 North Long Street Extension, East Spencer. The event will take prescriptions, computer equipment, tires, oil, washers, dryers, fertilizers, pesticides, and so much more (household quantities only)! The great thing is that you can drive up, and they will unload FOR FREE! For more information on what can be recycled, please call Environmental Management at 704-216-8606. Question: I am trying to control my weeds with a natural home remedy, using vinegar, soap, and salt. I have tried it a few times on the weeds in my yard, but all it does is burn the leaves. What am I doing wrong? Answer: I am always looking for a buck to save but sometimes, there are things you should forgo making yourself; this happens to be one of them! This “organic” method started popping up on websites and Pinterest a few years ago. Numerous people called and asked our office how well it performed. I can say without a doubt that the recipes online will not work for you and can be more toxic than applying glyphosate, which is in Roundup. All that the vinegar herbicide does is damage the leaves. It may help kill very small weeds, but you can hang it up on anything large. My other issue with this “herbicide” is that it is not organic and not labeled for controlling weeds. None of the ingredients have a label to control weeds, so if a person has a pesticide license and they apply this herbicide recipe, they are breaking the law and subject to a fine. The last issue on my soap box is when homeowners apply the vinegar herbicide and it doesn’t work. Guess what they do? They continue to apply the product that doesn’t work, and it increases the salt in the soil, which can cause detrimental issues with growing anything else. Yes, the made-up herbicide is somewhat inexpensive but after repeated use and the harm that it does to your soil, it would have been less toxic and less expensive to buy the generic glyphosate. On some lighter news, there are some studies being conducted on the use of vinegar as an herbicide. However, the vinegar's in the store have too low of a concentration to work, so that also makes the homemade recipe ineffective. If you have questions concerning fire ants, pesticides, or recycling fertilizers, call your local agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

NEWS View All
Sweet combo of native climbing aster and coral honeysuckle in the pollinator garden in mid-November

Fall in the Pollinator Garden popular

Photos by Debbie Roos, Chatham County Cooperative Extension In late 2008, I planted a demonstration pollinator garden at Chatham Mills to provide forage habitat for pollinators such as honey bees, native bees, butterflies, MORE » – from   Growing Small Farms

Building Raised Beds

Rehab Raised Beds

Raised beds are a great way to garden in heavy clay soil.  But like everything else they deteriorate over time.  Master Gardener Charles Murphy tells us how to re-hab old raised beds and MORE » – from   Gardening


Poinsettia are Here popular

NC State plays a big role in brining new poinsettia cultivars to the marketplace.  Find out what’s new and how to keep your poinsettias looking great when Lise Jenkins interviews Dr. John Dole MORE » – from   Gardening

Blue Beech

The Perfect Tree popular

Orange county Master Gardener Carol McPherson takes a look at Carpinus caroliniana, also known as the American Hornbeam, and tells the listeners of Getting Dirty with Master Gardener radio show and podcast that it is MORE » – from   Gardening


Rowan Farm City Day popular

The 2015 Rowan County Farm City Day luncheon will be held Friday, November 20, 12:00 noon at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension Office (2727 Old Concord Road, Salisbury). Sponsored by the Salisbury Kiwanis MORE »


2015 NC Farm School Summit popular

October 21, 2015 Blue skies, bright sun shining, cool weather, over 120 people, and combining some super awesome Extension agents and Piedmont Research staff can create an awesome NC Farm School Summit. Just a few weeks MORE »

2015 Extension Master Gardener Conference

September 22, 2015 Being an Extension Agent can be tough but rewarding. Every day is different, and you are never stuck at a desk. I started off my work week at the State Extension Master MORE »


Q&A Cool Season Crops and Oriental Persimmons

October 13, 2015 Cooler temperatures are forecasted over the weekend. As the season progresses, our first frost should be coming soon. Because I work with homeowners, farmers, and farmers’ markets, I never know the questions that MORE »

Vendors Needed – 4-H Holiday Fair

The Rowan County 4-H Program is hosting a Holiday Fair on Sunday, December 6 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Rowan County Agricultural Center, 2727 Old Concord Road, Salisbury, NC. This MORE »


4-H Clubs Hosting Annual Wreath Fundraiser

Rowan County 4-H clubs are taking orders for their annual wreath fundraiser. This year, Rowan County 4-H is not only selling Fraser Fir wreaths and Boxwood wreaths, but specialty wreaths and garland as MORE »


Happy National 4-H Week!

More than 6 million young people across the country are celebrating National 4-H Week, an annual celebration of 4-H held during the first full week of October. During this week, Rowan County 4-H MORE »


Piedmont Farm School

The Piedmont Farm School is a 7-month educational program that trains beginning and transitioning farmers with a strong commitment to operate successful small-scale, sustainable farms.  The school offers seven business-planning seminars, which will MORE » – from   Forsyth County Center

More News
4-H Wreath Sale Pick-upWed Dec 2 - Wed Dec 2, 2015 - ALL DAY— 19 hours away
RACE 4-H End of Year BanquetFri Dec 4, 2015
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM— 4 days away
4-H Holiday FairSun Dec 6 - Sun Dec 6, 2015 - ALL DAY— 5 days away
[ProNR] NC Bioenergy Council Meeting Thu Dec 10, 2015
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Where:
Iredell County Extension Center, 444 Bristol Dr., Room 110, Statesville, NC
— 1 week away
4-H County Council MeetingThu Dec 10, 2015
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM— 1 week away
4-H Food ShowSat Dec 12 - Sat Dec 12, 2015 - ALL DAY— 2 weeks away
Holiday - Office ClosedWed Dec 23 - Fri Dec 25, 2015 - ALL DAY— 3 weeks away
Sunday School Convention & District Picnic Sun May 22, 2016
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM Where:
Sills Creek AME Zion Church, 3165 Bradshaw Road, Mooresville, NC 28115, United States
— 6 months away
More Events