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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.

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Pecan Issues

Danelle Cutting May 27, 2015 Whether you say pee-CAN or pee-CON, pecans are delicious nuts and great for many culinary dishes! They are even highly prized overseas, and that is one reason that the cost of this nut has risen over the years. Because these nuts are in such demand, many people worry about their precious pecan trees. I receive numerous calls and visits during the spring when leaves are coming out, during pollination, or in the winter when nuts have dropped. When people visit, they want to know what is wrong with their pecan, or why their yield is not good. When I ask them the variety of pecan they have, they are clueless since it has been there for many years. Pecans can live for a long time, and most varieties really start to yield around 25 years of age. Some homeowners plant pecan trees and if they only have one or just one type, pollination is inadequate and probably the main reason for not getting any nuts. The serious questions come when homeowners have had good yields in the past and want to know why that has changed. The first question I ask is if they have soil sampled their pecan. This is most very important. If you sample between April and November, there is no charge! Pecans need fertilizer and zinc, but you need a soil sample to know exactly how much of each. Drought, humidity, disease (specifically scab), and frosts can cause issues with pecans. In North Carolina, we are really on the edge of the pecan growing area; they actually do best in the coastal regions. Some varieties tend to be alternate bearers and will only have a decent crop every other year. But, if you get a disease, drought, insect problem, or frost, you may lose your crop. Weather plays a huge role in the growing of pecan trees! There have been times when things were great but during pollination, there was too much rain, and the trees were not properly pollinated. Frosts can kill, pack, or stress the trees, while drought can cause the pecans to prematurely drop. Insects and disease can be problematic as well. Pecan weevils are the most serious pests for these trees. They attack the fruit, causing the nut to drop prematurely. Then, their larvae will feed within the nut. Scab is one of the major diseases and is quickly recognized by the dark spots on the leaves and shuck (outside covering of the nut). Selecting resistant varieties help reduce scab. An oddity is Phylloxera, where insects cause raised galls on pecan leaves. So, what is a homeowner to do? Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot that can be done when it comes to disease and insect problems because you have to have specialized equipment to reach high into the canopy. To help reduce issues, it is best to select proper varieties for your area and to soil sample! For more information on growing your own pecan, call your local Cooperative Extension Agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970, or visit: http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/growing-pecans-in-north-carolina/.


Growing Shiitake

May 5, 2015 By working with local farmers, I get exposed to many new ideas, growing techniques, and unique crops that have not been previously grown in our area. One such crop is mushrooms, mainly being the Shiitake Mushroom. We have had a few classes on growing Shiitake, and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. For the home gardener, it is nice to have a few mushrooms here and there but for those that have hundreds or thousands of logs, not having a consistent supply can be a problem. NC A&T State University helps host mushroom growing workshops in early spring and offers free mushroom spawn to growers that are willing to commit to at least 200 logs. The mushrooms are best grown in white or red oak logs, cut within two weeks of use, no longer than four feet in length, and no more than eight inches in diameter. Growers drill holes into the logs and pack them with “sawdust spawn.” Then, they seal the holes, cuts, and cut ends with cheese or beeswax. The reason they use fresh logs and wax is to prevent other fungi from inoculating the logs so that the grower can be sure of the mushrooms that will be sprouting. The logs are usually staked under pine trees or shade. Newly inoculated logs can take six months to a year before they start “fruiting.” Logs can last up to 10 years, but the type of wood used contributes to getting the most life out of them. Fruiting logs are sporadic and depending on the type of spawn, they fruit in the spring or fall, usually after a rain. Some growers try to force the logs to fruit by soaking them in a water bath. Forcing the inoculated logs can help, but it is not 100% effective, which makes predicting when a grower will have fresh mushrooms almost impossible. For many of the first growers, it was feast or famine; they would have 50 lbs. of mushrooms one week and then none the next. Most growers are also dehydrating the precious mushrooms so that they do not lose a crop. Producing Shiitake sounds easy until you try and market a product that you cannot guarantee when you will have it or how much you will have. So, be sure to appreciate the growers that bring them to market. Shiitake mushrooms are great and delicious! I love mine sautéed in olive oil, salt, and fresh garlic, simple but amazing! If you would like more information on buying local, growing your own Shiitake mushrooms, or on the topics mentioned in this article, please call your local Cooperative Extension Agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.


Rowan County

Rowan County Center gives our county's residents easy access to the resources and expertise of NC State University and NC A&T State University.


4-H Plant Sale

Please help support Rowan County 4-H!  Rowan County 4-H is taking orders for blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, and fig plants through October 15.  Plants cost $10 and are in one-gallon containers.

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Moving Compost

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Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Durham

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Happy National 4-H Week!

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Meet a Flower Farmer

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4-H Junior Dog Show Results

The 4-H Junior Dog Show is held every year at the Rowan County Fair. The 4-H Junior Dog Show is a fun and educational experience that focuses on the youth and their ability MORE »


RACE 4-H to Host October Open Horse Show

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Fair Burger Throw Down

Calling all youth ages 9-18 to participate in the first ever “Fair Burger Throw Down” to be held Friday, October 2, 6:30 pm at the Rowan County Fair Grounds. Come out and share MORE »


Fall 4-H Plant Sale Now Underway

Rowan County 4-H is now taking orders for their annual Fall Plant Sale.  Varieties available include:  blueberries – Brightwell, Climax, Premier and Pink Lemonade; blackberries – Apache and Navaho; raspberries – Heritage and MORE »


Rowan 4-H’er attends annual NCACC Youth Summit

Anthony Blandino, 4-H Member from Rowan County, attended the sixth annual North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) Youth Summit, which was held in Greenville, North Carolina August 21-22, 2015. North Carolina 4-H MORE »


Piedmont Farm School

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More News
RACE 4-H MeetingTue Oct 13, 2015 Today
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM— 27 seconds away
4-H Ambassador Portfolios Due to State OfficeThu Oct 15 - Thu Oct 15, 2015 - ALL DAY— Tomorrow
4-H Plant Sale Order DeadlineThu Oct 15 - Thu Oct 15, 2015 - ALL DAY— Tomorrow
RACE 4-H Open ShowSat Oct 17 - Sat Oct 17, 2015 - ALL DAY— 3 days away
4-H Plant Sale Pick-UpThu Oct 22 - Thu Oct 22, 2015 - ALL DAY— 1 week away
North Carolina Tree Farm Program 2015 Annual MeetingSat Oct 24, 2015
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM Where:
14440 Statesville Blvd, Cleveland, NC 27013, USA
— 2 weeks away
South Central District 4-H Leaders Fall DaySat Nov 7 - Sat Nov 7, 2015 - ALL DAY— 3 weeks away
Holiday - Office ClosedWed Nov 11 - Wed Nov 11, 2015 - ALL DAY— 4 weeks away
More Events