Ag Newsletter June 2014

— Written By Silas Brown and last updated by

Content of Newsletter
June Garden Tip
Summer Lawn Tip
Wildflowers — 5/31/14
Pesticide Collection/Disposal — 6/4/14
Beef Cattle Temperament Workshop — 6/6/14
Local Foods “Spring Harvest Cookout” — 6/6/14
Pesticide License Recertification Classes — 6/10/14
SAFF Farm Tour — 6/27–28 /14
Clay County Farmer’s Markets

June Garden Tip
Gardens do come with their fair share of woes. Insects and diseases are always an issue with food crops. Whether you use conventional or organic means of pest control, proper timing is critical and involves regular monitoring.
Insects are most easily controlled in the early stages of growth. Frequent monitoring of your garden plants can allow you to discover and treat these pests early before they do the most damage and to kill them easier.
Diseases, on the other hand, are far more difficult to deal with once they arrive on the scene. Fungicides, again whether conventional or organic, are the pesticides used to control most diseases. However, most all fungicides are PREVENTATIVE and not TREATMENTS for diseases. They work much like a vaccine. If the fungicide is not there ahead of the disease pathogen, it does little to control it. Once the disease is present, there is little treatment that can be offered, although applying fungicides at that point can help keep from spreading, but will not eradicate it.
Regardless of whether you use organic or conventional pesticides, there is always a present danger if they are not used according to their labeled instructions. Always read and apply the products according to their instructions. This is, in fact, a Federal Law. More than that, it’s for the safety and protection of…YOU!
If you have questions regarding gardening or pest control, please contact the Clay County Extension Office and we will be happy to assist you.

Summer Lawn Tip
Weeds are one of the biggest lawn complaints each summer. The best lawn tip I can offer for the summer is to keep it mowed high. I know the nice golf course (green, ½ inch high cut) looks so nice and smooth. Unless you have a warm season grass, which has been cultivated for that purpose and an outstanding weed control spray schedule, I would recommend a 3 inch high lawn; especially, through the summer months.
First, there is enough weed seed in your lawn to keep a well established weed patch thriving for the next 10 years. Your goal is to keep them from germinating or sprouting. In order for them to germinate, they need sunlight. The thicker and taller you can keep your lawn grasses, the less sunlight gets to the soil.
Also, our cool season fescue variety grasses are, for the most part, dormant (or don’t grow very much) during most of July and August due to the heat. Therefore if the weeds do germinate, there’s very little competition for them during that time.
So, do enjoy your lawn. But try to spend more time sitting on the lawn chair as opposed to the lawn mower, especially in the heat of the summer

Wildflower Lecture
On Saturday, May 31, 2:00 p.m., Steve Banakas will give a presentation at the Moss Memorial Library on Appalachian Wildflowers. Steve has been an avid photographer of landscapes & wildflowers since his teen years. For more information call 389-8401.

Pesticide Collection/Disposal
All homeowners, gardeners, farmers or others can dispose of their unwanted pesticides free of charge during the pesticide disposal/collection day sponsored by the N.C. Cooperative Extension in Macon County and the N.C. Department of Agriculture. The collection date is Wednesday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Macon County Environmental Resource Center located between the landfill and the Sheriff’s Department on Lakeside Drive.
All pesticides, such as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, or rodenticides, in their original containers and clearly labeled will be accepted. Please notify the Macon County Cooperative Extension Center in advance of any containers larger than five gallons. Other types of household hazardous waste, such as paint, will not be accepted. Pesticides will be collected on this day only.
Pesticide collection days are held only once every two years. Please take advantage of this free and environmentally responsible disposal opportunity.
Call the Macon County Cooperative Extension Center for more information at 349 -2046.

Beef Cattle Temperament Workshop
The N.C. Cooperative Extension Service will be holding a hands-on workshop dealing with temperament & performance of beef cattle. The workshop will be held on Friday, June 6, 10:30-2:30 p.m. at the Andrews Community Building, Main Street, Andrews. Extension Specialists, Dr. Philipe Moriel (NC State University) and Dr. Reinaldo Cooke (Oregon State University) will be providing the training. The topics covered will be the “Effects & Sources of Stress on Beef Cattle Production,” and “How Temperament Affects Performance,” as well as a live cattle handling and temperament scoring demonstration to be held after lunch. The cost of the workshop is $10/person and will cover lunch and training materials. To register, or for more information, please contact the Clay County Extension Office at 389-6305.

Local Foods “Spring Harvest Cookout”
Come to the “Spring Harvest Cookout” on Friday, June 6, at Walnut Hollow Ranch. This event will begin with a farm tour at 4:00, followed by a meal at 6:00. Two farms will be featured on this tour: Walnut Hollow Ranch and Eagle Fork Vineyards. There will be music provided by Heidi Holton. The cost is $18/person. To make reservations for the event call 389-8931 or email at

Pesticide License Recertification Classes
Pesticide classes for recertification credits will be held at the Andrews Community Building on Tuesday, June 10. The schedule is as follows:
V-Training 1:00-3:00 (Private Applicators ONLY)
X-Training 3:00-5:00 (Private & Commercial Applicators)

SAFF Farm Tour
The Southern Appalachian Family Farms group will be presenting its 2014 Far West Farm Tour June 27 & 28. This annual, 2-day, self-guided tour allows participants to discover the treasure of mountain farm and food producers located in our immediate area of Clay and Cherokee Counties. Tickets are $20 per car. Farm passes can be obtained at:                
and participating farms.
A map of the tour and farms can be obtained at the Clay County Extension Office. This program is sponsored by SAFF, Cherokee and Clay County Farmers Markets, and local participating farms.

Clay County Farmer’s Markets
Visit one of the local Farmer’s Markets-Get it Fresh!!!

  • Brasstown Farmer’s Market
    Wednesdays (May-October) 9:00-1:00
    Downtown Brasstown
  • Evening Harvest Market
    Thursdays (May-September) 4:00-8:00
    On the Square in Hayesville
  • Mountain Valley Farmer’s Market
    Saturdays (May-October) 8:00-noon
    On the Square in Hayesville