Ag Newsletter July 2014

— Written By Silas Brown and last updated by

Content of Newsletter

Honeybee Assistance Program

Upcoming Speaker at Moss Memorial Library

Lime Spreader for Clay County

Vegetable Garden Tips

Livestock News (beware Wild Cherry)

Visit Your Local Farmers Markets

Honeybee Assistance Program

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is currently taking sign-ups through a program that provides assistance for loss of honeybees. The program is retroactive and covers losses on or after Oct 1, 2011; so a producer can apply for FY 2012, FY2013 or FY2014. They will need some documentation to prove their losses and their possession of the hives. This can be production records; photographs of hives or damaged hives; a diary of their bee activities; receipts for purchase of beekeeping materials & supplies; receipts for purchase of bees; cancelled checks if labor was paid and so on. Losses should be for Colony Collapse or weather-related (such as winter freeze or tornado blows trees on hives).

The sign-up for FY 2012-2013 ends August 1, 2014. To sign up for the program, please contact the FSA Office at (828)837-2721 ext.2.

Upcoming Speaker at Moss Memorial Library


Saturday-July 19 at 2:00 p.m.

David Hughes Duke will give back stories, answer questions, and present a sneak preview of his half-hour film Remembering Miz Jones, which will air on Georgia Public Broadcasting in September. The beautifully photographed film was shot largely in the Gum Log Creek area of Towns and Union Counties, where Mr. Duke first encountered Gencie Jones 50 years ago. He was 10 years old at the time, and knowing Miz Jones has had a profound impact on his life and art.

Remembering Miz Jones has been described as “a tone poem to the vanishing people of the Appalachian Mountains; their culture; and the lovely and fragile land they call home.”

An Emmy-award-winning filmmaker, David received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English Literature from Georgia State University. He is a song-writer, performing musician, and fourth-generation Atlantan whose roots in rural Georgia go back many generations. David and his eldest son John have a video and filmmaking business known as

For information call: (828) 389 8401        Funded by: The Fred A. Moss Charity Trust

Lime Spreader for Clay County

The Clay County Soil & Water Conservation District has a newly acquired lime spreader for use by Clay County residents. The spreader was acquired to help farmers and landowners reduce the costs of making soils more productive. Lime is one of the major limiting factors in pasture and crop production in Clay County and can be an expensive hurdle to overcome. The spreader can be leased for $30/day. For more information, contact Leanna Staton or Linda Milt at the Clay County Soil & Water Conservation District office at 389-9764.

Vegetable Garden Tips


As the temperatures continue to climb, it’s often tempting to throw a dash of water on plants out of pity as they endure the mid day sun. However, attempts to simply cool plants off in this way can be to their detriment. Roots grow in response to water. That being the case, as afternoon thundershowers begin to slow as they generally do in mid/late summer, plant roots need to be encouraged to grow deep, which can only occur if they’re watered deep.

Shallow roots, which, of course, are developed by plants being lightly watered during dry spell, are in more danger of being scorched once the small amount of surface water evaporates and the soil surface temperatures increase drastically in the heat of the day.

In general, plants need 1 inch of water per week. That can vary depending upon the severity of the weather, but should thundershowers come to an end later in the summer, don’t fall to the temptation of dashing a little water on the plants. An easy way to measure your 1 inch of water is by eating tuna for lunch….yes, tuna for lunch = 1 inch of water!!!

As many of you are aware, a tuna can is approximately 1 inch deep. This can be done by using any similar sized container, but if they’re placed in various places around the area you’re irrigating, you can let your sprinklers run until you notice the containers are full. And shortly after you’ve finished your tuna salad sandwich, it will be time to either move the sprinklers or cut off the water. You’ll be amazed at what a multi-tasker you can be!


Most insect issues do not become infestations overnight, however they can appear to if you’re not aware of their growing numbers by regularly scouting your plants.

One of the most common problems in the garden this time of year are Mexican Bean Beetles. However, they’re not usually seen or noticed until they are fully matured, at which time they are the most difficult to control. We get several calls each year of complaints that the control measures being used are not working. That’s primarily due to the timing of application. These insects need to be treated in their earlier stages in order for most pesticides to be effective. They also spend most of their early life on the under sides of the leaves and therefore are more difficult to see and treat. Below is a link for more identification of Mexican Bean Beetles.

Livestock News (beware Wild Cherry)

As we have experienced numerous thundershowers during this spring and early summer, the high winds that also come can cause damage to trees surrounding pastures. The most damaging, of course is that to Wild Cherry Trees, because the damage doesn’t end with the broken limbs. Cherry trees are rarely, if ever planted in or near a pasture, yet they are numerous in almost all pastures throughout the county. That’s simply because birds love to eat these little cherries and livestock fences make the perfect resting places. Thus, we have cherry trees growing around the perimeter of most pastures. If I need to explain this any further, please call me at the office.

While still green or when trees are not stressed, cattle love to pick leaves off trees, however during the first few days after a cherry limb has been broken or tree has fallen, the leaves begin to wilt. During this wilt stage, the leaves produce prussic acid, which is very similar to cyanide that, when ingested, can kill livestock within a very short period of time. It is critical to inspect pastures as soon as possible after a storm to check for down limbs and trees. If there are down limbs or trees, either clean up the debris as soon as possible or keep livestock from that area until leaves are dried and out of the wilting stage. Water sprouts that shoot up from stumps can also be lethal to livestock. So, beware when cutting trees down and make sure you take measures to completely kill the stump and root system as well.

Clay County Farmer’s Markets

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

Brasstown Farmer’s Market

Wednesdays 9:00-1:00

Downtown Brasstown

Hayesville Evening Market

Thursdays 4:00-8:00

On the Square in Hayesville

Mountain Valley Farmer’s Market

Saturdays 8:00-noon

On the Square in Hayesville