Fall Is Here

— Written By Phil Rucker and last updated by
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Fall is here and provides us with cooler temperatures.
This is not a full newsletter but some quick notes on a toxic weed issue and some upcoming events on Farm School, Marketing, and Poultry. Good opportunities to learn some great information to help you in your agricultural endeavors.
Perilla Mint Weed

Perilla Mint is a broadleaf weed that has been happy to stay in the shaded areas of pastures and fields. Because of its odor and taste, usually livestock do not consume it unless they were hungry, curious or they happened to consume it along with other forage. Well it seems Perilla Mint has decided to venture out more and try to be a problem. Producers are seeing more mint in areas that get lots of sun and more in the grazing areas. Perilla Mint is most toxic when it is more mature and displaying its bountiful seed. Unfortunately, this is usually in the fall when forage crops seem to be slowing down. You need to scout your pastures for this weed. I have included 3 web sites to visit for identification and control methods. It’s best to control it in the spring but you can still treat it now.

I have been told of a producer who had 2 cows die and the vet attributed it to Perilla Mint. This weed causes respiratory distress and most of the time, treatment is too late. The producer said it looks like the cattle ate the tops out of the plants he sprayed about a month ago. If you have mint, bush hogging might be the best option at this point in time and if possible, get the animals off that area until the chopped-up plant is totally dry. Then work next year to attack this weed. Look at the sites and SCOUT your pastures. This weed can spread quickly and you need to be prepared to defend your pasture.

NC Farm School
Have you ever thought about farming, but didn’t know where to begin? Maybe you own property, and want to know what you can do with it. Perhaps you already have an idea of what you want to do, but need help formulating a plan. Or maybe you have already started farming, but are looking for ways to make your farm more profitable. If any of this is true for you, then NC Farm School might be for you. N.C. Cooperative Extension of Davie County is excited to announce that we will be hosting NC Farm School -Piedmont in 2022, in collaboration with Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, and Yadkin Counties.

NC Farm School is a unique program for new and transitioning farmers. NC
Farm School benefits attendees by connecting them to an entrepreneurial community of like-minded farmers and providing them with key business skills. Attendees are able to make important connections in business and networking and receive mentoring as they build their new ventures.

In Davie County, Justin and Holly Miller of Cherry Hill Farm attended NC Farm School to learn how to get their family farm up and going again. NC Farm School helped the Millers refine and expand their initial vision of selling produce at market and a roadside stand to the truly diversified operation they have today. The Millers highly recommend NC Farm School to anyone considering farming. The Millers stated, “NC Farm School really helped us build the foundation to start our business. They taught us how to run numbers before making any moves, and how to keep good records and the importance of it.”

Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 NC Farm School, which will start in January 2022. Classroom sessions are planned to be held in person at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Davie County Center, but will be based on North Carolina and NC State Extension guidelines for safety concerning COVID-19. One field day per month will be held at different locations in the six counties that are collaborating on NCFS. For more information, call N.C. Cooperative Extension in Davie County at 336-753-6100, Yadkin County at 336-849-7908, or visit NC Farm School.

Backyard Flock Series – Winter Preparation for Your Flock

Join the Area Specialized Poultry Agents on October 12, 2021, at noon on Zoom to learn about how to prepare your backyard flock for winter.
As the weather begins to change and we are experiencing cooler temperatures, many people wonder how to prepare their backyard flocks for winter. At noon on October 12, the NC State Extension Area Specialized Poultry Agents will be discussing how to plan for the upcoming change in seasons. Learn about cold weather considerations related to housing, feed and water, and animal husbandry. The webinar will be presented over Zoom. Registration will close at 6 p.m. on October 11, with the Zoom link being emailed out after registration closes.
We have some local events in the planning stage and we will send out notifications when details are complete. I hope you enjoy the fall weather. Please don’t hesitate to contact me Phil Rucker at 336-849-7908 if I can assist you with questions concerning livestock forages or ponds.