Tuesday, January 26, 2016

QOTD: Deer Visit Garden in Winter - Will My Harvest Be Safe to Eat?

A client sent me this question via e-mail (edited for clarity). My answer follows:

Dear Paul, 

Around mid-October each year, I give up on my garden, till or rake away all vegetation and plant annual ryegrass.  I also take down the fencing that helps keep the deer out during the growing season so I can more easily till and plant the garden the following spring.  I do not mow the ryegrass and it grows tall and becomes green manure for next year’s garden.

I’ve noticed in the last two days with all the snow that the deer are eating the tips of the tall ryegrass coming through the snow in my garden.  I’ve also noticed an abundance of deer feces on the white snow in the area.  

Friday, January 8, 2016

QOTD: How Do I Choose a Consulting Forester?

I received this inquiry today. It has been edited for clarity, and by "edited for clarity" I mean "completely fabricated."

Dear Paul,

I am writing to you because your wisdom and advice is so highly regarded throughout the land. I have some timber to sell, and I have learned that a Registered Consulting Forester can provide invaluable assistance to me in navigating that process. I was directed to the North Carolina Forest Service website to obtain a list of consulting foresters that work in my county. However, the list contains dozens of names! How do I choose?


Mr. N. D. Cision

Friday, August 14, 2015

QOTD: What tax benefits are available to forest landowners?

Here is the "question of the day". This is an e-mail I received from a local landowner.

Dear Paul,
We have a small tree farm in Vance County.  I am not certain if there are any land use programs available in Vance County. We would have specific interest if you could direct us regarding programs which may allow specific tax advantage.  At this point, we envision the property remaining in forestry for some time. 
Thank you
Chuck and Sylvia Forest

Dear Chuck and Sylvia,

I am more than happy to help! The local Forest Service office is another great resource, so you should contact them as well.

Friday, February 20, 2015

How and why I use Twitter; An Ag Agent’s Perspective

This was originally posted in May 2013, but it appears the original link has disappeared so I am reposting.

Have you wondered if Twitter might be a good tool for your job? I’ve been tweeting for around two years now and find it quite useful. When I first started, I had no idea about it’s utility, but just decided to jump in since that’s where all the cool kids hang out. Here I’ll share what I’ve learned:

First, I’ll admit that Twitter does not accomplish for me what I hoped it would. I thought it would be a good method to market my programs and events. It’s not. My target audience simply does not use Twitter. In another county (especially an urban one) or for a different audience, that may be different.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Creating Videos for your Extension Program

Creating videos to share is a fun thing to do. It might also be useful for your work, either to educate your clients or market your program. The videos you create can be posted on-line, burned to DVD to distribute, or shown to an audience at an event. Here are a few tips on how to shoot and edit.

[At the bottom I've linked to my YouTube channel where you can view some videos I've created. In fact, you may want to go there first to decide if reading what I have to say on the topic is really worth your time.]

This post does NOT cover the details of using specific image editing software. I have used both iMovie for Mac, as well as Windows Movie Maker. While the interface is different, they have basically the same functionality, and are targeted to the casual user. I'm sure there are other good options as well. You really just have to get in there and poke around to figure things out. Or I suppose you could actually, like, take a class. Or find an instructional video on-line!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why is my dogwood dying?

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Sorry to hear you are having problems with your dogwoods. Thanks for sending the photos, very helpful! It looks like some of the major limbs have died. Three major possibilities come to mind to explain this type of dieback:

1. Dogwood borer. If so, you might see sloughing bark and small holes in the trunk and branches (for more information, see http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/pests/plant_pests/trees/hgic2003.html).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pond Management Resources

Are you in search of some basic information on managing your farm pond? Or are you interested in building one on your property? Here are some resources for North Carolina residents that may be helpful.

Allows you to get a rough estimate of the area of your pond.

This document contains stocking information and fertility recommendations: