February, 2017
American Heart Month

Go RED For Women
This February 3rd, help the American Heart Association and Go Red For Women celebrate American Heart Month and raise heart disease awareness by participating in National Wear Red Day. Every 80 seconds, one woman is killed by heart disease and stroke. That's 1 in 3 deaths among women each year. These statistics can be shocking, but building awareness is one of the best ways to fight this horrible disease. Did you know that 80% of these deaths can be prevented with education and action? By wearing red you are helping raise women's awareness and support education on cardiovascular health.

G et Your Numbers: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and  glucose.
O wn Your Lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthy.
R aise Your Voice: Advocate for more women-related research and education.
E ducate Your Family: Make healthy food choices for you and your family. Teach your kids  the importance of staying active.
D onate: Show your support with a donation of time or money.

4-H Achievement Night 
February 9, 2017
6:00 pm
Burke County Agricultural Building 

4-H Grows Here 
2016 Awards and
Recognition of 4-H members and leaders
Small Fruit Sale 

Our annual Small Fruit Plant Sale is well underway. An assortment of small fruit plants and fruit trees are available for purchase as well as flowering Dogwood trees and Patio Apple trees. We will be taking orders through March 3rd and the plants will be available for pickup on March 15 & 16, 2017. More information about the sale, including a price list and plant varieties, is available on our website at https://burke.ces.ncsu.edu/site-burke-3/

Burke County Beekeepers 
February 14, 2017
6:30 pm

The Burke County Beekeepers Association (BCBA) meets monthly at the Burke County Agricultural Building located at 130 Ammons Drive in Morganton.  There is a featured speaker each month and the public is invited to attend. The BCBA is a chapter of the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association.

Burke County Cattlemen's Association Scholarships 

The Burke County Cattlemen's Association is offering two $1,000.00 scholarships to two eligible High School Seniors pursuing a degree in an agricultural field. Completed applications should be postmarked by March 3rd, and can be mailed or hand delivered to:
130 Ammons Drive, Suite 2
Morganton, NC 28655

Applications are available at the Burke County Extension Office at 130 Ammons Drive in Morganton, or on the web at https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/?page_id=153041 

#Extension Eats

Cookbooks are here!

Recipes, tips & tricks, cuts of meat and more are included in the cookbook.

$15 each

Advisory Council Meeting 
February 28, 2017  

The Burke County Extension Advisory Council will meet on Tuesday, February 28 at 6:00 pm.  The agenda will include program updates, new member introductions and dinner. 

Successful Gardener Workshops 

February 2, 2017
Backyard Fruits:  A How-To Workshop
5:20 - 8:30 pm
Burke County Agricultural Building

February 22, 2017
Pruning Fruit Trees & Grape Vines
9:30 - 11:30 am
Rock Creek Farm

February 23, 2017
Growing Cool Season Crops
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Burke County Agricultural Building

Call our office at 828-764-9480 for more information or to register for any of these FREE workshops.

Foothills Ornamental Production Workshop
February 23, 2017
8:30 am - 3:00 pm

The Foothills Ornamental Production Workshop is designed to provide updated information on ornamental plants, production practices and pest identification and control for the nursery and landscape industry.    

The workshop will be held at the Burke County Agricultural Building.  Cost of the workshop is $25 if paid by February 17th.  If paid after February 17th, the cost is $30.  3 hours of pesticide credit (L,N,D, X) will be included but participants must attend all sessions to receive the credits. 

Contact Amanda Taylor at 828-475-2915 for more information.

Winter Weeds  

The lawn is sleeping now but that doesn't mean that there aren't things going on out there. Winter weeds are up and growing, just biding their time until it is time to bloom and make seeds in late winter and early spring.

Winter weeds are sneaky and they can grow, mostly undetected throughout the winter. Until they start flowering, you don't even know they're there. By then, they are ready to disperse seed all over the lawn so that the cycle can continue.

Winter annual weeds are what we are talking about this time of year. The seeds lie dormant throughout the summer and when the cooling temps of fall arrive these winter pests get the signal to germinate. At first they are quite small and inconspicuous and this is when they can be controlled with the most success. The homeowner must be vigilant about pulling the sprayer out during the winter to control these weeds. If left to flower and make seeds, the homeowner can expect a repeat performance next year.

Some of our most common weeds are winter annuals: chickweed, henbit, hairy bittercress and red dead nettle, just to name a few. There are numerous selective herbicides available that will do a good job but you must get the timing right or you'll just be wasting your time. Herbicides may be sprayed when the temperature is at least 55 degrees. Spray winter annuals 2-3 times from mid fall through late winter before they disperse seeds. Also, make sure you read the label first to make sure you are using the best product for your particular weeds.
When in doubt, check with our office. Our agents will be happy to help identify weeds and make herbicide recommendations.

Photos:  1- chickweed, 2- henbit,
3- hairy bittercress 
4-H Updates

Tuesday, February 7 - Burke County 4-H County Council Meeting at 6:00 pm at the Burke County Agricultural Building.

Saturday, February 11 - Burke County 4-H will travel to Mills River, NC to compete at the West District Horsebowl contest. We have one team in each of the three age divisions competing. These teams (15 youth and 3 adult coaches) have been practicing diligently  for weeks and will represent Burke County well. Winners will proceed to State competition on March 4 in Raleigh,NC, along with the Hippology competition.

February 24-26 - a team of 3 youth and 2 adults representing Burke County 4-H will travel to eastern NC for intense training to become a TRY-IT (Teens-Reaching-Youth) team specializing in the Health Rocks curriculum (with topics such as "less stress for the tests", effects of drug and alcohol use and making healthy choices. After training, this team will be qualified to teach components of the curriculum to grades 3 and up. Middle schools and home-schoolers in the middle grades will benefit from this team's training! Contact our 4-H Agent, Nicki Steer if you would like our team to visit your school

Control Thistles During Winter
One of the most misunderstood weeds in our foothill pastures are thistles. Most of us don't really give them a second thought until they send up their stalk with those gaudy pink flowers and spread those downy seeds hither and yond. Usually, once folks recognize the stalks and flowers they have already produced viable seed.
Thistles are not difficult to control with herbicides when they are treated at the proper stage of growth, but once they bolt and send up that woody stalk, control is not so easy, so treating thistles while they are in the rosette stage is critical.
Identifying thistles and buttercups as well, can be difficult when the plants are immature, however, this time of year they can be identified fairly easily, as they are low to the ground, and very dark green, in a circular form, and have spiny points at the ends of each leaf. You can also use Google to find images of "musk thistle" or any other thistle.
If they are sparsely located, you may be able spot spray with a wand or backpack. If you have a large number of rosettes you will probably want to treat the entire hayfield or pasture with a broadcast herbicide spray. For treating thistles in grass pastures and hayfields in Winter, 2-4-D is the herbicide of choice. Make sure the ambient temperature is at least 50 degrees F, and less than 85 degrees F, to avoid problems and avoid windy days where drift can cause problems.
There are other options, but for thistles and many other weeds at this growth stage, 2-4-D will do an adequate job, and be less expensive. Always read the label and follow directions. 2,4-D applied in February will give control of many other broadleaf weeds such as mustard, chickweed and buttercups.
Make sure that the weeds are actively growing so that herbicidal treatment will be effective. For most winter weeds, consider spraying when you have several days in a row above 60 degrees Ft. Warm sunny days stimulate growth in cool-season weeds, and thistles will be actively growing and controlled by herbicide applications.
By controlling thistles now, you can economize your weed control, taking advantage of herbicide effectiveness on the immature stage of growth, utilize less costly chemicals, and controlling additional weeds such as chickweed, mustard and buttercups, allowing your grass pastures and hayfields to flourish.
Introduction to Beekeeping 
2-Day Course

The Burke County Beekeepers will host a  2-day Bee School on Saturday, March 4 and Saturday, March 11 from 8:30 -3:30 each day.  The cost of the course is $50 per person which includes a 1-year membership to both the Burke County Beekeepers Association and the
NC State Beekeepers Association as well as a reference notebook and First Lessons in Beekeeping.

Visit our website for more information or a registration form.
Coming Up Soon!

Pesticide Recertification Classes
March 2, 2017

Burke County Cattlemen's Annual Meeting
March 9, 2017

Spring Lawn Care Workshop
March 11, 2017

4-H Spring Scrapbook Crop
March, 2017

Growing Asparagus in Burke County Workshop
March 30, 2017

Burke County Center
130 Ammons Drive, Morganton, NC 28655