July, 2017

Burke County 4-H Summer Fun 
Summer Fun is well underway but we still have openings for some of the July activities.  

Registrations will be accepted at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Office on Monday - Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm. Registration is on a first-come first-served basis and all fees must be paid in order to hold your spot. Spaces are limited for each activity so register early.

July 7-8 join us for Zoo Snooze (for ages 10 & up).  Explore the NC Zoo with an overnight stay.  Evening program about Things with Wings.

July 10 enjoy a VIP Crawdad Experience (Ages 9 - adult/family) Enjoy an air conditioned suite at Crawdad's Stadium, personal restroom, indoor/outdoor viewing access and lunch.  Van transportation provided for youth participants only.  Limited to 13 seats.  Families/additional participants can meet us at the gate for tickets and entrance.

July 24 - August 4 (Ages 10 & up).  I Got This! Learn a little about a lot! Two weeks of learning valuable life skills including:  swim lessons, fun fitness ideas, cooking, sewing and more. 

For the complete schedule, including times & costs, visit our Summer Fun page or call our office at 828-764-9480.     
Burke County Beekeepers 
July 11, 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.

The July program will be on "Keeping Honey Bees Healthy"

#Extension Eats

Cookbooks are here!

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

$15 each

North Carolina State Beekeepers Association 
Summer Conference in Winston-Salem 

July 13 - 15, 2017 
Celebrating 100 Years - Educating for the Next 100! 
Visit the NCSBA website for more information or to register.

Summer Canning Series 

July 15, 2017 
9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Come learn the "ins and outs" of home food preservation.  Hands-on classes are $15 each. Class size is limited.  Pre-registration and payment required. Classes will be held at the Burke County Agricultural Building. 

Call our office at 828-764-9480 for more information.   
Round Bale Storage 

Round bale storage is often not considered until heavy losses have occurred. Round bales have allowed producers great labor savings, but have presented many storage problems. Dry matter losses can vary from 2 to 52% on bales stored outside. A 1 inch loss on the outer surface of a 5 to 6 ft. round bale is about 5%. On average the surface loss is 4 inches, or 20% of the bale, or one out of every five bales. One inch of rain equals 22.4gallons of water falling on a 6x6 round bale. In an area receiving 30 inches of rain during the hay storage period, this equates to 650 gallons falling on one round bale.
There are many options to limit storage losses. Always stack hay in a well-drained area. Stacking on gravel pads, pallets, old tires or cross ties help to limit wicking from ground moisture. Avoid stacking under trees, and line bales north and south to maximize sunlight exposure. If stacking bales individually, leave 18 inches between bales, or 3 feet between rows, to allow passage of sunlight and wind currents. Covering with tarps or plastic can greatly reduce losses if done properly, however, they can also increase losses if you're not careful. Use a thick high quality covering, and anchor it solidly to resist wind damage. Leave room for condensation to escape, and repair any tears or holes promptly.
By properly storing round baled hay, producers can maximize forage quality and realize considerably more return on the costs of hay making for their operations.

Choosing a Watermelon
What food item comes to mind when most of us think about summer? I would have to say watermelon. Nothing is more refreshing than a big old slice of icy cold watermelon on a hot summer afternoon. There are many types and sizes to choose from starting from the small icebox melons to the newer seedless varieties but not to forget the huge oblong Charleston Grays and striped Crimson Sweet melons that bring back seed spitting contests and picnics in everyone's memories.
Some things have changed, however. We can get watermelons year round by the technologies that have brought the means to grow melons in shorter time periods and also the abilities to ship from great distances in a short time. Most of our winter melons come from other countries.
But the one universal problem that consumers have with any melon they buy is how to pick a ripe fruit. Here are a few tips to use when searching for the perfect watermelon:
  • The underside should be a creamy color, not white or yellow.
  • When thumped, the sound should be a thud and not a hollow ring.
  • When rubbed with the fingertips small indentations should be felt on the rind.
  • If the melon is striped, the colors in the contrasting stripes should be similar.
  • The rind should be dark and dull in color.
  Try these methods next time to purchase a watermelon

Canner Gauge Testing 
If your canner has a pressure gauge, it should be tested for accuracy to ensure safe food processing. Dial gauges on canners should be checked for accuracy and overall condition every year prior to the beginning of canning season.

You can get your canner gauge tested for FREE at the Cooperative Extension Office. Call our office at 828-764-9480 to schedule an appointment.  

2017 NC Farm School Summit
September 14-15, 2017 
Mountain Horticulture Crops Research & Extension Center Mills River, NC

The NC Farm School Summit is coming to western North Carolina to celebrate is 3rd year in bringing NC Farm School graduates together from across the state. NC Cooperative Extension Agents from several western counties are hosting anyone who is interested in gaining understanding of specific production practices.  This will be an exciting two-day event for farmers interested in gaining knowledge in production.

For more information or to register, visit the NC Farm School page.
Control Grubs Now to Prevent Next Year's Beetles
Japanese beetles are out and they are eating everything you love - roses, cannas, green beans, hibiscus, etc. They are also laying eggs in the lawn now and it is time to treat the lawn with a preventive product. The eggs will lie in the ground until mid-August when they will hatch into grubs, either Japanese beetle grubs or June beetle grubs.
It is extremely important to choose the correct products to apply at this time of year. These products are going to prevent the newly laid eggs from hatching. They must be applied before the eggs hatch! These products contain either Imidacloprid (Bayer Advanced Season Long Grub Control) or Chlorantraniliprole (GrubX). If you use products containing other chemicals it won't work. These particular chemicals prevent the eggs from hatching. You do have a time frame for applying these products. Apply in early July but before August 15.
Please remember that the products in this article only prevent eggs from hatching. They do not kill hatched grubs. Be sure and follow the label directions for best control. There are products that will kill hatched grubs but these are applied in the fall. Another article will be printed at the correct time.

Cool Season Food Plots for Wildlife Workshop
July 27, 2017 
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Now is a great time to begin scouting and planning for the upcoming hunting season. Many hunters plant food plots in order to improve their chances of success when hunting whitetail deer. By providing deer with high quality cool season food plots, you can improve those chances, and benefit other wildlife as well.

Learn how to establish and maintain a wildlife food plot at this FREE workshop to be held at the Burke County Agricultural Building. Topics will include what to plant, when to plant and what wildlife can benefit from a food plot. Call our office at 828-764-9480 for more information or to register. 

4-H Updates
4-H Electric Congress
Several delegates have won a trip to Electric Congress for winning in the Electric Project area this past year. Delegates will travel July 11-13 to Charlotte NC for a three day retreat focused on Electricity and Energy. This year is also the 70th anniversary of the 4-H Electric program and promises a time to remember!

4-H Camp
Several Burke County 4-H'ers and youth will travel to Reidsville, NC July 16-21, for 4-H Residential Camp at Betsy Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center. Youth will participate in activities such as canoeing, swimming, horse back riding, archery, crafts, ropes course,talent show, camp fires and more! Camp offers a special opportunity for youth to experience new things, make new friends, discover strengths and have fun!

4-H Congress
4-H Congress is an annual trip for youth ages 13-18. On the first day, Saturday July 29, three Burke County delegates will compete at the State level with their 4-H Presentations. July 29-Aug.1, several Burke County youth at Congress will participate in leadership workshops, community service and have tons of FUN while interacting on NC State campus!

NC Farm Link

Check out the NC Farm Link website.  

Connecting Farmers, Landowners & Service
Providers in North Carolina

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Burke County Center
130 Ammons Drive, Morganton, NC 28655