Monthly Archives: May 2014

Answers to questions about squash bugs and squash borers

Now that everyone is getting back out into the garden, we are getting lots of questions about how to prevent and treat squash pests. Our Virginia Cooperative Extension publications do a great job explaining how and when to treat-note that treatments are always more effective when they are applied at the insect life cycles or stages noted in the publications! This may explain why some people did not see results last year-for example, they may have been treating adult squash bugs which are harder to kill than nymphs.

Squash bug publication

Squash vine borer publication

Reported Salmonella Cases Linked to Backyard Poultry

The purpose of this post is not to scare you away from raising your own chickens or away from buying eggs from someone who does, but simply to make you aware of the food safety issues related to food production in general. Commercial agriculture practices do a great job of following strict food safety guidelines, but as more and more people are interested in raising their own food, there is a bit of a disconnect with the food safety concerns of raising your own. 

The following is a post from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding recent Salmonella cases in humans being linked to backyard poultry. The full announcement and more information can be found at: 

Persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis or Newport, by state as of mAY 7, 2014

  • As of May 7, 2014, a total of 60 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis orSalmonella Newport have been reported from 23 states.
  • 31% of ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic and traceback findings have linked this outbreak of human Salmonella Infantis andSalmonella Newport infections to contact with chicks, ducklings, and other live baby poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio.This is the same mail-order hatchery that has been associated with multiple outbreaks of Salmonellainfections linked to live poultry in past years, including in 2012 and 2013.
  • 82% of ill people reported contact with live poultry in the week before their illness began.
  • Findings of multiple traceback investigations of live baby poultry from homes of ill persons have identified Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio as the source of chicks and ducklings.
  • Mail-order hatcheries, agricultural feed stores, and others that sell or display chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry should provide health-related information to owners and potential purchasers of these birds prior to the point of purchase. This should include information about the risk of acquiring a Salmonella infection from contact with live poultry.
  • Read the advice to mail-order hatcheries and feed stores and others that sell or display live poultry.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.
    • Do not let live poultry inside the house.
    • Additional recommendations are available.
    • These recommendations are important and apply to all live poultry, regardless of the age of the birds or where they were purchased.

This excerpt and the map, were taken from the Center for Disease Control website, posted May 8, 2014. 

Interested in Solar Energy?

Virginia Tech & Virginia Cooperative Extension will be hosting two Saturday workshops on solar energy conversion technologies, one on solar electric/photovoltaics (PV) and the other on solar hot water.  

 These sessions are sponsored by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy.

 ·         Solar Water Heating: Introductory Workshop
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Harrisonburg, VA
More info available at: LINK

·         Solar Photovoltaics: Introductory Workshop
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Front Royal, VA
More info available at: LINK



Here are two Youtube videos you may find helpful!


Got a question this week regarding some “bugs” feeding on asparagus. They turned out to be asparagus beetles which are often a problem in asparagus, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some resources regarding asparagus and its pests. Hope you find it helpful!

Asparagus: General Info

Getting Started in Asparagus Productions

Part 1: Asparagus Varieties

Part 3: Harvest

Part 4: Field Care

Pests of Asparagus

Asparagus Beetle

Asparagus Beetles on Asparagus


Watershed Adventure Camp with SWCD

Watershed Adventure Camp

Staunton River Battlefield State Park
Clover,  VA
June 2-6, 2014

For students currently enrolled in 4th and 5th grade. This weeklong adventure will offer hands-on activities in environmental issues such as:  mapping, pollution (point and non-point), agriculture bmp’s, soils, stream walks, forestry, wildlife, watershed information, biological and chemical monitoring and a dragon fly pond activity.  There will also be an overview of the park and a tour of the Clover Power Plant.  A canoe trip down the Staunton River will take place on Friday. The Camp will begin each day at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m.  Lunch and snacks will be provided, but transportation is the responsibility of the parent/guardian of the applicant.  Carpooling may be helpful. It’s a great week! For more information, contact the extension office.

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Garden Workshop Series at the historic Raleigh Parish Glebe in Amelia

For the second year in a row, the Amelia Extension Office will be holding a summer workshop series at the 3,000 square foot vegetable demonstration garden at the Raleigh Parish Glebe. Garden sessions are free and will last approximately one hour. Interested participants should preregister to (804) 561-2481 so that they can be notified of weather-related changes. Children are welcome to attend with adults and are especially invited on June 25 and July 2, as there will be a breakout gardening activity for children during the concurrent adult session. Each garden session will include time to ask questions or discuss any topics of interest.

May 28-Garden Tour; Discussion on Bed Prep, Soil Health, & Planting; Garden Q&A-11 AM
June 11-Garden Tour; Early Season Management, Pests and Diseases; Garden Q&A-6 PM
June 25-Garden Tour; Veggie One-day Pickling and Children’s Garden Session, 11 AM
July 2-Garden Tour; Using and Drying Herbs and Children’s Garden Session, 11 AM
July 30-Garden Tour; Saving Seeds from your Garden; Garden Q&A-11 AM
August 13-Garden Tour; Fall Planting and Cover Crop Options; Garden Q&A-11 AM

Tours will take place outdoors, and participants may bring a bagged lunch. Contact Laura Siegle, Amelia Agriculture Extension Agent, at or (804) 561-2481 for directions, more information, or to RSVP. Individuals or community groups who wish to schedule a special workshop or visit the garden outside of these public tour dates are encouraged to call the Extension office to schedule an appointment.

Demonstration Garden

2014 Garden Talks.pdf

For more information, please contact Amelia Cooperative Extension at (804)-561-2481.

Dairy Forage Field Days

Forage Meeting-May 14th at 1:30-4 at the Charlotte County Extension Office and May 15th, 9-11:30 at Ameva Farm in Amelia. This meeting is primarily geared towards dairy forages but may benefit anyone who works with silage or haylage. If you are interested in EITHER date, please call (804 561 2481) or email ( Please RSVP in advance so that we can notify you of any changes-in the event of heavy rain, the Amelia event may be moved to the Extension office.

Dairy Forage Meetings (2)