By: Tiffany Patrick
Summer Intern, Virginia Cooperative Extension
My internship this summer was much more than an internship. Along with all the things I was sent here to do, I learned much more. My main responsibility was data collection in the Variety Trial at Bald Top Brewing Company in Madison, VA.
Aside from that, I was also in the Culpeper Extension office doing many different activities, such as forage samples, hay samples, Cloverbub camp, and the annual Farm Show.
My data collections in the hop yard consisted of monitoring the growth of the plants, seeing which variety reached the peak of growth first, seeing which variety had cones first, and taking leaf samples for data collected back at VSU.
Some of my findings are as follows:
- The Zeus variety reached the top of the line (18 ft) first, followed by Cascade, Newport, Nugget and then Chinook.
- Several varieties reached the point of coning at the same time: Cascade and Zeus
I also kept record of when things were applied, such as fertilizer and pesticides. Below is some of my records:
- On 5/22/2017, 50 lbs of 34/0/0 granular fertilizer was applied
- Oxidate and boron were sprayed for mildew and insects on 5/31/2017
- The yard was mowed and weeded on 6/8/2017
- Oxidate was sprayed on 6/8/2017
- 8lbs of Miracle grow was added via irrigation 6/11/2017
This is the chart that shows how the varieties were planted in the yard:
I was housed for the first five weeks with a couple in Madison, VA that was provided by their donation. The second half of my stay, along with my travel funds, was provided by scholarship by the Ohrstrom foundation. My payment for the summer was provided in part by the Ohrstrom foundation, the George Washington Carver Regional High School Alumni Association and Virginia State University.
Now for some background about me. I am from Damascus, a small town in Southwest Virginia. I grew up on a small-scale farm, with goats and sheep that we raised for pleasure and showing, along with a garden that we harvested mostly for ourselves. But I have had my foot in just about everything throughout the years. I showed lamb and goats through 4-h and FFA, and I was very active in both.
In high school, FFA was my entire life. I competed in a variety of activities, such as parliamentary procedure, floriculture, creed speaking, livestock judging, etc. So you could say that I developed quite the passion for agriculture along the way. I decided my Junior year of high school that I wanted to pursue a degree in Agriculture Education. Of course, my ag teachers were thrilled and very helpful in the application and getting there process. My first school of choice wasn’t VSU, but I have no doubt that it is where I am supposed to be. My professors are pretty amazing, and even though my major is newer to the school, there are so many people who are excited about it and trying to push the program to its fullest potential. I am very excited to be one of the people who develops new ideas and getting to see where the program goes in the future. I believe that Agriculture Education is SO important and it’s in very high demand right now. The teachers that are out there now are older generations, and there aren’t many people who can truly see the importance of educating the up and coming generations. But they are our source of, well, everything. The farmers and people who grow and even market our daily essentials, are all older generations as well, so we need to be showing people the importance of Agriculture again. And I for one can’t wait to be apart of that process. I hope to one day spark the interests of young people enough that they, like me, develop a passion for Agriculture.
By: Carl C. Stafford
Senior Extension Agent
Internal parasites better known as “worms” are a production efficiency issue with cattle and other grazing livestock. Cattle producers address this performance problem by using de-wormers known as anthelmintics. There are three chemical classes approved for use in cattle and several non-chemical management methods help reduce the impact of worms on cattle.
An issue with chemical controls is development of pest resistance. You understand that not every pest is killed when treated and those remaining reproduce, concentrating resistance. This can lead to failure of the control used. In the case of anthelmintics, new information is out from a federal study informing us of a possible solution to resistance – the refuge.
As is the case in management recommended for genetically modified corn, using a refuge is a way to avoid exposing the entire pest population to the control. A refuge will allow untreated pests to be available to cross breed with the survivors of the control. This results in a dilution of resistance in a given pest population and slows down the buildup of trait(s) leading to full resistance.
Cattle studies done by Virginia Tech have recommended for at least 20 years that adult cows not be treated for internal parasites. They found adult cows left untreated performed just as well as treated cows. Scientists concluded this was development of age related immunity. In light of this knowledge, it is puzzling to read of long acting de-wormers recommended for the entire herd. If you want this new product to work for years to come, reserve it for the young stock and save money on unnecessary treatments to adult cows. Leaving cows untreated also lets them serve as the refuge. New work at the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine shows no benefit to adult cows treated with this long acting product.
De-wormers can also be used to treat cattle for lice as some product labels support this use. Considering the risk of resistance, it seems we could save our de-wormers for the internal parasites and use other lice labeled treatments when needed. Another option is to select for worm tolerance.
Small ruminant breeders have been selecting for worm tolerance in their flocks for years as their
de-wormers have stopped working in most cases. They choose females that tolerate parasites and keep their daughters as replacements. They also check for worm load and only treat those showing signs of needing the treatment. Historically small ruminants have required more frequent de-worming and resistance builds faster because of this.
There are pasture management techniques that help with worm problems. Keeping pasture taller and rotating pastures is another approach to suppressing worm impact on grazing livestock. Nematodes need to stay close to the ground or dehydrate for lack of moisture. Grazing tall grass limits exposure to short grass where the worms live. Making hay from our pastures will also help to remove worms for the short term. A final point would be about tall growing warm season grasses. It is not likely that worms can survive far from the soil; it is just too dry up there where warm season grasses grow. Graze these with confidence and gain access to quality forage when our pastures are least productive.
Wheat markets are about to change in Virginia and Culpeper’s Ardent Mills is leading the way. Their new investments in flour milling, for human consumption, has farmers talking about how to meet this new demand for local wheat.
10:00 am until 4:00 pm
There are a variety of farms and related businesses on this year’s tour. Those participating reflect our agricultural heritage and the millions of dollars in production, wages, and salaries generated by the agricultural industry in our county and state.
The tour, a self-guided driving experience, can be started at the Welcome Center located at Culpeper Agricultural Enterprises on Route 29.
By: Tiffany Patrick, Extension Intern
Let’s talk about Humulus lupulus, otherwise known as Hops. If you begin a conversation about Hops, there is a good chance that very few people actually know right off the bat what you are talking about. When you then explain by saying, “the stuff they use in beer”, they probably understand. However, what many people do not understand is that Hops aren’t just used solely in beer production. In fact, they didn’t even start out in beer.
Around 77-79 A.D, Humulus lupus became known as a plant grown in the wild. It wasn’t until around 736 A.D that they began being cultivated by humans for use. In the beginning, the Romans used then as ordinary bitter vegetables, as well as figuring out some of the medicinal uses for them. They used the Hops to treat anxiety and restlessness, as well as insomnia. For the insomnia, they would fill a pillow with the Hops and the person would sleep on it and have no trouble going and staying asleep. For other medicinal purposes, it was later used as an antibacterial as well as an antispasmodic, which was used to treat an upset stomach, as well as menstrual cramps. The Cherokee also used it for medicinal purposes; as a sedative as well as an anti-inflammatory.
I’m telling you all of this because I am currently working as a research assistant at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, and my research for the summer is Hops. I am currently a second semester sophomore with a major in Agriculture Education. I am here as an intern for the summer, funded by the Carver-Piedmont Agriculture Institute, working with the Culpeper Extension office as well as Bald Top Brewing Co. doing research in the Hop yard. My hometown is Abingdon, Virginia in Washington County. I went to school at Holston High School in Damascus, Virginia and that’s where I fell in love with Agriculture. I was fortunate to have amazing Ag teachers, Sarah Scyphers and Lawrence Cox, who helped me further my interest in FFA as well as being a big part of greenhouse work. I have been in 4-H as well as FFA my whole life, so I have grown to see the importance of it all.
Hops are a growing industry here in Virginia. There isn’t much market for them yet, but they are common among the Craft Brewers around the state, like Bald Top. They don’t grow quite as well in this part of the country as they do in the Northwest, as well as some in the Northeast, but with the right conditions and management, they will grow well enough to produce. In my opinion, it is a great industry to be a part of. It is growing, but statistics show that it has grown steadily over the last 20 years, and will continue to grow. So if you have a green thumb, or you are interested in becoming a part of the Craft Brewing industry yourself, Get Hoppin’!
For more information, please visit https://ext.vt.edu/agriculture/graze-300.html