Busy Season for Agricultural Services in the County

Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Ag agents in the county collaborated with the Blackland Farm Managers Association, specialists at NCSU, and the ag agents in Washington, Beaufort, and Hyde Counties to provide the Blackland Summer Tour.

“The tour was at Clay and Charlie Respess Farms this year in Tyrrell County. The weather cooperated for the day and there was a good attendance of 375 to 400 people. The tour included corn and soybean varieties, weed management, insect management using economic thresholds, kudzu bug control, choosing the right components to maximize corn yield, maximizing soybean profits vs. maximum yield, and automated drainage with flashboard risers,” said Frank Winslow in a Cooperative Extension department report on Sept. 3.

Crop Report
Winslow mentioned that the county wheat crop started out doing really well.

“A lot of the wheat that was harvested on time yielded in the eight to ninety bushels per acre range. I measured two fields to enter in the NC Wheat Yield Contest. The yields were 99.7 and 100.9 bushels per acre. The winning entry for the state contest was 117.8 bushels per acre,” said Winslow.

After mid-June, harvest was delayed by continued rain events. This caused wheat to lose test weight and yields declined.

“But even with the problems at harvest, the average wheat yield, for the county is in the 70 bushel per acre range,” said Winslow.

Full-season soybeans have looked good from the beginning.

“Most of them were planted on time late April through May and benefitted from the late spring and summer rains. Our double crop planted after wheat and potatoes soybeans are a different story. As wheat harvest was delayed, so was soybean planting,” said Winslow.

Safety and Security of Food and Farm Systems.

Some of the local growers were interested in becoming GAP certified. This is a certification required in order to sell produce to companies like Wal-Mart and Harris Teeter.

Winslow helped organize an area meeting in Tyrrell County that offered training to become GAP Certified. Several people from Tyrrell County attended. As a result, one producer went through the required audit and has become certified. Another producer was already working on the process to receive the Global GAP certification.

Farmers continue to bring empty pesticide containers to the land field to be stored until they can be recycled.  A pesticide disposal day for Tyrrell County residents is scheduled on November 20 at Tyrrell Hall.

Winslow also mentioned community development initiatives that the Cooperative Extension Service was promoting.One of the programs included a $1000 grant to teach senior citizens how to read a Medicare Summary Notice. Two sessions were taught at the Extension Center on May 20th and June 3rd.  Another was at the Senior Center on June 20th.

Counseling senior citizens in Tyrrell County about their Medicare benefits proved to be a very worthwhile program.

“In June alone, Dee Furlough saved consumers over $21,000 in Part D cost. Other SHIIP volunteers that assisted with the program are Michelle Williams, Dee Dee Bullock, and Ernestine Hassell.

Furlough worked with the NCDA&CS Marketing Division and the Tyrrell County Visitors Center to put up a display over the week of July 4th to show the economic value of potatoes to Tyrrell County. All who came into the Visitor’s Center during the week saw the display and had an opportunity to pick up brochures and other items regarding local potato production.


Tyrrell County ECA clubs continue to support the community through their volunteer work and fundraising to help local charities. The Commissioners were updated on the scope of their endeavors that benefit the county at the August 20th meeting.

“These programs would not have happened without the volunteers who assisted with everything from providing transportation and snacks to teaching youths how to fish. Over fifty adults and teens stepped up to help with these programs,” said Winslow.

School to Career (Youth and Adults)

Tyrrell County had ten youth who participated in the 4-H District Activity Day in Pasquotank County. Three of those youths went on to compete at the state level, at the 4-H Congress in Raleigh. One child received a gold and one a silver metal.

The third teen, Grace Swain, participated in the Cecil and Leonard competition won first place. She was rewarded with an Ipad and the opportunity to perform her act on WRAL-TV in Raleigh.

Tyrrell County 4-H had 20 youth participating in a week long camp at the Eastern 4-H Center. A $4,920 grant from East Carolina Behavioral Health sponsored twelve underprivileged youth who attended. The Basil and Martha Cahoon and Arnett Parker Endowment, as well as the Doc of the Bay Campership, provided funds to help offset the cost of camp, for the other eight youth.
Windslow mentioned that his report was just a sample of some of the programs and events in which agents and secretary of the Tyrrell County Extension Center are involved.

“In addition to these programs, we make a numerous face-to-face visits and answer many telephone calls on a daily basis. We appreciate our partnership with Tyrrell County and are available to serve the county as needed,” he said.