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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Two years of questions

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I have officially hit my two-year anniversary with Purdue Extension in Clay and Owen counties.

In the last year, I have continued to meet many amazing individuals, continued to be excited by the challenges that await me every day and get great pleasure out of helping all those individuals around Clay and Owen counties who ask the ever popular question, "What is this?"

To highlight the past year, I thought it would be nice to talk briefly about some of the unique things that have been brought into my office, called about, or that I have seen while answering client questions.

One of the questions that came into the office quite frequently in June and July was issues involving tulip tree scale.

Tulip tree scale is a small round insect that likes to create wounds in trees for a specific type of fungus to grow.

While they are feasting on the trees, they will produce a substance called honeydew that is a sticky nuisance.

You can control tulip tree scale by using pesticide.

Another tree-related issue that concerned homeowners earlier in the year was Anthracnose.

Anthracnose is caused by a fungus. Trees infected with it will have their leaves turn yellow to brown and eventually fall off. Even though the tree loses its leaves very early in the year, the tree will not die from it.

Anthracnose is a tree issue that we generally see every year in one or more tree species in Indiana.

A few individuals had questions about farming issues.

Two actually brought in samples of plants, which were trying to take over their pasture and hay ground.

After looking at the plant and seeing a slight milky substance be excreted out of it when a leaf was removed, it was determined to be Hemp Dogbane.

Hemp Dogbane is hard to control since it is a perennial weed. However, you can control it with specific pesticides.

Other landowners contacted me asking for information about current cash rent rates.

Luckily for them, Purdue Extension puts out an updated cash rent rate publication every year.

The 2011 information has recently been published and is available by contacting your local Purdue Extension Office or going to www.agecon.purdue.edu/extension/pubs/pae....

Not all the questions that came into my office this past year dealt with identifying a problem or an insect.

Some were just to find out a little more information about a specific topic like how to obtain building plans for a goat milking stand, where can I get my soil tested at, and how to become a Master Gardener.

Questions like these can be asked anytime at the Extension Office or even at the third Nature Day, which will take place Sept. 10, at the Clay County Fairgrounds, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

During the day, you can find numerous booths that focus on topics like water quality, forestry, invasive plants, bats and gardening.

There will also be activities for children, including making a birdhouse.

A presentation will be given at 11 a.m., on snakes, and at noon, on raptors.

There is something for everyone that day, so I hope to see you at this free event.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Sept. 5 -- Labor Day, Extension Office is closed,

* Sept. 9 -- Nature Day Photography entries due to the Clay County Extension Office,

* Sept. 10 -- Nature Day, Clay County Fairgrounds, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Presentations on snakes (11 a.m.) and raptors (noon),

* Sept. 13 -- Ag Outlook meeting, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Owen County Extension Office. RSVP to 812-829-5020 by Sept. 12,

* Sept. 13 -- Owen County Ag Advisory Board meeting, 6 p.m., Owen County Extension Office,

* Sept. 15 -- Owen County Conservationist Class, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Owen County Library, and

* Sept. 15 -- Clay County Ag Advisory Board meeting, 6 p.m., Clay County Extension Office.