County awaits governor’s OK for disaster designation

Published 10:28 am Wednesday, December 2, 2015

by Janet Spencer

I was hoping by the time I wrote this newsletter, we would have better news regarding crop conditions, however I guess it’s just not in the cards for us this season.

For the most part, harvest has progressed as well as it could given the amount of rain that’s fallen since September. Peanut yields don’t seem to be quite as low as originally expected and on average, cotton could certainly have been much worse.

I know there are some pockets of really low cotton yields in the county, but overall, I don’t think our county-wide average for this year will be as bad as what we saw in 2010 or 2011. Soybeans are a different story, with significantly depressed yields in our early beans.

There are numerous acres of full-season beans still in the fields, so only time will tell with those. Certainly the sooner we can get them harvested the better. With all of that being said, we did request that the county seek agricultural disaster designation, which was approved at the Nov. 19th Board of Supervisors meeting.

The request will now go to the Governor’s office for approval. Once the county is declared a primary natural disaster area, eligible farmers can be considered for low-interest emergency loans from FSA.

The long-term forecast has beautiful weather predicted so I hope if you still have beans in the field you are able to finish up soon. As this is a combined newsletter, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas!


County Yield Competitions

Yes, I know crop yields are not where they’ve been the last couple of years, however, please consider entering your yields for the county competitions. In addition to statewide competitions for peanut and soybean, I will once again host county yield awards for these crops plus cotton and sorghum. If you enter the statewide competition, you will automatically be entered into the IOW county competitions, however there is no requirement to enter at both levels.

I will also once again have awards for the following categories: 2-Ton Peanut Club, 2-Bale Cotton Club, and 70-, 80-, 90-, and 100-bushel soybean clubs. Submission deadline is Friday, Jan 8. Official entries will be from the contestant’s FSA control county/city.

Private Pesticide Recertification Classes

‘Tis the season for pesticide recertification classes! If your certificate expires in 2015, you need to attend one of the upcoming courses to receive credit for two more years. Certificates technically expire on Dec. 31st, however, VDACS has a “grace” period through the end of February. Information on the upcoming courses for Isle of Wight and Suffolk can be found below. If you cannot attend either of these two scheduled courses, please call the Extension office for recertification class dates in neighboring counties.

FSA Update

Producers should have received their County Committee Election Ballots by now. Completed ballots must be postmarked and returned to your local FSA office by Monday, Dec. 7. Please vote: It counts!

For more information on the elections or FSA Services, please contact:

• Glen Pierce (Isle of Wight/Surry): 357-7004

• Melanie Lassiter (Suffolk): 539-9265

Upcoming events

• Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification: Friday, Dec. 4 at 9 a.m. in the Isle of Wight Ruritan building, and Friday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. in Tidewater AREC, Suffolk.

• Beltwide Cotton Meeting: Jan. 5-7 in New Orleans, LA.

VA Crop Production Assoc. Annual Meeting: Jan. 19-21, Richmond.

• Peanut Production Meeting: Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. in the Airfield 4-H Center, Wakefield.

• Cotton Production Meeting: Feb. 24 in the Regional Workforce Development Center, Franklin.

Registration information and agenda coming soon.

• Vegetable Production Meeting: Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. in Tidewater AREC, Suffolk. More info

coming soon.

Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling Program

Have empty pesticide containers? Need something to do on a rainy day or after harvest? If so, then please consider utilizing this FREE program; all you have to do is bring me your clean (triple or jet-rinsed) containers, with the caps removed.

Why keep a pile of old containers laying around the farm when you can dispose of them in an environmentally-friendly way? Any clean pesticide container can be brought, however I cannot accept mini-bulk containers or drums at this time. Please call the Extension office to set-up a drop-off time.

JANET SPENCER is the Extension agent, ANR, for Isle of Wight County. Contact her at 365-6262 or