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Roane County Agriculture & Natural Resources

Lawn, Gardening & Pests

Get a yard that feels and looks like home. Get a bountiful harvest. Grow your own and sow something beautiful. WVU Extension has lawn, gardening and pests information you can use.

Roane County Master Gardeners

Roane County has an active Master Gardener program. The Roane County Master Gardeners Association has devoted many hours to developing community garden projects, beautifying local areas with landscaping projects, and educating community members to promote best practices with gardening. Master Gardener training is conducted several times a year by Roane County Extension Agent,  Brandy Brabham. For more information on Master Gardener classes, contact Brandy Brabham at  304-927-0975.

This Month in the Garden Calendar

Plant Appalachian Garden Staple Hickory King Corn

Hands holding a small pile of light yellow heirloom dent corn variety Hickory King, grass in background

If you are thinking of raising corn for homemade cornmeal, grits, flour, roasting or hominy, look no further than Hickory King, a variety that has been a staple for more than 100 years in gardens throughout Appalachia.  

Hickory King, sometimes called Hickory Cane, is a popular white dent corn that was introduced close to 150 years ago by A.O. Lee of Hickory, Virginia.  

More from the Garden Calendar

Lawn, Gardening & Pests News for Roane County

AgAlert! Boxwood Blight

Boxwood blight on a shrub.

Boxwood blight is a fungal disease that affects one of West Virginia's most popular landscape shrubs.

Boxwood blights are a fungal disease that can be fatal if no measures are taken to manage the disease at the early stage of infection and symptom appearance. There are two different fungal pathogens involved with blights – Volutella buxi  and Calonectria pseudonaviculata.


Join the Winter/Spring 2024 Master Gardener Training

female planting in a garden

WVU Extension Master Gardener training, which used to be offered through in-person courses organized by WVU Extension offices around the state, will once again be available online via Zoom sessions. 

WVU Extension will continue offering online Master Gardener training classes for late winter/spring 2024 term, beginning on January 11 through May 2. Classes will be held every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. 


AgAlert! Herbicide Contaminated Compost

Compost has traditionally been used by growers not only for supplying nutrients to the soil and plant but also due to its multiple beneficial attributes, such as balancing pH, enhancing water holding capacity, and boosting soil structure and beneficial microbial populations to improve overall soil quality for plant growth and development. Compost can hold nutrients for a longer time and deliver to plants when needed. Nutrients found in compost are released slowly as the compost decomposes, reducing nutrient loss through prevention of off-site movement. Despite all these benefits, herbicide contaminated composts can do lots of harm to plants, especially to those belonging to the family Solanaceae, which includes tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Plant distortion due to growth regulator type herbicide is shown in Figure 1. 

Tomato plant with curled leaves due to growth regulator type herbicide.  Potato plant with curled leaves due to growth regulator type herbicide.

Tomato plant with curled leaves due to growth regulator type herbicide.

Agriculture

Practical economic strategies. Investments in local growers. Farming like our future depends on it. WVU Extension offers timely, research-based agriculture information you can put into practice.

Beekeepers

Roane County is a member of the  West Central Beekeepers Association. The WCBA works to educate beekeepers in best practices and promote beekeeping in west central West Virginia. The WCBA meets the fourth Saturday of each month and alternates its meeting location between Roane and Calhoun counties.  For more information about the West Central Beekeepers Association, contact President Dale Cunningham at  304-354-6916 or Secretary Sharon Christ at  304-927-1775.

Farm to School

Farm to School is broadly defined as a program that connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers. Farm to school programs can include: buying and featuring farm fresh foods in classrooms and cafeterias, adopting nutrition and agriculture-based curriculum, and providing experiential learning opportunities through farm visits, gardening and recycling programs. In West Virginia, community-minded organizations are working together to develop systems to help growers raise and sell local agricultural products to county schools.

Agriculture Field Day

The Agriculture Field Day is an annual event that brings all Roane County third graders together for a day-long educational program at a local, working farm. Youth participants learn about the daily farm operation while interacting with a variety of farm animals such as cattle, swine, sheep, goats, miniature donkeys, and chickens. Youth also learn about farm, tractor, and ATV safety and soil and water conservation. The project is a collaborative effort between the WVU Roane County Extension Service, local schools, the Roane County FFA chapter and the Roane County Farm Bureau.

Mid-Ohio Valley Growers Association

The Mid-Ohio Valley Growers Association is a network of farmers and producers from a seven-county region in West Virginia, including, but not limited to, Calhoun, Clay, Jackson, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood Counties. This Association is working together with area service providers including the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department and the WVU Extension Service, to sustain agriculture in the region, and get fresh, high-nutrient produce into the hands of Mid-Ohio Valley residents.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department and WVU Extension are natural partners in this endeavor. Both organizations believe in preventative health, and in community residents, especially youth, having access to affordable, tasty, fresh produce as a key building block for health. This initiative also offers opportunities to promote a sense of community and economic development through agricultural marketing opportunities.

Lawn, Gardening & Pests News of Interest to Roane County

AgAlert! Boxwood Blight

Boxwood blight on a shrub.

Boxwood blight is a fungal disease that affects one of West Virginia's most popular landscape shrubs.

Boxwood blights are a fungal disease that can be fatal if no measures are taken to manage the disease at the early stage of infection and symptom appearance. There are two different fungal pathogens involved with blights – Volutella buxi  and Calonectria pseudonaviculata.

AgAlert! Herbicide Contaminated Compost

Compost has traditionally been used by growers not only for supplying nutrients to the soil and plant but also due to its multiple beneficial attributes, such as balancing pH, enhancing water holding capacity, and boosting soil structure and beneficial microbial populations to improve overall soil quality for plant growth and development. Compost can hold nutrients for a longer time and deliver to plants when needed. Nutrients found in compost are released slowly as the compost decomposes, reducing nutrient loss through prevention of off-site movement. Despite all these benefits, herbicide contaminated composts can do lots of harm to plants, especially to those belonging to the family Solanaceae, which includes tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Plant distortion due to growth regulator type herbicide is shown in Figure 1. 

Tomato plant with curled leaves due to growth regulator type herbicide.  Potato plant with curled leaves due to growth regulator type herbicide.

Tomato plant with curled leaves due to growth regulator type herbicide.

AgAlert! Cucurbit Downy Mildew

Cucurbit downy mildew (CDM) has now been found in Monongalia County, West Virginia, as well as neighboring states – Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland. For the latest information, visit the CDM regional map at https://cdm.ipmpipe.org/

Cucurbit downy mildew (CDM) is a destructive disease that can affect most members of the gourd family or Cucurbitaceae, such as cucumber, cantaloupe, pumpkin, squash, watermelon and zucchini. However, cucumbers are the worst affected cucurbit that can be completely killed in two weeks from the onset of the disease. 

Symptoms of the disease may vary slightly from species to species, but in general, it causes angular chlorotic lesions on the foliage. These lesions appear angular because they are bound by leaf veins. During humid conditions, the lower surface of the leaf is covered with a downy, pale gray to blackish mildew. 


Agriculture News for Roane County

Lease Recommendations for Land Owner & Tenants

Ben Goff.

Ben Goff, WVU Extension Agent in Mason and Putnam counties, offers recommendations for landowners and tenants who want to prepare for the upcoming farming season and work to minimize their respective risks.

Goff covers a variety of tips for farmers and landowners regarding farm leases, including:


Mid-Ohio Valley Fall 2021 Beef Quality Assurance Trainings

A group of cattle farmers learning about livestock in a classroom setting.

The fall 2021 WVU Extension BQA trainings will focus on topics including:


Register for 2021 Pasture Management Certificate Training

Barn on farm.

The Pasture Management Certificate Training is offered as part of Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College Agricultural Innovation Workforce Trainings & Certifications. 

Instructed by Kevin Shaffer, Ed Rayburn and Ben Goff from WVU Extension, this certification will teach farmers how they can improve sustainability to their operation by improving their pasture management so there is more available forage year-round. 


Natural Resources

Land you can take pride in. Nature you can appreciate. Keep wild and wonderful just that. WVU Extension has natural resources information from trusted experts.


Natural Resources News for Roane County

Register for White Oak in West Virginia Webinar

Hand holding up a leaf from a white oak tree. The leaf is red from fall coloring.

Join us as we dive into the opportunities and challenges related to sustaining and harvesting white oak trees in West Virginia.

Tuesday, February 2


Register for West Virginia Woodland Stewards Seminar

Timber forest.

Join us as we dive into a variety of educational topics and learn more about how we can be better stewards of West Virginia's woodlands.

Tuesday, February 9