Johnston County Ag Report

Johnston County Ag Report

March 9,  2015


The Johnston County Ag Report is edited weekly by Agricultural Extension Agents at the Johnston County Extension Center.  If you have any questions about the content, please call the Extension Center at 919-989-5380.


Tim Britton, Extension Agent – Field Crops

Dan Wells, Extension Agent – Livestock

Amie Newsome, Extension Agent – Horticulture

Shawn Banks, Extension Agent – Horticulture

Bryant Spivey, County Extension Director

The North Carolina AgrAbility Partnership (NCAP) needs your help

The North Carolina AgrAbility Partnership (NCAP) needs your help in determining the number of farmers across our state who have a disability or other chronic health condition. This information will help us know what disabilities or chronic conditions are most common so that we can plan most effectively to serve individuals farming with a disability.

To gather this information, we would appreciate your completion of the attached survey. Completion is strictly voluntary and will take approximately 5-10 minutes. Your identity and answers will be kept COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS.  The information you provide cannot be linked or traced back to you in any way.

Should you have questions about this study, please contact Robin Tutor-Marcom, Director, North Carolina Agromedicine Institute at 252.744.1008. If you have questions about your rights as someone participating in research, you may call the UMCIRB Office at phone number 252-744-2914 (days, 8:00 am-5:00 pm).  If you would like to report a complaint or concern about this study, you may call Norma Epley, the Director of UMCIRB Office, at 252-744-1971.

Again, you do not have to take part in this research and you can stop the survey at any time. Here is the link to the AgrAbility survey.

 Private Applicators Recertification/Safety Classes

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service is inviting all private applicatorswhose license expires in 2015 to attend the last Private Applicator Pesticide Recertification/Safety class for 2015.

                   Thursday, September 10, 2015, beginning at 6:30-8:30 PM

The class will be at the Johnston County Ag Center in Smithfield on NC 210 Hwy.   Applicators are reminded that licenses expire at the end of the year, but all recertification credits must be obtained before September 30th of the year the license expires. Applicators are asked to bring their Pesticide Credit Report Card with the bar code scan along with them to class. Please call Tim Britton at 989-5380 to check credits.

Interactive Pesticide Training-March 17, 2015

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Johnston County is inviting all commercial and private applicators, dealers, consultants, and public ground operators to attend an Interactive Pesticide Training class. This two-hour class will be held at the Johnston County Livestock Arena on Tuesday, March 17th. The arena is located at 520 County Home Road, Smithfield, NC 27577. The class will begin at 10:00 AM. Please bring your Pesticide Credit Report Card with the barcode to this class. Please call Tim Britton at 989-5380 for more information about the credits to be offered.

 Pesticide Exam Schedule-Johnston County

The North Carolina Pesticide exams will be offered on Wednesday, March 11th and Wednesday, August 12th at 1:00 PM at the Johnston County Ag Center. To take the exam, bring valid ID (Drivers License) and calculator. Please arrive by 12:30PM.

 Pesticide and Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day- April 18, 2015 

Need to clean out the barn, the chemical storage building, pantry, or underneath the sink. On April 18, 2015 North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Partnership with Johnston County Solid Waste and the NCDA will hold a Pesticide and Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day. The event will take place at the Johnston County Livestock Arena at 520 County Home Road in Smithfield from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Acceptable items include old and unused pesticides, household cleaners, fluorescent (high TCLP mercury) lamps and bulbs from homeowners, and all types of household batteries i.e. Nickel-Cadmium, Lithium, Alkaline and Metal Hydride. In addition, we will be accepting oil base paint only from the public, but not latex. Oil base paint has a volatile organic odor and can only be washed-off with solvent, such as mineral spirits or kerosene. Latex paint, however, will wash-off with water. If the label is still attached, it will indicate oil base vs. latex. Again, we will only be accepting oil base paint and aerosol paints. The latex paint is a non-hazardous household liquid that can be solidified with sand, soil or kitty litter and disposed of in the landfill.

Prevention and Control of Kudzu Bug around the Home

 • Cut back any kudzu or wisteria you can.

• Seal cracks and crevices in your home.

Place screening over possible routes of insect entry into the house

Check to make sure screens on windows are well-seated and without holes

Check to make sure soffit, ridge, and gable vents are properly screened

Stuff steel wool into openings where screening cannot be used, such as around pipe penetrations

Make sure doors establish a tight seal when closed

Install doorsweeps

• Clean the area inside the house where bugs have appeared with soap and water.

• Large numbers of bugs should be vacuumed, not sprayed.

Use a shop vac with soap and water inside to clean up the bugs since the odor will linger in a conventional vacuum cleaner.

• Conventional bug sprays will kill the bugs, but make sure you use one that is safe for plants.

• Avoid squashing the bugs since their residue will leave a stain.

  Soil Sampling

 Due to the heavy rainfall, it is highly recommended that soil samples be taken as soon as possible this fall so you can take proper corrective measures. Soil sampling and testing is probably the most effective tool a grower has to help determine soil nutrient levels. Soil tests can help save the time and money as well as encourage a healthy environment by reducing unnecessary fertilizer use. Plants require sixteen essential nutrients to grow. Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are major elements, and are required in relatively large amounts, whereas others like calcium, sulfur and magnesium are minor elements and are required in moderate amounts. Several others are required in extremely small amounts, but are important to proper plant growth. If any of the 16 essential elements are not present in adequate amounts, plant growth and development will decrease. On the other hand, if some of the same nutrients are present at excessive levels, they can be toxic to plants and be a source of pollution in the environment. It is very important to take soil samples correctly in order to receive accurate recommendations. Late summer or early fall is a goodtime to sample soil so that adequate lime may be applied and can react with the soil by raising the pH prior to spring planting. By sampling in the fall, sufficient time is allowed to make plans for the spring fertilizer applications. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA) Agronomic Division, in Raleigh, analyzes soil samples, which are collected in North Carolina for free from April through November. The cost is $4.00/sample from December through March. Anyone submitting soil samples during this time period must make payment online via credit card at the NCDA & CS Agronomic Division website ( or contact the division directly to set up an escrow account (919-733-2655).   There are private companies in the State that charge a fee for samples. The soil test results indicate the amount of lime and fertilizer formulation recommendations needed for the area sampled. Remember a target pH of 6.0 in recommended for most row crops. Just follow the recommendations and you will be fine. You can use this website to help you understand your soil report.

Identify or grid off field areas. Each sample should represent a uniform soil area with similar past management. It is recommended that each sample represent 10 acres or less. The sampling area should also represent a field area that can be managed in a similar fashion (management zone) in regard to nutrient or limestone application and crop production. Choice of sample areas is determined by the soils present, past management and productivity, and goals desired for field management practices. That is, will the field be managed as whole unit or will nutrient and limestone applications can be made to subfield areas or identified management zones? Collect 15-20 small samples, from within the top six inches (3-6 samples at 4 inches for lawns) of the soil, within the identified are. It is important to take as uniform of a sample as possible. As samples are collected, mix them together thoroughly in a plastic bucket, as a galvanized or tin bucket can contaminate the soil and cause inaccurate test results.

Discard all stones, roots and debris. Transfer about a cup of soil from the small sample plastic bucket to the soil sample boxes provided by the NCDA. Sample boxes and forms are free from the Extension Service and forms can be accessed online.

Give each sample box a number or code that will indicate the area sampled, along with your name and address on each box.

Fill out the information sheet and bring it, along with your samples, to the local Cooperative Extension Service office in your area. Again, If a payment is required, it must be made online via credit card at the NCDA & CS Agronomic Division website ( or contact the division directly to set up an escrow account (919-733-2655).

2012 Census of Agriculture-County Highlights

Johnston County reported 1175 operation farms with over 50% reporting less than $10,000 in sales and approximately 20% reporting over $100,000 in sales. Johnston County was ranked 10th in the state in total agricultural products sold, reporting over $265 million in sales. Johnson County was ranked 1st in tobacco sales and 2nd in the tobacco acreage nationally. Johnston County ranked 2nd in the state in vegetable sales and acreage. We are also ranked 12th in swine sales, 13th in Grains and beans, fruits, nuts, and berries sales, and 14th in nursery, greenhouse, and sod sales and 18th in hay sales.

Of the 1175 farms, 548 farms were operated by full-time farmers and 627 were operated by part-time farmers. The average age of the farmer was 57.6.

USDA Local Foods Directory

USDA has developed a local food directory to help farmers who have a stand, store, or other direct-to-consumer retail outlet on the farm to be found more easily. USDA wants to raise awareness of this resource. Details can be found here:

For questions, people can call: 202.690.1327 or send an email to

Pesticide Container Rinse and Recycle Program

The pesticide container rinse and recycle program has expanded to two new locations, giving Johnston County more room to properly dispose of pesticide containers.

These sites are located at 820 Stewart Road in Four Oaks, 1096 Scout Road in the Bentonville area, 9349 NC Hwy 96 S in the Meadow area, 5677 US Hwy 301 in Kenly, 15031 Buffalo Road in Clayton, and at the Johnston County Landfill site on County Home Road in Smithfield.

Properly rinsed containers can be taken to these sites during normal operating hours. You do not need a county solid waste sticker to dispose of containers. Remember, to remove the label and lid, on buckets, remove the label and large lid, and on 35 and 55 gallon drums, drill holes in bottom and do not crush.


Disclaimer: Recommendations are included as a convenience to the reader. The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services does not imply endorsement by North Carolina State University nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned.

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