Spring classes on forestry, pruning, gardening, mushrooms & more!

hightunnel
From feeding hens to saving seeds, mushrooming to building a hoophouse, you can find something of interest in Boundary County Extension’s spring schedule of classes! Family and consumer science courses include gluten-free cooking, meals in a jar, understanding your credit score, and weight training for women.

A free class on pruning your fruit trees will be offered on Monday, March 6, from 1pm – 4pm. An in-depth seed saving class will be presented on Friday, March 24th, from 2-4pm. Learn more about what to feed your backyard laying hens to maximize productivity and extend their lifespan on Wednesday, March 15, from 2-4pm.

Most classes are offered at the Boundary County Extension Office, 6447 Kootenai St., Bonners Ferry, ID. Call 208-267-3235 to register for classes or for more information. Class sizes are limited, so call now to reserve your space.

Forestry classes include a class on computer mapping for forest owners and other landowners on Friday, March 3, from 9am – 12pm, followed by a class on forestry “apps” from 1pm-4pm.

On Friday, April 21, from 8-10am, a class on the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service’s hoophouse initiative will discuss the financial assistance available for constructing a seasonal high tunnel and how the application process works for the EQIP program. A tour of a hoop house in production in Boundary County will also be available for those who are interested.

Advertisements

Organic Pest & Disease Management for Orchards

Join the WSU Extension Tree Fruit Team on March 14th & 15th for an Organic Pest and Disease Management Fruit School. This event will delve deep into the ecology, biology and tools for successful organic orchard pest and disease management with presentations, discussions, hands-on activities and demonstrations. The Fruit School focuses on organic practices, but will be applicable to any orchard using integrated control approaches.
The 2-day event is co-located at Wenatchee, WA (primary), Prosser, WA (satellite), and Omak, WA (satellite). All locations will have WSU Extension hosts present on-site. You will be asked to select the site location where you will be attending when you register. If there are no remaining seats at your desired location, you will need to select and attend at a different meeting site with openings. Register early to avoid this.
Pesticide update credits will be awarded for program attendance.
Visit Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center’s Website for more information and to register for this event.

Learn how to do artificial insemination in cattle

bull

A three-day artificial insemination (AI) course will be held March 15-17 at the University of Idaho Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension & Education Center near Salmon, ID. Educators from University of Idaho and Select Sires are working together to bring this training to Idaho. For more information and to reserve your seat, contact Dr. John Hall, 208-756-2749 or jbhall@uidaho.edu. Space is limited!

Beekeeping Resources and Classes

Beekeeping with Blooming Apple Trees in Background

A beginning beekeeping course consisting of three hands-on classes followed by five field days will be offered through the Deer Park-based Backyard Beekeepers Association. The classes will be held three consecutive Saturdays, March 11, 18 and 25, from 9am to 1pm, at the Deer Park Senior Center, 316 E. Crawford Ave., Deer Park, WA 99006, followed by 5 field days in April, May, July and August. The course costs $30, which is an excellent value. You can register online on their website, Backyard Beekeepers Association.

The Ohio State Beekeepers Training Program includes 34 video segments and 3 powerpoint presentations, based on the on-line text book Backyard Beekeeping, by Dr. James E. Tew. Both the book and the training program are free.

Another free beekeeping program is available at the PerfectBee. This is a commerical site that sells beekeeping supplies; nevertheless they do have a free introductory beekeeping class.

2017 Cereal School topics include low falling numbers, variety trial results, updates on pests and diseases

Kootenai Valley
Each year, the Idaho Grain Producers Association, the Idaho Barley Commission, and the University of Idaho sponsor “cereal schools” across Idaho.  These educational workshops provide an opportunity for producers to learn about issues in their region, including insect issues, disease updates, variety trials, weed control, economics, markets, and other important issues. This year’s school in Bonners Ferry included a presentation on low falling numbers, the worldwide supply and demand situation and other factors affecting current low grain prices, and a presentation by a nutritionist on maximizing nutrient intake from grains as well as common wheat misconceptions. A selection of presentations from this year’s event, held Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the Boundary County Fairgrounds, are available at the links below. Additional references from these presentations are also included linked below.

Kelly Olson, from the Idaho Barley Commission, provides an update on current issues and markets.

Results from the Boundary County Variety Trials are presented, as well as a discussion of low falling numbers (LFN). What is LFN, and how is it calculated? Which varieties were most severely affected?

This presentation covers pesticides for canola, including a discussion of current chemical control options for weeds, diseases, and insects, and discusses threshold levels for spraying. Part 1  Part 2

Current worldwide and U.S. market conditions are discussed in this presentation. In addition, costs and returns estimates for 2016 are compared to a 2011-2015 baseline.

Idaho Barley Commission’s website includes links to the current grain market report as well as upcoming programs throughout the state.

Information from UI Extension on North Idaho cereals, including variety trials and stripe rust, is available here.

Information on the UI Brassica Breeding Program can be found here.

Farm Enterprise Budgets for the 2011-2015 Baseline as well as 2016 Direct Seed Budgets are available here.

 

Beef School on Sat., Feb. 4, in Ponderay

grazing-cattle1

The Bonner-Boundary Cattle Association (BBCA) is pleased to announce the 2017 AG Seminar-Beef School on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Sandpoint Elks, which is located just north of Sandpoint on Highway 200 E in Ponderay.  This year’s topics include: Cow Size & Environment vs Feed Efficiency & Profitability; Using the New Breed EPD Profitability Indexes; Cattle Mineral Supplementation; and Easy To Use Computer-Based Cow Record Programs.  You can download the  program brochure here.

The event is jointly sponsored by the Bonner-Boundary Cattle Association, and University of Idaho Extension, with the financial help of numerous local businesses (please see the list of these businesses in the brochure).  You must pre-register so that we can make adequate preparations. There is a $15 registration fee.  Refreshments and lunch are included.  Please call Jack Filipowski at 263-7264 or email jack@fernridgeranch.com   by January 30th to pre-register.

Attendance is open to BBCA members and to the interested public.  We do encourage those of you who are involved in the cattle business and who are not currently BBCA members to consider joining us.  We can all benefit by your support and participation. Membership dues is used to provide 4-H and FFA support at the Bonner and Boundary County Fairs. Dues ($20) are assessed on a calendar year basis, payable at the beginning of each year. We also co-sponsor with the Cattle Women a $1000 college scholarship to a student with agricultural interests, provide assistance to members in need, and support other Ag based community activities.

The Bonner-Boundary Cattle Association is an independent non-political producer organization chartered as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Idaho.  The BBCA carries out education programs providing its members with information designed to promote effective cattle and land management and timely knowledge of local, state, and national public policy issues affecting the industry.  We conduct a public relations program to promote and increase public awareness of the beef industry by contributing to and participating in local community events. The association works for the common interest of its members and promotes a spirit of public responsibility within the cattle industry.

 

January 25 North Idaho Cereal School in Bonners Ferry

Palouse view
The Idaho Wheat and Barley commissions sponsor eight “cereal schools” across the state each January, providing free lunch and a half-day of updates on wheat and barley production in Idaho. The northernmost cereal school will be held in Bonners Ferry at the Boundary County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, January 25, from 8am to 1pm. Topics range from dietary benefits and misconceptions of wheat consumption to a discussion of variety trials and falling numbers issues. Pesticide recertification and continuing education credits will be available. For more information, download the flier. Call 267-3235 to register.

Gopher and Vole Control Tips and Techniques

pocket-gopher-overview-main vole-overview-main
Can you identify each one of these pests? Take a quiz as you go through the presentation.

Crop damage from gophers, voles, and ground squirrels is frustrating and costly. In this presentation, UI Extension Educator Ken Hart helps you identify which pest(s) are damaging your fields and crops, then presents effective techniques for getting rid of them. These pests can be so pervasive that you may need a combination of methods to reduce their populations and prevent further migration into treated areas. Some of these methods require a private applicator’s license as the products are labeled Restricted Use. Care must be taken to avoid poisoning nontarget populations, such as pets and livestock.

2016 Forage & Grazing School presentations include management intensive grazing, fertility, variety trial results, economics and hay preservatives

A day-long program for hay and cattle producers featured Idaho experts on topics including management intensive grazing, hay preservatives, results of alfalfa variety trials for North Idaho, managing fertility in hay and pasture ground, weed control and economics. Just over 50 attendees enjoyed the refreshments, lunch and door prizes provided by local suppliers, including Boundary Tractor in Bonners Ferry, Pape Machinery in Ponderay, Carter Country in Bonners Ferry and Ponderay, and The Coop County Store in Ponderay. Links to the presentations are below. Additional links to resource material are available below as well.

Management Intensive Grazing
Chad Cheyney, retired UI Extension Educator, Butte County

An overview of the concepts and methods of Management Intensive Grazing, or MIG, is presented by the founder of the Lost Rivers Grazing Academy, a 4-day intensive workshop for livestock producers. MIG is defined as a flexible approach to rotational grazing management that balances forage supply with animal requirements in order to increase carrying capacity and productivity while improving pastures.

Managing Grassland Ecosystems
Chad Cheyney, retired UI Extension Educator, Butte County

This presentation focuses on grass production, from physiology to thermodynamics to nutrient management through management intensive grazing. You will learn how rest periods affect production, and how to maximize grass production on your farm.

Alfalfa Variety Trial Results
Doug Finkelnburg, UI Extension, Nez Perce County

Performance of alfalfa varieties in dryland field trials as well as best management practices for small grains crop rotations including alfalfa production using glyphosate resistant varieties and non-resistant varieties are addressed.
North Idaho Alfalfa Variety Trial Entries and Results

Hay Preservatives and Innoculants: An Overview of Techniques
Glenn Shewmaker,  Extension Forage Specialist, UI

Effects of chemicals as drying agents such as potassium carbonate applied at time of cutting or organic acids and/or sulfate salts and amylase enzymes applied as preservatives at time of baling on composition, digestibility, and utilization by livestock for grass and alfalfa (Medicage sativa L.) hays are discussed.

Cover Crop Grazing Project Update
Ken Hart, UI Extension, Lewis County

Uses and challenges of cover crops to enhance soil health, as an alternative forage, and as a part of a dryland direct seed cereal crop rotation will be discussed. The talk includes recent results of on-farm testing and field trials.

Managing Fertility in Hay & Pasture Ground
Jen Jensen, UI Extension, Bonner County

Learn how to take a soil test and intrepret the lab results in order to maximize fertility in your hay and pasture ground. Management of fertility is also addressed for organic producers using animal manures.

Economics for North Idaho Crop Producers
Kate Painter, UI Extension, Boundary County

Current enterprise budgets for north Idaho crops that also include a grazing alternative will be presented. With today’s low grain prices, growing a rich cover crop mixture and grazing it may be competitive with other choices for your farm. Enterprise budgets include typical types and rates for fertilizers, herbicides, and fungicides by crop for northern Idaho growers.

2016 Enterprise Budgets for:
Conventional Tillage Grain and Rotational Crops, bulletin and Excel spreadsheet
Direct Seed Grain and Rotational Crops, bulletin and Excel spreadsheet
Grass Hay in Northern Idaho, Small Square Bales, bulletin and Excel spreadsheet
Alfalfa Hay in Northern Idaho, Small Square Bales, bulletin and Excel spreadsheet

The 2015 Forage School post includes additional presentations for North Idaho forage producers.

Additional Resources for Forage Producers:

A3637 Identifying Pasture Grasses

SARE website: Cover Crops for Sustainable Crop Rotations

SARE Handbook: Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition

PNW0614 Pasture and Grazing Management in the Pacific Northwest

PNW0627 Meadow Voles and Pocket Gophers: Management in Lawns, Gardens, and Cropland

BUL 901 Cover Crops for Grazing Use in Idaho

Intermountain Alfalfa Management, U of California, Publication 3366, 1997.

Garlic planting time!

grow-garlic

Garlic is easy and fun to grow, but you need to remember to plant it from September through November. The roots will develop in the fall and winter, which will support the rapid leaf growth in spring necessary for developing large heads. Plant in a bed with full sun and good soil drainage. Plant cloves root side down, two inches deep and two to four inches apart in rows spaced 10 to 14 inches apart. Space elephant garlic cloves about six inches apart. Garlic can be lightly mulched to improve soil structure and reduce weeds. A single 10-foot row should yield about five pounds of the fragrant bulbs. Here are more tips on growing, harvesting, and storing garlic:

  • Fertilize garlic in the early spring by side dressing or broadcasting with blood meal, pelleted chicken manure or a synthetic source of nitrogen. Just before the bulbs begin to swell in response to lengthening daylight (usually early May), fertilize lightly one more time. Weed garlic well, as it can’t stand much competition. Garlic is rarely damaged by insects. If May and June are very dry, irrigate to a depth of two feet every eight to 10 days. As mid-June approaches, taper off the watering.
  • Remove the floral stems as they emerge in May or early June from hardneck varieties to increase bulb size. Small stems can be eaten like asparagus, but they get more fibrous and less edible as they mature. Don’t wait for the leaves to start dying to check for maturity. Sometimes garlic bulbs will be ready to harvest when the leaves are still green. The best way to know is to pull one up and cut it open crosswise. Start checking for mature cloves about late June. Harvest garlic when the head is divided into plump cloves and the skin covering the outside of the bulbs is thick, dry and papery. If left in the ground too long, the bulbs sometimes split apart. The skin may also split, exposing the cloves and causing them not to store well.
  • Dig, and then dry the mature bulbs in a shady, warm, dry and well-ventilated area for a few days. Then remove the tops and roots. Brush dirt off the bulbs. To braid garlic together, harvest it a bit earlier while leaves are green and supple.
  • Avoid bruising the garlic, as it will not store well. Store bulbs in a dark, dry and well-ventilated place. Protect from high humidity and freezing. Do not store garlic in the refrigerator because cool temperatures combined with moisture stimulate sprouting. Properly stored garlic should last until the next crop is harvested the following summer.

From: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/2015/08/get-your-garlic-primer-planting-growing-and-harvesting