Lebanon Crop Management Video

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29 September 2011

Penn State Extension 1st Annual Statewide Conferences- Call for support








Del Voight - Penn State Extension Crop Team
Please read as below. It is important that we have your intentions by Oct 27th so that we may populate our advertisement and marketing with your sponsorship. We will base our final cost of programs on your involvement. 
Attention: Agricultural Professionals -
In the past, many of the Extension sponsors/exhibitors have told us that it is difficult to provide funding event-by-event, rather than responding to one annual Extension request. In order to fit with corporate funding, this year we are trying something new. The opportunities to support 2012 Penn State Extension Crop Conference Brochure.are being sent to you in one list—this singular solicitation for funds will cover multiple events. This link 2012 Penn State Conferences Sign Up Worksheet, you will find a list of the programs to be offered to producers in the State through the upcoming winter and spring for you to review and choose the items that best fit your customers’ needs. The Conferences will provide pesticide credits as well as key crop management issues pertaining to:
• No-Till Crop Production • Crop Management • Integrated Pest Management
• Nutrient Management • Forage Management
These issue-based meetings provide producers with credit opportunities as well as focus on the production and management of a wide range of crop production topics.
We invite you to look over the list on the attached pages. We believe we have put together a program that meets the crop production information needs of all producers in the State. Over 5,000 producers and industry personnel are expected to attend these events. Each industry sponsor of an event will be recognized in direct relation to the level of support.

GOLD SPONSOR

  1. Your company name included in the December flyer of Extension programs
  2. Table Top Exhibit at each location
  3. Logo in Winter Advertisement
SILVER SPONSOR



  1. Name in advertisement in winter flyer
  2. Table top Exhibit at each location selected
BRONZE SPONSOR



  1. Table top Display at each selected site
  2. Name/logo on program agenda the day of the event
BOOSTER



  1. Name included on one event agenda sheet
NON PROFIT GROUP



  1. Table Top Display

Gold Sponsor-$400.00 per site
SILVER SPONSOR -$250.00 per site
BRONZE SPONSOR $150.00 per site
PROGRAM BOOSTER $100.00 per site
NON-PROFIT RATE $50.00  per site
To select your sponsorship preferences, please view 2012 Penn State Conferences Sign Up Worksheet,of scheduled meetings and publications. Next to each program, there are boxes to check for Gold, Silver, Bronze and Booster. Place X’s in the appropriate boxes. At the end of the list, you may tally up your choices and add the dollar values for each level of sponsorship and your grand total. Please submit your payment by check made payable to PSCE Program Fund and returned to the Penn State Extension Office in Huntingdon County.
In order that all sponsors and exhibitors may be listed in the December program flyer, please return your response and payment to arrive in our office no later than October 27, 2011. Your continued support of Penn State Extension programming is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or concerns about this new process, please contact me at 814-643-1660 or by email at sam36@psu.edu.
Sincerely,
Stan McKee,
County Extension Director/Educator
Please check off your support level by each of the conference locations and then simply tally the costs and submit your payment by check made payable to PSCE Program Fund and returned to the Penn State Extension Office in Huntingdon County.
Payment, except as noted, is due on October 27, 2011.   Send the signup forms and payment to:  Attention:  CMT Opportunities, Penn State Extension, 10722 Fairgrounds Road, Suite 6, Huntingdon, PA 16652

Simplified Pasture Management


Del Voight - Penn State Extension
Pasture Management Timeline this is a photo of the year at a glance and when the ideal time for management occurs.



Weeds    
  1. Timeline:
    1. The first year apply one of the following both in the spring and in the fall.
    2. The second year management then only a fall application done before freeze out (October).
    3. Once fertility and over seeding has significantly increased the grass cover then eliminate herbicides until weeds become a problem again. Once weeds are under control then clover can be inter seeded into the sward if desired.
  2. The majority of weeds found in the pasture can be taken care of with the following products under the following scenarios all will not injure grass:
    1. 1st scenario
      1. Primarily small perennials especially dandelions and will injure but not kill clover. Either product alone will provide very broad spectrum control of hundreds of broadleaf plants. By mixing together the two work well together filling in the holes where one will not work the other will. There is no grazing restriction where non meat type or lactating animals are to be grazed.
        1. 2,4-D 2-3 pint per acre….. 2 ounce per gallon of water (1-2% solution)
        2. Use the amine formulation in warm weather and the ester(LV4) in cool weather.
        3. Banvel/Clarity     1 pint per acre……1 ounce per gallon of water (.5-1% solution)
        4. Note: Mix one or both to broaden spectrum and spray.
    2. 2nd Scenario
      1. Multifloral rose, majority of broadleaves will kill clover and may injure grass temporarily. Complete pasture weed control including star of bethleham.
        1. Cimarron .1-.3 ounce per acre…….1 ounce per 100 gallons of water. Do not use where overseeding or renovation may take place in the next year.
        2. Overdrive - Complete program - 4-6 oz/acre
        3. Milestone 4 ounce per acre 1/3 oz per gallon of water plus .1 ounce per acre Cimarron mixed together.
        4. Forefront 1 quart per acre or 2 ounce per gallon of water.

      1. Crossbow- 2-4 quart per acre or .2-4 ounce per gallon of spray(2.5-5% solution) no grazing restriction for non meat animals. use this product if you desire to over seed the next year
  3. Be sure to treat the fencerows and waste places on the farm to prevent re infestation.
  4. If spot treating areas (less than .25 acres) no grazing restrictions exist. On all products excluding Cimarron Forefront and Milestone wait 7-14 days to harvest or graze according to the label.
  5. Custom applications of pesticides are available as well as rental of sprayers. Growmark FS, Chemgro, Jeff Bomgardener, Ag Land Crop Protection( Jesse Anspach), Alger Farms.
  6. For small Parcels a 4 gallon back pak sprayer (@70 bucks) with a small 2 nozzle boom will work well.
Fertility with no soil test
  1. Lime (put it on anytime)@every three years or when soil test recommends it.
    1. Use 2 tons per acre of lime if no lime applied within three years. Most dealers require to spread a full truck load (14tons)so one may need to coordinate with neighbors to fill out a load.
      1. Otherwise soil test and apply accordingly
  2. Fertilization. The fall spring, and summer programs, will meet the removal rate of animals or harvest but will not build soil reserves.        
    Fall Fertilizer (Try to time to a rain event
  1. Use actual analysis of 70-30-100
    1. Option 1
      1. Source using ½ half N in urea and ½ N as Ammonium Sulfate
      2. Use MAP 11-52-0 for phosphorus
      3. Use Muriate of Potash 0-0-60
    2. Option 2
      1. Use 400 lbs /acre of 1-1-1(15-15-15 OR 20-20-20)
      2. Use 350 lbs/acre of 2-1-1(20-10-10)
    Spring Fertilizer applied after first graze or cut
  1. Use actual of 50-30-100 same as fall process
    1. Option 1 same as fall
    2. Option 2 Use 300 lbs per acre of 1-1-1(20-20-20) as in fall
    Summer Fertilizer Optional
  1. Apply Actual 50-0-0 after each grazing or cutting as growth is needed avoid summer slump time to push grass.
  2. If access to tractor order a buggy with the above analysis from
    1. Farm Service (Richland)(866-5205), Hydro Kirby(Richland)(866-5701), Umbergers(Fontana 861-5161), Chemgro
  3. If no access to tractor or truck order a Amish type buggy and pull with a truck.
  4. Notes: Ask the fertilizer dealer to set the buggy spreader at half the rate and then proceed to spread the pasture or hay field in two directions so that skips will not show up later
  5. On small parcels 1-3 acres use a turf spreader to apply bagged fertilizer.

27 September 2011

Grain Crops Update: Drying the 2011 Corn and Soybean Crops

With the ongoing weather and late planting that occured this spring we will experience alot of different scenarios. Rather than rewrite this I have opted to use Chad Lees blog entry dealing with the dry down issue. Here is his blog for more information.
As we move into harvest be cautious about dust and potential risk to you and your workers. Ensure safety with a respirator and or dust mask to limit inhaling the dust into the lungs.

Grain Crops Update: Drying the 2011 Corn and Soybean Crops: Sam McNeill , Extension Agricultural Engineer, University of Kentucky Wet weather this spring delayed corn and soybean planting in ma...

2011 Measuring and Reducing Soybean Harvesting Losses


Del Voight – Penn State Extension
Over the last several years of working with what I consider the top soybean producers in the State I have learned the importance of timely harvest of soybeans. It has been my experience that once 95% of the leaves turn brown about a week later its time to combine. I still remember John Yocum referring to the fact that after it the plants first reach harvestable moistures dry matter losses occur simply by the alternating day night. I found the following excerpts from a Missouri article useful during harvest to capture the losses that may occur during harvest.
Numerous tests of soybean combine losses show that up to 12 percent of the soybean crop is lost during harvest. Harvesting losses cannot be reduced to zero, but they can be reduced to about 5 percent. Combines can be operated to reduce losses without affecting the harvesting rate. This guide describes the major sources of loss. Consider shatter losses of 2 percent acceptable. Average losses are 5 percent or more.


Two discount Schedules for $10.00 Per Bushel Soybeans and the Weight/Value Lost From Soybeans at Moistures Other Than 13.5 Percent M.C. Standard
Discount of $.12 Per Bushel Per Point of Moisture (2% Per Point of Moisture)Discount of $.20 Per Bushel Per Point of Moisture (3.3% Per Point of Moisture)
Soybean Harvest Moisture, %, Wet BasisWeight of Water Loss (+) or Gain (-), Lbs/Bu to Convert Soybeans to 13.5% Moisture$.12 Discount Per Bushel, $Price Per Bushel, $Value Per Bushel, $, Adjusted for Moisture$.20 Discount Per Bushel, $Price Per Bushel, $Value Per Bushel, $, Adjusted for Moisture
195.5$0.66 $9.34 $9.76 $1.10 $8.90 $9.28
184.5$0.54 $9.46 $9.80 $0.90 $9.10 $9.40
173.5$0.42 $9.58 $9.84 $0.70 $9.30 $9.52
162.5$0.30 $9.70 $9.88 $0.50 $9.50 $9.64
151.5$0.18 $9.82 $9.92 $0.30 $9.70 $9.76
140.5$0.06 $9.94 $9.96 $0.10 $9.90 $9.88
13.500$10.00 $10.00 $0.00 $10.00 $10.00
12-1.5$10.00 $9.93 $10.00 $9.93
11-2.5$10.00 $9.86 $10.00 $9.86
10-3.5$10.00 $9.79 $10.00 $9.79
9-4.5$10.00 $9.72 $10.00 $9.72
8-5.5$10.00 $9.65 $10.00 $9.65


What about the 2011 harvest for Soybeans?  This season will likely present a challenge due to the shrink and swell with frequent rains.  More than ever as soon as the beans are in the harvestable stage they should be prioritized over any other crop on the farm( in my opinion).  This is due to the high potential for harvest loss. Also the likelyhood of dusting is high so operators and workers should be protected from the dust created during harvest with respirators to rule out any possibility of infection in the respiratory tract of the worker.


Tips for keeping combine losses low                     Adapted from the fact sheet that Charles W. Shay, Lyle Ellis and William Hires produced from the Missouri Department of Agricultural Engineering  http://muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/agguides/agengin/g01280.htm



Your best guide for correct combine adjustment is your operator's manual.
Remember that more than 80 percent of the machine loss usually occurs at the gathering unit. The following suggestions will help keep these losses to a minimum.
  • Make sure that knife sections, guards, wear plates and hold-down clips are in good condition and properly adjusted.
  • Use a ground speed of 2.8 to 3.0 miles per hour. To determine ground speed, count the number of 3-foot steps taken in 20 seconds while walking beside the combine. Divide this number by 10 to get the ground speed in miles per hour.
  • Use a reel speed about 25 percent faster than ground speed. For 42-inch-diameter reels, use a reel speed of 11 revolutions per minute for each 1-mile-per-hour ground speed.
  • Reel axle should be 6 to 12 inches ahead of the cutter bar. Reel bats should leave beans just as they are cut. Reel depth should be just enough to control the beans.
  • A six-bat reel will give more uniform feeding than a four-bat reel.
  • Complete the harvest as quickly as possible after beans reach 15 percent moisture content.
  • A pick-up type reel with pick-up guards on the cutter bar is recommended when beans are lodged and tangled.
For a specific methods and sheet to take to the field refer to this publication and enter your own information. You may also call me directly for copy to have on hand.

Adapted from the fact sheet that Charles W. Shay, Lyle Ellis and William Hires produced from the Missouri Department of Agricultural Engineering

26 September 2011

9/26/11 First Soybean Harvest report

It seems odd but many soybean fields have lost their leaves and are nearing harvest moisture. I recieved a report this morning of soybeans in the Lebanon area that were taken over the weekend. They were 17% moisture and were running in he mid to upper 60's as far as bu/acre.  Test wieghts in the 57 lb range. Not too bad for this kind of season.

Greig to Farmers: Register to Get Disaster Assistance - Lancaster Farming

Greig to Farmers: Register to Get Disaster Assistance - Lancaster Farming

23 September 2011

Mosquito populations Rage On in the Lebanon Area

Here is a picture of an overnight trap capture near Cornwall.  Phil Hall is swamped with calls to deal with them not only from a human stand point but for equine and livestock as well. Pyrethroids as premise spray work well if applied correctly at the right dosage.  Pick an insecticide with a long residual examples would be  Suspend Wisdom etc.  If  you observe larvae in pools and ponded water then Bt pellets are working. As with any emergency West Nile Virus Educators are treating high population areas but many growers will need to treat their own properties to avoid possible infection.  Check out West Nile Educator Phil Halls  Facebook for his reports and recommended actions.



Mosquito rage

22 September 2011

After flooding, farmers get some direction

After flooding, farmers get some direction

timely harvest of soybeans - Lancaster Farming

Electronic Edition 092510 S08 - Lancaster Farming

Farmer’s Fields Reflect Struggles With Wet Spring - Lancaster Farming

Farmer’s Fields Reflect Struggles With Wet Spring - Lancaster Farming

Lebanon Valley farmers philosophical about flood damage - Lebanon Daily News

Lebanon Valley farmers philosophical about flood damage - Lebanon Daily News

Downed Cherry Trees Pastured cattle concerns after wind damage

With so many cherry trees that have blown over with the recent floods as cattle are put back into these environment be advised that those cherry leaves once wilted may contain cyanide. I have talked to several veterinarians and have found that once the leaves have fallen off the plant the cyanide levels will drop. However if the leaves are still connected to the plant stems the leaf tissue can draw toxins from the branches into the leaves.  Many factors lead to the breakdown of cyanide through hydrolosis and that will depend on many factors most notably if the leaves are still connected to the branches. They are recommending to clean the trees out ASAP and get as much of the dropped leaves off the ground before commencing grazing activities.
  I have personally been involved in  cases where several large dairy cows were killed by eating the leaves of cherry.  Pretty simple to diagnose since the cherry tree was down in the dry cow lot and you could see the hoof prints. The lab test came back to confirm so watch out.  Another case was with Ewe bushes that several young stock were killed by consuming the plants. The producer had fenced off a section around an abandoned home which had the ewe bushes and the cattle in there were dead in a week. Necropsy also confirmed.
Here is a factsheet that details the issue. I have some cherry that had gone down and I cleaned up as much as I could then turned the cattle out. I had thought I had removed most cherry trees but missed a couple and sure enough they were the ones to go over.  Once you cut the stump you need to apply the stump treatment before the tissue dries can be minutes in dry weather. A great reference for stump treatments from Florida State University is here http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag245.  
Cut Stump
Imazapyr
(Arsenal AC or Stalker)
6 oz/gal (for Arsenal AC)
or
8-16 oz/gal (for Stalker)
Apply to the top and side of a freshly cut stump. Garlon 3A is excellent for this use. If surface of stump has began to dry prior to herbicide treatment, apply Chopper, Garlon 4, Remedy or Pasturegard in basal oil - or recut the stump and apply the freshly cut surface. Garlon 3A will not effectively mix with basal oils.
Triclopyr
(Garlon 3A)
50 - 100% in water
Triclopyr
(Remedy Ultra or Garlon Ultra)
25% solution in water or basal oil
Triclopyr + fluroxypyr
(Pasturegard)
50% solution in water or basal oil
Glyphosate
(several)
50-100%
Apply to cut stumps immediately after cutting. Glyphosate is not effective on stumps that have started to dry after cutting. If immediate treatment is not possible, other herbicides should be selected since glyphosate will not mix with basal oils.
Cut Stump
Imazapyr
(Arsenal AC or Stalker)
6 oz/gal (for Arsenal AC)
or
8-16 oz/gal (for Stalker)
Apply to the top and side of a freshly cut stump. Garlon 3A is excellent for this use. If surface of stump has began to dry prior to herbicide treatment, apply Chopper, Garlon 4, Remedy or Pasturegard in basal oil - or recut the stump and apply the freshly cut surface. Garlon 3A will not effectively mix with basal oils.
Triclopyr
(Garlon 3A)
50 - 100% in water
Triclopyr
(Remedy Ultra or Garlon Ultra)
25% solution in water or basal oil
Triclopyr + fluroxypyr
(Pasturegard)
50% solution in water or basal oil
Glyphosate
(several)
50-100%
Apply to cut stumps immediately after cutting. Glyphosate is not effective on stumps that have started to dry after cutting. If immediate treatment is not possible, other herbicides should be selected since glyphosate will not mix with basal oils.
Cut Stump
Imazapyr
(Arsenal AC or Stalker)
6 oz/gal (for Arsenal AC)
or
8-16 oz/gal (for Stalker)
Apply to the top and side of a freshly cut stump. Garlon 3A is excellent for this use. If surface of stump has began to dry prior to herbicide treatment, apply Chopper, Garlon 4, Remedy or Pasturegard in basal oil - or recut the stump and apply the freshly cut surface. Garlon 3A will not effectively mix with basal oils.
Triclopyr
(Garlon 3A)
50 - 100% in water
Triclopyr
(Remedy Ultra or Garlon Ultra)
25% solution in water or basal oil
Triclopyr + fluroxypyr
(Pasturegard)
50% solution in water or basal oil
Glyphosate
(several)
50-100%
Apply to cut stumps immediately after cutting. Glyphosate is not effective on stumps that have started to dry after cutting. If immediate treatment is not possible, other herbicides should be selected since glyphosate will not mix with basal oils.
So take a small sprayer and pre mix have it ready when you cut the final stump then treat it immediately.  Here is a complete write up of the situation.

Cherry Poisoning

Melissa Bravo had this to report pertaining to poisonous plants. 
Wild black cherry, choke cherry, jetbead, peaches, plums, apples, apricots, almonds (Prunus Family)
The prunus family contains many plants have may have poisonous parts to both livestock and humans. All plants parts including the pits and berries contain cyanide and HCN and discarding of ornamental and waste produce has lead to the death of livestock as well as those deaths associated with the grazing of these species in stressed pastures. Cyanide poisoning interferes with respiration and blood circulation; death is often swift (Kingsbury 1964, Cheeke 1983, Cheeke and Schull 1985). The lethal dose of HCN for cattle and sheep is about 2.0 mg/kg of body weight (Kingsbury 1964). Other signs of toxicity may include a short period of stimulation followed by slow pulse, dilated pupils, spasms, staggering, loss of consciousness, and death, which results from asphyxiation. Postmortem findings include bright red blood and congestion of internal organs (Kingsbury 1964, Scimeca and Oehme 1985).

How to crop destruct flooded fields?

With the recent FDA move to not allow crops in the flooded areas to be harvested and the fact that a total loss claim with crop insurance requires the destruction of the crop a new challenge has emerged in how to effectively destroy the crop and set up for next spring planting.   There are a number of methods to destroy the crop.
  1. Burning.  Oddly enough this is an option and there are clear methods in how to do this.  Burning will require the crop to be dried down into winter and then a controlled burn could be set. While this practice is common in the west most growers do not utilize this method. For more information contact your local fire department. For resource read this publication  http://www.noble.org/Ag/Wildlife/prescribedburn/Index.htm
  2. Chopping the crop and leaving it lay to dry. This method is great however it will require some secondary tillage to spread the residue evenly and ensure good even cover for spring planting of crops using no till methods. 
  3. Brush hogging the crop down and then discing might be another method employed. In most cases with this method numerous passes might be required depending on how heavy the crop is in the field.
  4. Since there will be seeds buried plan on volunteer corn and beans in the next seasons crops.  It is a good idea to rotate the corn this fall into soybeans in the spring so that a fatty acid type herbicide (Fusilade, Select, Poast)can be used to eliminate the volunteer corn. Like wise with soybeans rotating to corn will allow a phenoxy herbicide to be added to the glyphosate to eliminate that concern.
Whatever method is utilized the goal is the same to reduce the residue to a level that no till planters may operate in. This does not need to be a complete elimination of the surface residue.
Finally consider the use of cover crops this fall to allow for root growth into the flooded soils and revive microbes and create some stability in the soil.

21 September 2011

Flooding Damaged Third Of Crops In Lebanon County - Pennsylvania News Story - WGAL The Susquehanna Valley

Flooding Damaged Third Of Crops In Lebanon County - Pennsylvania News Story - WGAL The Susquehanna Valley

Logistics for Farmers to follow for Disaster reporting and potential disaster funding.

Forms to Fill Out
  1. Call your Crop Insurance Representative. 72 hours
  2. Contact your Township, Borough Office to fill out the form they provide. This will vary by Township.
  3. LEMA Form (or county based EMA all will have a form)ASAP  http://www.lebanonema.org/lema/Community/Downloads_GetFile.aspx?id=546
    1. Deliver and or send to Dan Kauffman at the LEMA Center at the courthouse
  4. FSA Form   15 days to report failed crop.  30 days for lost feed dead animals  https://acrobat.com/#d=zYRyweE6lfX3tnLlK06dig
    1. Please fill out this form
      https://acrobat.com/#d=Bf9jdoxLSCp2*Km1deJpZg and send it to FSA they will compile this information for later announcement regarding ag support.
    2. Deliver or send completed form to Julie Holland at the FSA office at the Ag Center.
  5. FEMA Form Still working on this form. I will load it once I get my fingers on it. In the mean time you will need to either call FEMA and or go online and register do this online.   I called the FEMA number and got a circle that lead right back to the FSA office.  So call Julie Holland 717 272 3908 Ext 2 and they will tally farmers and when funding becomes available will work with you on solutions.  If your farm is not in Lebanon call the FSA office in your county or area. You might be able to report your damage at the hotline but my experience is that they send you back to the FSA office in your area not sure what else to alert you to.  http://www.fema.gov/assistance/index.shtm  http://www.disasterassistance.gov/  Quick Route to creating a FEMA account.

Molds in the basement and house top questions?

I have received a number of questions regarding mold in the home the e-Extension fact sheets are available and I pieced together some of the common questions. One of the most interesting is the dilution rate for the chlorine bleach to treat walls. If you choose to disinfect here are some considerations. 

              Key points when using bleach. Ventilate during treatment, where a respirator if to protect lungs.  The rates here are very concentrated and will damage certain items. For shock chlorinated wells the rate is 100 ppm that would equate to about 1 ounce in 3 gallons of water I relate  this to illustrate that more is not always better.  For the basement many sources I have checked  are going with a much higher concentration  of 10% that would be about 12.8 ounce per gallon of water so be sure you use caution. I would make an error on the less dilute than more.  It is not always recommended that this treatment be done ventilation and proper removal of mold containing objects are more logical.  Disinfect Surfaces - (if desired) after cleaning the affected area as described above, wipe down the wall, ceiling, or floor again using a mixture of liquid household chlorine bleach and water. If you are cleaning a small area, use 5 cups of water mixed with 1/2 cup bleach. If you are cleaning a large area, use a 5-gallon pail of water and add 1/2 gallon of bleach to it. Be sure to open windows when you use bleach, so you have fresh air to breathe and the bleach does not irritate your lungs. Always handle bleach with caution. Also be sure to follow all the directions and warnings on the bleach label. Thoroughly dry the area as quickly as possible. Be sure to wait at least 10 minutes or more before washing off the bleach to ensure proper disinfection.  NEVER MIX BLEACH WITH AMMONIA.

Formulations containing sodium hypochlorite.  http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=chem&id=146

MSDS sheet for bleach  http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/products/msds/bleach/cloroxregularbleach0809_.pdf

Label for Clorox and numerous uses.
http://www.clorox.com/pdf/5813-50_service-bulletins.pdf



What are molds?

Molds are microorganisms. They are found everywhere. They can grow on almost anything if it is moist enough. Inside your home molds grow quickly on damp surfaces like bathroom walls and trim around windows. Molds may look like furry growth, black stains, or specks of black, white, orange, green, or brown.

What do molds do to our body?

When a growth of mold appears, it can send clouds of invisible bits of mold through the air. These bits of mold can cause infections, allergies, asthma, and other breathing problems. To avoid these health problems, keep your home as mold-free as possible.

How does mold get into our homes?

The more people who live in a home, the more likely it is that molds will grow inside it. This is because we release a lot of moisture in the air when we breathe. When we take long hot showers, cook with uncovered pots, dry clothes on an indoor clothesline, or use humidifiers, we also make more moisture for molds to grow. Storing wet firewood, watering many plants, and storing many vegetables like potatoes and squash can make a mold problem more likely, too.

How can I tell if I have a mold problem?

Any part of your home that gets wet is likely to be moldy. Check:
  • for leaks in your roof or plumbing. If water is trapped inside your walls or under your carpet, molds may grow there, although they can't always be seen. See if your walls or rugs have light stains or a strong musty smell.
  • for mold in your basement, especially if your basement floods because of rain. Moisture can also seep through your home's concrete foundation and make the bottom of carpets or the inside of a finished wall moldy.
  • for water damage around your windows or doors to the outside of the house. In winter, moist air can change to water on these cooler surfaces and cause molds to grow there.
  • for mold on walls, ceilings, floors, carpets, books, or piles of newspapers. Smell these areas too; sometimes a musty smell is your only clue that you have a mold problem.

How do I get rid of a mold problem?

When molds get inside materials like carpets and mattresses, they cannot be cleaned. Throw them away. But you can get rid of molds in bedding, curtains, drapes and clothes by washing or dry cleaning them. Some non-porous materials can be cleaned.
Use protective equipment when working around mold. The following equipment can help minimize exposure to mold:
  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye goggles
  • Outer clothing (long sleeves and long pants) that can be easily removed in the work area and laundered or discarded
  • Use an N-95 respirator (these can be found at hardware stores or other large stores that sell home repair supplies)
Clean Surfaces - scrub all moldy surfaces using a stiff brush, hot water and a soap or detergent that does NOT contain ammonia. Collect used liquid with a wet/dry vacuum, mop or sponge. Rinse area clean with clean water and dry thoroughly.
Disinfect Surfaces - (if desired) after cleaning the affected area as described above, wipe down the wall, ceiling, or floor again using a mixture of liquid household chlorine bleach and water. If you are cleaning a small area, use 5 cups of water mixed with 1/2 cup bleach. If you are cleaning a large area, use a 5-gallon pail of water and add 1/2 gallon of bleach to it. Be sure to open windows when you use bleach, so you have fresh air to breathe and the bleach does not irritate your lungs. Always handle bleach with caution. Also be sure to follow all the directions and warnings on the bleach label. Thoroughly dry the area as quickly as possible.
NEVER MIX BLEACH WITH AMMONIA

How can I keep mold from growing in my home?


dehumidifierhouse diagram
Moisture from room air condenses on the coil and drips into the water bucket or through a hose into a nearby drain.Bath fans, kitchen fans and clothes dryer fans vent moist air to the outside of the home. Window fans will also move moist air out of the home.

Keep your home as dry as possible. Repair roof and plumbing leaks right away. Make sure that the ground around the foundation of your house slopes away from the house, so that your basement is less likely to flood.
If your home has kitchen, bathroom, or window fans that vent (send) the moist air outside, use them when you cook or take a shower. If you do not have fans, open a window when you cook or shower, cover pots when cooking, and try to take cool, short showers. Dry clothing on a clothesline outside or use a clothes dryer that vents (sends) air outdoors.
If your basement is damp, get a dehumidifier (note: this is the opposite of a humidifier, which adds air moisture) to remove moisture from the air. If you have an air conditioner to run in the summer, it will remove some moisture as it cools the air. When you use an air conditioner or dehumidifier, don't keep your windows open if it is damp outside.
Do not finish the walls of your basement with insulation and wallboard unless your basement is very dry. Also avoid putting wall-to-wall carpet on your basement floor. If your basement floor is concrete, you can paint it and use area rugs instead. Then you can take the rugs outside to clean and dry them, and the rugs aren't as likely to get moldy.

Where can I get more information?

drawing of a man and a woman on telephonehttp://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/recover/fema_mold_brochure_english.pdf

09 September 2011

Managing Flood Damaged Crops

There are alot of concerns with the crops that have been flooded yesterday.  The givens are that many sewage treatment plants have release some or all potentially untreated waste down stream. Further many homes at industrial sites also might have materials of  unknown origin down stream. Corn is flat and near the soil surface which will increase the soil that is left on or near the plants. No one call tell what might be in the field but there is some advice on how to manage these flooded crops.  Here is a link to several useful materials.  Dr. Greg Roth is working on some more information out within the coming days that will be available for media and news purposes. Further we are also working on an Emergency meeting for farmers to learn more about how to deal with the wind and now the flooded crops. Here is a picture that Dean DeVore a fellow Blue Bander sent to me of the area of Clarks Creek a few minutes ago.

Managing Flood Damaged Crops
Sink Hole Management and Repair

Information about preparing for and responding to disasters and emergencies can be found at the Pennsylvania Extension Disaster Education Network website at http://extension.psu.edu/prepare.  Link on Emergency Readiness, and then, Flood Resources.
The National Extension Initiative (eXtension) has a Disaster Issues area, including Floods and Agriculture Disaster Preparedness. Visit; http://www.extension.org/ and select Disaster Issues. Additional information for production agriculture can be found at; http://www.readyag.psu.edu/
Each County Extension office as a set of three ring binders, and a CD of the Extension Disaster Handbook.  There is a section for floods.  The url for the web-based version is; http://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu/masterfr.htm

EDEN has a floods and flooding topics page at; http://eden.lsu.edu/Topics/Hazards/Floods/Pages/Default.aspx There are a variety of credible resources listed.

One of the EDEN resources that has been distributed and utilized nationally is First Steps to Flood Recovery.  This is an outstanding, easily used resource;  http://www.extension.purdue.edu/floodpub/index.html  Consider providing hard copies of this material for those without electricity, or without internet access.  This information is important for those returning to a flooded home  and includes sections on Help your Family, People with Disabilities, Care of Pets and Livestock, Reentering Buildings, Damaged Food, Drinking Water/Well Water,  Salvaging Keepsakes, Salvaging Furniture, Large Electrical Appliances, Carpets and Flooring, Drywall and Insulation, Contacting Your Insurance Company, and Government and Community Support.

The state of North Dakota has experienced unprecedented flooding recently. Their Extension system has made available a variety of flood related resources for Extension to share with the public.  http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/flood/

Local County Animal Response Teams (CART) can provide assistance for pets and animals. See; http://sart.psu.edu/ and select your county.


We have an opportunity/obligation to provide valuable information to those affected by the flooding.  Please consider providing this information and these resources to our public.