Farming crops and livestock in Alaska can be challenging. Pests, whether affecting plants or livestock, add to the problem by decreasing farm productivity. We think it is important to document the ones we have and develop sustainable ways to control them. We also think it is important to keep any new ones from establishing and your help in finding new pests is critical to all of Alaska’s future agricultural success.
It was with this in mind that the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service secured grant funding to investigate the presence of pests on Alaskan farms. We welcome Alaskan farmers to participate in this important project. At your invitation trained IPM scouts will teach scouting techniques to document the presence of plant and/or livestock pests.
For crop pests: The IPM scout will work with you to check one of your fields for pests. The goals of this exercise are to remind you of the methods and importance of always looking for pests in your crops and where to send any unknown insects, diseases, and weeds for identification. We will be able to work with you to determine options for controlling any pest that might prove to be a problem in your crop.
For livestock pests: The IPM scout will collect feces for analysis of internal pests. Fecal samples will be processed at UAF free of charge, and you will receive a report listing the types of parasites found in the livestock and the category of dewormer that may best treat the problem. If you want, the farm veterinarian will also receive a copy of the report. Additionally, the scout will look for the presence of ticks and lice on some livestock (collecting any found), and will perform a “5 Point Check” as a way to correlate fecal analysis and livestock well-being (refer to our website for more information on the “5 Point Check”). This project will only cover investigation into pests of cattle, goats, and sheep.
All information collected will be confidential.
For questions regarding crop and livestock pests, please visit the Alaskan Agricultural Pest Project website: http://bit.ly/akfarmpest
To arrange a visit to your farm, field, hightunnel or production area call Janice Chumley at 262-5824 on the Kenai Peninsula or email email@example.com to get on the calendar.
January tends to find most people with a few tins of leftover goodies in the pantry, a few extra pounds, a New Year’s Resolution to lose them, and a boatload of guilt if that doesn’t happen. Being the “glass half full” person I am, I prefer to think of this as an opportunity to get back on track rather than a failure.
Start your return to good health by tossing those tempting sweets. If they’re not around, you can’t eat them; instant success! Next, pour out the sodas and eggnog and fill water bottles for the refrigerator; drop in some citrus slices to make plain water more refreshing. Add several fruits and vegetables to your shopping list and plan meals around them. Doing so will lighten your meals and your waistline. Finally, get moving! Take advantage of the snow by skiing, sledding, throwing snowballs with the kids, or even shoveling. If you prefer indoor activities, recruit a friend and try walking laps with Community Schools, at the Sports Center or local stores. Visit www.supertracker.usda.gov for a free, personalized nutrition and fitness plan or stop by our office for a handout on how you can get back on track after the holidays.
Across the southern Kenai Peninsula many trees both young and old are becoming infested with a pest new to our area, the Spruce Needle Aphid, Elatobium abietinum.
Found in coastal communities, you can see the damage to trees of all ages by the browning and dropping of the needles from the trunk outward. Early inspection is ideal since these pest feed on the needles as early as February or March. (click here for more info)
Now is a good time to begin working toward mastering your money management. UAF Cooperative Extension has developed a series of videos to help with, “Creating a Spending Plan”, “Snowballing Debt”, or “Staying Strong in Financially Difficult Times”. If saving money is a challenge for you take the time to watch the “Change Jar” video to see how to put your change to work for you in a savings account. To view these videos and others go to the UAF Extension YouTube Channel.
Request Soil Analysis Interpretation for Gardens or Crops
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