AGRICULTURE NEWS BRIEFS

REAP Energy Grant Workshop

USDA Rural Development will hold an energy grant workshop in Fallon on March 3 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Fallon Agricultural Center, located at 111 Sheckler Road.

Energy Coordinator Mark Williams will provide a brief overview of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), a USDA grant and loan program that can pay up to 25 percent of the project costs to build a renewable energy system or improve energy efficiency. Small rural businesses, farmers and ranchers are eligible to apply. The public is welcome to attend.

The systems the grant can fund are either for renewable energy systems, like solar, hydro and wind power, or for systems that increase energy efficiency—such as variable speed drives for well pumps or new energy efficient lighting, heating or air conditioning systems.

For information, contact Mark Williams at 775-887-1222 Ext. 116.

GARDENING IN NEVADA

Cooperative Extension has teamed up with Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space to offer “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series.” Classes are free and run 6–8 p.m. every Tuesday through March 31 at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road in Reno.

The classes are taught by Cooperative Extension horticulturists and experts, and Cooperative Extension’s certified Master Gardener volunteers. Classes include the following:

Tuesday: Growing Succulent Succulents — Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Liz Morrow teaches about the vast selection, growing conditions, care and maintenance of well-suited succulents for our area.

For more information on “Gardening in Nevada: The Bartley Ranch Series,” or for general horticultural inquiries, contact University of Nevada Cooperative Extension at 775-784-4848 or mastergardeners@ujnce.unr.edu or visit www.unce.unr.edu.

Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

TREE SALE

The Lahontan Conservation District is having its annual tree sale.

The plants are bare root and will range in size depending on the species selected. The trees purchased must be used for screen/windbreak, soil erosion control, riparian restoration or wildlife habitat improvement.

Prices range from $3.50-$4.50. Orders will be taken until March 16 and will be ready to pick up on April 4 at the Plant Materials Center.

To participate, contact Jackie Bogdanowicz at jackie.bogdanowicz@nv.nacdnet.net, 423-5124 x 101 or visit the Ag Service Center at 111 Sheckler Road.

AG PRODUCER PRESENTATIONS

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will offer four free presentations, the last Tuesday of each month, February–May, on topics important to agricultural producers and small-acreage owners in Northern Nevada.

Tuesday: Getting the Most Out of Your Hoop House, presented by Mark O’Farrell, Hungry Mother Organics owner

March 31: Agricultural Options for Small-acreage Landowners in Times of Drought, presented by Jay Davison, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension alternative crops and forage specialis

April 28: Fruit Trees, presented by Wendy Hanson, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program coordinator

May 26: Soil Health and Benefits of Compost, presented by Chris Savastio, Natural Resources Conservation Service soil scientist; and Craig Witt, Full Circle Compost owner

All presentations will be held 6–8 p.m., at CVIC Hall, 1604 Esmeralda Avenue in Minden. The presentations are free, and no registration is required. However, persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the event they plan to attend. For more information, contact Lewis at lewisst@unce.unr.edu or 775-782-9960.

grape growing workshop

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has teamed up with the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources to host a workshop to discuss practices needed for growing grapes in Nevada, 9 a.m.–noon, Feb. 21.

The “Growing Grapes in Nevada” workshop is part of Cooperative Extension’s “Grow Your Own, Nevada!” spring series of workshops. Topics for this grape-growing workshop include:

Site selection

Vineyard establishment

Pruning

Irrigation

Disease control

Best varieties

When to harvest

The University has been doing research on growing grapes in Nevada since establishing its own vineyard in 1995. Grant Cramer, a professor with the College of Agriculture, and Heidi Kratsch, a horticulture specialist with Cooperative Extension, will be presenting the Feb. 21 workshop. Cramer has been doing research for over 30 years on helping plants grow in adverse conditions. His research focuses on growing plants that tolerate salt-water irrigation, drought and cold. He was named the College’s Researcher of the Year in 2006 and 2010.

The grape-growing workshop will be at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office in Reno, 4955 Energy Way. The cost is $25 per person.

To register, visit http://www.growyourownnevada.com/news-events/calendar-of-events/ and click on the workshop, or contact Ashley Andrews at 775-784-4848. Space is limited. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

CONSERVATION PROGRAM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make available $100 million this year through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and although applications are accepted all year, farmers, ranchers and forest landowners should submit applications by Feb. 27 to ensure they are considered for this year’s funding (applications received after that date will be considered for future funding). This year’s investment may result in the enrollment of up to 7.7 million acres in the program by private landowners.

“CSP is a way of incentivizing farmers, ranchers, and private forest managers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship,” said Bruce Petersen of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “By focusing on multiple resource concerns, landowners are able to achieve a sustainable landscape and maintain or increase the productivity of their operations.”

Through CSP, participants take additional conservation steps to improve the resource conditions on their land, including soil, air and habitat quality, water quality and quantity, and energy conservation.

Petersen said CSP producers are conservation leaders, showing how science-based conservation and technological advancements can improve the environment and farming operations at the same time.

For more on technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted or a local USDA service center.

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