Field Trials & Research
During the 2019-2020 growing season, Maninder K. Walia, Assistant Professor, Field Crop Specialist for Extension, partnered with other researchers from the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources to evaluate several crops planted at the Experiment Station in Fallon.
These evaluations included
- 9 chick pea varieties,
- 4 forage soybeans varieties,
- 3 varieties of field beans,
- 16 new commercial grain and forage sorghum hybrids,
- 3 varieties of soybeans,
- 4 varieties of winter squash.
In addition, the collaborative team established and evaluated several varieties of corn, pearl millet and sorghum hybrids.
Research was aimed at determining various agronomic characteristics affecting production, such as varieties and row spacing. Testing of the crops was conducted to determine production yields and quality of yield.
Data collected is being analyzed and will be used to produce scientific and Extension publications. Information about new alternative crops that can be grown in this region will be shared with producers during Annual Field Day events in Fallon and Reno, state conferences, and special workshops.
CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILY
Churchill County 4-H
Churchill County 4-H enrolled 227 youth between the ages of 5 and 19 as members during the 2019-2020 year. Most of these members were in two or more clubs.
Our 42 volunteers continue to be the foundation of the Churchill County 4-H story. These leader/volunteers have helped expand the 4-H program in new clubs being offered. Some lead more than one club. We have volunteers that have been leaders for 40 years.
This year the 4-H held a Community Service Day. Although it was raining we were able to plant 40 trees at Liberty Pond for the Churchill County Parks and Recreation.
The youth had amazing experiences, learning and growing, at the Nevada State 4-H Camp located at Lake Tahoe, July 14-20, 2019. Churchill County continued to be a leader of the Nevada Northern Central Camp. We had 21 campers, 14 teen camp counselors and 8 adult chaperones attend this year. Churchill County 4-H continued to provide the majority of chaperones and teen counselors.
In August 2019, 4-H participated in the Ag Day at the Cantaloupe Festival and Country Fair by providing various animals and educating 5th graders in Churchill about their projects and agriculture. This education continued throughout the festival, educating the public about agriculture and providing fun learning activities. 4-H members also participated with various exhibits in the exhibit hall.
The 4-H State Expo was reinstated in Winnemucca, Oct 3-7, 2019. Several 4-H members took the opportunity to participate in this statewide event. The participation ranged from livestock to static displays. All ten that participated from Churchill won Grand Champions or received a blue ribbon.
The Churchill County Junior Livestock Show and Sale was held April 23-25, 2020. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we moved our show and sale from in person to an all virtual event. The transition time was quick, but we were able to have a very successful show and sale for those exhibitors that wished to participate. We had approximately 90 exhibitors that showed market and breeding beef, swine, goat, poultry and rabbits. The sale consisted of 60 market animals all selling for a fair market price.
HORTICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Identification - Research – Publications
- Staff help residents with samples brought into the office in order to:
- Identify weeds and weed control methods,
- Recommend or identify plants, trees, shrubs, grasses or other items for their yard,
- Diagnose common plant distresses and diseases,
- Identify bugs or four-legged pests and the damage they cause.
Often the help provided is on-the-spot from research done in the past, other times further investigation is required. Answers are supported by sharing an Extension fact sheet or special publication on the topic. If our local staff can’t find the answer, a referral can be made to specialists or our online service of Ask.Extension.Org.
Grow Your Own Classes
The Churchill County office provided access to Grow Your Own, Nevada classes that were presented by Extension program leaders in Washoe County and broadcast through interactive video equipment to Fallon.
In the Fall of 2019, our office offered three classes with a total of 13 attendees. Classes are free to participants in Churchill and included topics of Fruit Tree Selection, Growing in Greenhouses, Garden Clean Up and Pest Prevention. All classes during the Spring of 2020, were offered as online classes via Zoom, in order to meet the safety requirements instated as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In an effort to protect the environment and to promote healthy and safe application, a license is required by the Nevada State Department of Agriculture to use restricted use pesticides, common for weed or insect control, in crops and fields. Extension provides pesticide workshops where applicators can receive Continuing Education Units used for recertification of their licenses. In the fall of 2019, two workshops were available in the Churchill County office. One class provided the special requirements of pesticide use on hemp crops, the other was for general use and review of new regulations. Nine participants attended these workshops. Study materials for the certification process can be purchased in the Churchill County office for $15.00.
Soil Sample Analysis
Soil testing is a reliable tool to learn about key characteristics of your soil and its fertility levels. To help growers determine how to treat their soil, Extension staff in Churchill County provide instructions on how to take soil samples for analysis. In addition, we have available a list of some private testing labs that can provide soil analysis services.
Wood Cutting Permits and Christmas Tree Permits
We assist the Bureau of Land Management, by providing wood cutting permits and Christmas tree tags for the public. This collaboration saves residents a drive to Carson City to obtain these permits. In 2019, the Extension office in Churchill County sold permits for 231 Christmas trees. There were 111 permits for cords of firewood sold from July 2019 to June 2020.
Water Tests Kits and Test Result Interpretation
Extension partners with the Nevada State Public Health Lab to offer water test kits for the general public. The Churchill County office has test kits and instructions available for four types of tests; routine domestic, presences of Coliform/E.Coli, arsenic level and nitrate levels. During the 2019-2020 year county residents received 149 water test kits from our office. Factsheets and information about arsenic, manganese, iron and reverse osmosis systems are often provided to help answer questions our residents have about their water test results.
Each January and February, University of Nevada, Reno Extension offers free test kits to evaluate the naturally occurring radon that has accumulated in a home. Radon is a radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Rising from the ground, it can accumulate in a home to a level that raises the risk of lung cancer. Test results from 1989 to 2019 show that 16.8% (84 homes) of the 500 Churchill County homes tested, have radon in excess of the EPA Action Level of 4 pCi/l. A list of vendors that can provide radon remediation is available to those interested in learning how to change the radon levels in their home. In 2020, 17 Radon test kits were handed out by the staff in the Churchill County office.
Community Educational Activities
In August 2019, the educational activities at the Fallon Cantaloupe Festival & Country Fair were enhanced by a collaborative effort between Extension and the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). A soil tunnel display was provided by NRCS and manned by Maninder Walia, the statewide field crop specialist for Extension. An estimated 350 students in the 5th grade had the opportunity to learn important facts about soil composition and soil health.
Many non-profit organizations and associations across Nevada have utilized the meeting space and video conferencing equipment provided by Extension. This allows formulative information to be widely shared, while reducing the time and expense of rural Nevada travel.
FISCAL YEAR 2019 – 2020
COUNTY FUNDS SUMMARY
Opening Balance: $180,843
Revenue: $ 78,136
Closing Balance: $130,675
ALL REVENUE SUMMARY
State $ 46,047
Federal $ 36,351
County $ 78,136
Grants $ 16,418