Field Trials & Research. Extension Field Crop Specialist and Assistant Professor, Dr. Maninder K. Walia, is collaborating with a local producer and the Fallon Food Hub, to evaluate the yields, quality and taste-test of four different varieties of butternut squash. Walia also coordinates research projects that include four varieties of hemp grown in Churchill County and multiple varieties of soybeans and chickpeas grown at the Experiment Station in Fallon.
Pesticide Applicator Training. 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 many pesticides. Extension provides pesticide workshops where attending applicators can receive Continuing Education Units used for recertification of their licenses. A two-day workshop was presented in November 2020. The pandemic health concerns reduced our in-person attendance to 6 persons per day.
ALL Year Help. Over 200 questions about plants, trees, weeds, bugs, water and soil were asked during the past year. Whether over the phone, behind a mask, or through email, our staff helped to identify:
Often the help provided is on-the-spot from research done in the past, other times further investigation is required. When possible, we share 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 Ask2.Extension.Org.
FALL 2020-Home Horticulture Certification Program. Individuals wanting a deeper understanding of the science behind backyard gardening in northern Nevada were invited to attend nine on-line classes offered by Extension faculty and staff and experienced horticulturalists. Attendance from the Churchill County area was not available.
SPRING 2021-Grow Your Own, Nevada Program. In spring 2021, the Grow Your Own, Nevada Program offered online courses to teach gardening basics. Eight classes were presented via internet from April 6—29. The transition from in-person classes to on-line classes opened the door for more people statewide to participate. Registration for attendance from Churchill County was a total of 34.
Healthy Aging Program. Extension is supporting the delivery of evidence-based physical activity programs to the older adults at the William N. Pennington Life Center by training the Life Center staff on program implementation and sharing resources for program marketing and health promotion. The Life Center also has a garden club and walking club with associated activities funded by SNAP-Ed that promote physical activity participation and healthful nutrition through garden-to-table concepts.
In September 2021, the Life Center is implementing the environmental scan created by the Nevada Healthy Aging Alliance (chaired by Extension) to determine the physical activity and nutrition needs of the community, which will influence FY22 programming. Extension staff has provided technical assistance training for the implementation of this scan and will assist with assessing the needs and generating a report of the findings.
Through the Extension and Life Center partnership in FY21, direct and indirect efforts funded by SNAP-Ed have reached approximately 500 older adults in Churchill County.
Engage Your Brain. To raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, a four-part educational series was made available to the public in our office and via Zoom. This series began June 3, 2021 and ran through September 2nd. It was offered in cooperation with the Northern Nevada Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Five people participated through our office in Churchill County.
Water Test Kits. To promote safe drinking water, Extension partners with the Nevada State Public Health Lab to offer water test kits to 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. From July 2020 to June 2021, 136 test kits were handed out. Our staff help interpret water test results and provide factsheets about arsenic, manganese, iron and reverse osmosis systems when residents have questions.
Radon Tests Kits. 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 to a level that raises the risk of lung cancer. 17 kits were handed out by the Churchill County office.
Over the years, test results show that 17.3% (89 homes) of the 514 Churchill County homes tested with short-term radon kits, have radon in excess of the EPA Action Level of 4 pCi/l. When homes test higher than 4pCi/l using a short-term test, it is always recommended that a long-term test be used for further evaluation. 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.
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 amend their soil, Extension staff in Churchill County provide instructions on how to take a soil sample 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 from having to drive to Carson City to obtain these permits. During the pandemic, our office was one of the few in the State of Nevada where permits were still being sold to the public. In 2020, the Extension office in Churchill County sold permits for 228 Christmas trees and 105 cords of firewood. Maps of cutting areas and the cutting restrictions are provided with each permit.
Extension's Communication Team
Brown, L, 2021, Churchill County Annual Report | Fiscal Year 2020 – 2021, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno
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