NCFB Hurricane Relief Fund – Spring Pasture Renovation Seed Initiative – Now Accepting Applications
LENOIR, NC by Seth Nagy (March 10, 2019) — North Carolina farmers have been hit hard with recent hurricanes and record-breaking rains. To help farmers across North Carolina, the NC Farm Bureau established the Hurricane Relief Fund. The Hurricane Relief Fund helped eastern NC farmers replant pastures this past fall. Now, Caldwell County is included in the latest recovery effort of the Hurricane Relief Fund. It is called the Spring Pasture Renovation Seed Initiative. The goal of this program is to replenish lost forage and keep productive soils from washing out of the fields.
This program is offering summer annual and perennial seed to farmers to renovate damaged pastures. Producers in Caldwell County with pastures impacted by Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael are eligible to request seed. Seed will be available for pick up at designated locations. The closest locations to Caldwell County are Taylorsville and Wilkesboro. Producers will be notified by email regarding the day they can pick up seed. Planting costs and associated labor are the responsibility of the farmer and will not be reimbursed.
Each applicant from Caldwell County is eligible for up to $500 in seed. The maximum amount depends on acreage and availability. There are five species of seed available in this program.
These are Gaucho Bermuda, MoJo Crabgrass, TifQuick Bahiagrass, Sorghum Sudangrass, and Millet.
Good choices for Caldwell cattlemen are Gaucho Bermuda, MoJo Crabgrass, Sorghum Sudangrass, and Millet.
MoJo Crabgrass is an improved variety of crabgrass. It grows taller and produces more forage than volunteer crabgrass. Crabgrass is very palatable to grazing animals. It is a good safe choice for cattle, horse, and goat producers. In controlled experiments steers grazing crabgrass have gained over 3 pounds per day. (credit University of Arkansas)
The Gaucho Bermuda and MoJo Crabgrass will both come back reliably each year. The Sorghum Sudangrass and Millet are good choices for those wanting to replant to a cool season grass like tall fescue or orchardgrass.
Horse owners should avoid Sorghum Sudangrass. Forages in the Sorghum family can cause horses to have an inflammation of the bladder, a condition called cystitis. This can lead to urinary disorders, lack of coordination, and paralysis in severe cases. The other choices are all safe for horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules.
Interested producers can submit an online application. The Foundation will be accepting applications until 9 a.m. on March 17, 2019. Producers will be notified by April 1 as to the status of their application. For questions about this program, contact Michelle Lovejoy with the Foundation for NC Soil and Water Conservation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.510.4599.