By Kate Schnoor

We are pleased to announce our first ever “Lyon County 4-H Leader of the Month” to be Shannon Thompson, the Mason Valley Community Club Leader. Shannon has volunteered as a Leader with 4-H for two years and is a huge component to the success of her club. Shannon and her 4-H club members work extremely hard to ensure a strong foundation in providing community service to Yerington.

Shannon with the Mason Valley 4-H Community Club

Shannon says “our goal as a club is to make sure we help our community in any way possible, from giving our time or to go pick up trash at the parks. We are here to make our community strive to be the best it can be.” Shannon, Club Members and Co-Leader Debbie McDonald are involved in: Thanksgiving baskets for the families in need, Christmas Tree Angel, visiting long term care facilities and going to local parks to pick trash. The club hosts multiple fund raisers throughout the year to help cover the costs of baskets and presents.

Recently, the Mason Valley Community Club hosted the 2015 Lyon County Fair and Rodeo Appreciation Dinner and the Silver State Youth Livestock Show Buyer’s Luncheon lending valued support to the Lyon County Fair and Rodeo and the sister Lyon County Livestock Clubs.

We are pleased to have such a wonderful Leader, Co-Leader, parents and 4-H Members in our community. Thank you Shannon for your hard work and dedication to your 4-H Club, and your community. Please nominate your leader for next months leader of the month by submitting 3 paragraphs detailing your leaders achievements and submitting 2-3 high quality photos of your leader in action!

If you or someone you know would like to volunteer or become a leader please email Kate Schnoor. Enrollment for the 2016 4-H starts in October, if you would like to enroll your children, please contact the Lyon County Extension office or speak to any of our wonderful leaders!

USDA canning book coverTwo hours of classroom instruction in food preservation safety and home food preservation on Thursday August 27th from 6-8 p.m. We will discuss the latest food safety recommendations. Bring your equipment for safety checks or to learn what it does. The entire class can learn from the equipment or questions you bring. You do not need to have any equipment to attend the class. You will learn what items you might need to purchase for the type of canning that you want to do during the course.

Canning Green Beans and Carrots

Canning Green Beans and Carrots

Hands-on learning for beginning canners will be on Saturday August 29th with two time blocks 8 a.m.- Noon and 1-5 p.m. Space is limited and reservations are on a first come, first serve basis. You can bring your own produce, but will have to pick up canned food after the seals have set. Each group will get to choose what to can.
We will be using the book “Complete Guide to Home Canning” from the USDA. The contents of the book are available for download to any device that reads .pdf files. I prefer to have a paper copy of the book to have as a reference in the kitchen and to save my electronics from the sometimes sticky or wet canning process. Other handouts will be provided. We will have limited copies available for $15 each. First come, first served.

Raw Pack Whole Tomatoes

Raw Pack Whole Tomatoes

The course is $10 per participant.
Sign Up Today! Email me, call 775-463-6541, or stop by the office.
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Bolted Scotch Thistle Plant Prior Flowering

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Scotch Thistle Head Prior to Flowering

Invasive weeds are an issue anywhere people travel or transport things. Every month, I will highlight a weed that is either not established or is in low abundance in Lyon County. Verified records of these weeds are very helpful to weed managers and Nevada Department of Agriculture. If you see these plants, you can report them directly to Nevada Department of Agriculture, using the app EDDmaps, or email me photos and a location. Invasive weeds are everyone’s problem, so help keep them from invading your neighborhood and report them.

Scotch thistle, Onopordum acanthium, is a large spiny plant with pink to purple flowers. Thistles are difficult to identify, so confirm your identification before destroying thistles. Native thistle plants are declining for many reasons and need to be protected. Like most thistles, Scotch thistle is biennial and is a rosette of leaves the first year and bolts into a tall plant with flowers the second year. The rosette stage is difficult to identify. The bolted plant can be very tall, up to 6 feet. Characteristics of the leaves, flowers or seeds can distinguish it from other thistles.

Current distribution maps (EDDmaps or USDA Plant Database)of scotch thistle is broad across the United States. EDDmaps reports Scotch Thistle in Lyon county. I observed it while hiking in southern Lyon county. It is listed as a category B weed by Nevada Department of Agriculture. Scotch thistle can be controlled by pulling up the plant or removing the flower heads by cutting or mowing before it goes to seed. Nevada Department of Agriculture has recommendations for chemical control of Scotch thistle.

Peach leaf showing "shot hole" damage

Peach leaf showing “shot hole” damage

Advanced shot hole damage showing how the disease damage progresses

Advanced shot hole damage showing how the disease damage progresses

Our office has been buzzing with calls regarding problems with trees. These problems have been as varied as aphid infestations, browned leaves, holes in leaves and trees with 20-30% of their leaves turning yellow and falling off. All of these problems are caused by one thing: the unusually cool, wet weather followed by a couple of hot, dry weeks.

Fruit trees in our area have been hit the hardest. First, there were the series of frosts after several warm snaps this spring, leaving most people without any fruit on their trees. Next, it has been unusually wet – excessive rains have caused flooding and road wash outs throughout Lyon county. Cool, moist days have increased the incident of fugal and bacterial pathogens, especially in fruit trees. Normally, these pathogens are latent in our area and only appear when trees are irrigated

Leaf scorch on a redmond lindon tree leaves

Leaf scorch on a redmond lindon tree leaves

with a sprinkler system. All of the rain created the same situation.

We have seen many peach trees with shot-hole, a symptom of a fungal disease caused by Wilsonomyces carpophilus. Bacterial leaf scorch bacteria, Xylella fastidiosa, is very wide spread and can infect plants in many plant families. Non-bacterial leaf

Apricot leaf with mild leaf scorch damage that can appear to be similar to shot hole damage

Apricot leaf with mild leaf scorch damage that can appear to be similar to shot hole damage

scorch occurs when the plant cannot take up enough water to compensate for transpiration leaf drying/browning or leaf die-back. It can be caused by not enough water in leaves or soil, fungi or bacteria clogging the plants vascular system, or damage to the roots including rotting because of too much or not enough water. Sometimes there is sufficient water in the soil but the plant cannot take up enough because of salinity or clay in our soils which inhibits water absorption or if roots have not expanded sufficiently to compensate for the sudden new growth from additional moisture then unusually dry hot weather. Signs of root scorch include browning on the edges of leaf and the leaf surface between leaf veins. As long as it is not severe enough to cause significant leaf die-back and over watering does not occur, though unsightly, the plant usually recovers. At times, shot-hole signs can be confused with leaf scorch. If in doubt, email us pictures or bring samples to our office. Proper diagnosis of a plant problem is the first step to planning plant recovery. While there are some treatments for shot-hole, planting varieties which have natural resistance and properly watering are usually the best tools for the home orchards.

Young apricot tree with branch tips damaged by high aphid density and leaf scorch

Young apricot tree with branch tips damaged by high aphid density and leaf scorch

Aphids have also enjoyed this cool wet weather, which has created ideal environmental conditions for a longer period of time. New growth on trees is often the most susceptible. Aphids can vector plant viruses and cause the plant to be covered in sap, which can be unsightly or a nuisance. For the home gardener, most aphid problems will go away in a few weeks when the conditions are too hot or dry. Aphid populations can be decreased by spraying with a strong stream of water or by placing sticky tape around the base of the plant to trap the ants which herd aphids like tiny cows.

Robed locus canopy with yellow leaves caused by heat stress

Robed locus canopy with yellow leaves caused by heat stress

In my yard is a purple robed locust which responded well to all the rain, blossoming several times and putting out new growth. Then the heat wave hit. Almost 50% of the leaves on my tree turned yellow and fell off. Marcia has helped me resolve other problems with this tree, so I was afraid it was struggling from a split in the trunk it suffered 2 years ago. When I asked about it, we decided to go look in our water wise arboretum at the robed locust there. It was also shedding leaves, but only about 25%. The heat was much harder on my damaged tree than the healthy one at the office.

By Joy Paterson and Marcia Moffitt

Lawnspur performing at 4-H Camp

Lawnspur performing at 4-H Camp

4-H campers dance to Lawnspur

4-H campers dance to Lawnspur

That was the theme of the annual central 4-H camp, a week of fun and educational events where youth learn by doing. Young people 8-13 attended as campers and those 14-18 attended as teen counselors. These youth started out the week of events with a real rock show by a local band from Truckee, Lawnspur, who performed an 8 song set of original punk rock music for the camp. The band consists of the brothers Johnson, Jamie as lead singer and guitarist and Charlie on bass; Ashley Galleher, rockin’ the drums and Brennan back up vocals and electric guitar. At first, the kids were surprised by the loud, novel music, but after a little help from adult counselor Nick Beaton and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Staff Karen and Joy, the kids rushed the staged and danced to the energy-filled rhythms.

Nick shows the kids how to dance!

Nick shows the kids how to dance!

Over an hour passed in a flurry of bobbing heads, feather boas and bandanas with cheers and smiles on everyone’s faces. At the end of the final songs, the kids chanted for more. Lawnspur obliged with one more raucous song. Ashley gave her drum sticks to the cabin with the best dancers and the party clean up ensued. Everyone was sweaty and tired from the pace of the music and dancing. It was a fun night and a memorable way to open camp.

The next morning, as part of the educational workshops, 3 groups wrote their own songs about the one shared experience they all had, 4-H camp. Lyrics about the awesome food, going polar bearin’ (jumping into cold Lake Tahoe at 5:30 a.m.), dancing and fun times with friends were common themes the kids used to create these original songs. Once perfected, the groups performed their songs for the camera and are archived on YouTube: Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3.

4-H camper gets a bird's-eye view of the stage on the shoulders of her teen counselor

4-H camper gets a bird’s-eye view of the stage on the shoulders of her teen counselor

The 4-H program in Lyon county is growing. We are looking for youth and adults who want to learn by doing! 4-H is not just a club: youth learn to use their hands, hearts, heads and health to better themselves and their community. If you would like to join or volunteer, contact our 4-H coordinator, Kate Schnoor, to get the process started today! Can’t commit to being a club leader? Can you give us one week of your time? Sign up now to be an adult chaperone for next summer’s 4-H camp.