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Fall is a good time to think about weed control in your lawn and garden. In fact, fall is actually the best time to control some difficult weeds.Many yards and gardens this spring had winter annual weeds such as henbit, deadnettle, and common chickweed. Winter annuals germinate from seed in the fall and spend the winter as seedlings. If you had a problem with winter annuals this year, fall is the best time to control them.If you are comfortable using chemicals, consider applying a preemergence herbicide this fall before these plants germinate again. This is best done in September. The recommended chemical will vary depending on where the weeds are located. For many flower gardens, Preen is a good option. When using any chemical pest control, be sure to read, understand, and follow the label directions for proper use.If you prefer to use manual control options, watch for the winter annual weeds to germinate in late September or early October. All plants are easiest to control when they are small. Simply hand pull, hoe, or rake the weeds out. Try not to disturb bare soil surfaces too much because that will bring up additional weed seeds to the soil surface.Fall is also a good time to control some more difficult weeds in the landscape. For example, Creeping Charlie, dandelion, white clover, and many thistles are easier to control with chemical applications in the fall. These are herbaceous perennial plants, meaning that they live from year to year from the same root structures, but above ground growth dies back each fall. As the plant moves its food and energy to its roots to overwinter, it will move systemic chemicals with it to kill the entire plant.Finally, spend some time this fall doing general garden cleanup. Remove debris and weed growth from among your landscape beds and in spent vegetable gardens. Take notes of which weeds are most prevalent. For example, if you have a lot of crabgrass, consider using a preemergence herbicide in the spring that will kill the crabgrass seed before it germinates in your garden.Make note if your gardens had excessive weed growth in bare soil areas. Bare soil areas often produce more weeds. Consider planting more perennial flowers or shrubs to cover the area and out-compete the weeds. Add two to four inches of mulch to reduce weed growth in bare soil areas by keeping weed seeds in the dark and smothering small-seeded annuals as they germinate.Let’s review a few things. We are quickly approaching the best time of the year for controlling most perennial broadleaf weeds here. While a good fall fertility program should be the primary approach to reducing weed problems, in most situations, fall is also the best time to apply broadleaf herbicides. Broadleaf applications made during October and November are more effective at killing the entire weed rather than merely “burning off the top” which is likely with spring applications. Winter itself appears to help out. While the herbicide may kill many weeds outright, still more weeds may be weakened to the point of succumbing to winterkill. The end result is less weedy flowers in the spring including those lovely yellow dandelions. So, mulch those leaves this fall and take a walk in the lawn to look for broadleaf weeds. Consider treating them now rather than waiting until they flower in the spring.Tips for Improving Control during the Fall• Apply during sunny days above 55 degrees F• Check weather forecast to avoid rain after application• Mulch or remove leaves before treating• Avoid mowing the area for several days after application• Spray applications are generally more effective than granular (weed and feed-type) when applied correctly• Granular fertilizer/herbicide combinations should be applied to wet turf• Application should be uniform and at the correct rate (a little extra is not always better)• Follow the directions on the herbicide label. Remember the label it the law!Now is the time to control those broadleaf lawn weeds you don’t like but remember the dandelions and other broadleaf plants in your lawn provide early food sources for our pollinators in the spring.Beef processing and by-productsSince we just completed the Berkeley County Youth Fair with the Livestock sale on Friday evening. I thought and article on steers and processing them might be useful.A typical steer at the time of processing is about 1,400 pounds. Of that, just over 500 pounds is considered inedible or close to it. The muscles and almost all organs are harvested as food. While some beef fat is left on edible pieces, there is about 180 pounds that is removed and rendered into tallow. The hide weights about 90 pounds before it is tanned and cured. Another 90 pounds or more is leftover bones. Up to 80 pounds is water and food that hasn’t been fully digested. About 8 pounds of dried blood is also removed.Of the non-edible items, the hide goes entirely to leather production. Bone is ground into bone meal and combined with blood for organic fertilizers, among other uses. Then there are the less obvious uses.Historically, the gelatin produced when rendering tallow was bought by camera and film companies, providing a key component for the emulsion used on film before the digital era. While that time has passed, it is still used to make gelatin desserts (like Jell-O) and cosmetics.Another former use was focused on the pancreas, which was saved in order to harvest bovine insulin, which was processed and used to treat human diabetics for years. Synthetic insulin is now the treatment choice. Medical research is still done with pituitary glands. Same with the pericardial (heart) lining, which has been used to help develop human heart valves.Today we have more agricultural and industrial uses for many of the byproducts, including clever ways to be more sustainable.Strange as it may sound, the water and other leftovers in a steer’s stomach at processing have helped Agri Beef One processing plant cut down its processing plant natural gas usage by 20 percent. That’s because they capture the methane left over in the cow’s system and use it in lieu of natural gas. It has the double effect of saving on natural gas usage and preventing the methane from being released into the atmosphere. The rest of the stomach’s contents are given to nearby farmers who can use it as fertilizer. Water left over from al processes is treated for later agricultural use.Animal processing plants are always looking for new ways to effectively use pieces of cattle and expect our partners to continue to evolve with technology and the ingenuity of the folks working in rendering facilities. Some beef processing facilities have foregone sales in the past to provide pieces of the cattle to local schools for scientific pursuits to create new ideas on future uses of animal products and by-products.We are all aware of some of the edible products we get from cattle, but other important edible by-products are less well known. Fats yield oleo stock and oleo oil for margarine and shortening. Oleo stearine is used in making chewing gum and certain candies. Gelatin produced from bones and skins is used in marshmallows, ice cream, canned meats, and gelatin desserts, Intestines may provide natural sausage casings.You probably use at least one item containing inedible beef by-products every day, often without being aware of its existence in a particular product. An example: you probably know that the beef hide is used to make leather, but did you know that the hide also supplies felt and other textiles? It also provides a base for many ointments, binders for plaster and asphalt, and a base for the insulation material used to cool and heat your house. In addition, “camel hair” artists’ brushes are not really camel hair at all, but are made from the fine hair found in the ears of beef cattle. Footballs, which used to be called “pigskins,” are also generally produced from cattle hide.Industrial oils and lubricants, tallow for tannings, soaps, lipsticks, face and hand creams, some medicines, and ingredients for explosives are produced form the inedible fats from beef. Fatty acids are used in the production of chemicals, biodegradable detergents, pesticides, and flotation agents. One fatty acid is used to make automobile tires run cooler and last longer.Bones, horns, and hooves also supply important by-products. These include buttons, bone china, piano keys, glues, fertilizer, neat’s-foot oil, gelatin for photographic film, paper, wallpaper, sandpaper, combs, toothbrushes, and violin string. Bone charcoal is vital in the production of high grade steel ball bearings.Even inedible by-products of beef cattle are used to feed other animals. Beef fat, protein, and bone meals are used in feeding poultry, swine, dairy cattle and domesticated fish.More than 100 individual drugs derived form cattle perform a variety of helpful things like settling an upset stomach, preventing blood clots in the circulatory system, controlling anemia, relieving symptoms of hay fever and asthma, and insulin.Through genetic engineering techniques and other research developments, many of the drugs produced from cattle are now being chemically produced in the laboratory. However, synthesis has been only partial, and the animal sources remain extremely important in many situations.Much of the material used for surgical sutures is derived from the intestines of meat animals.Next time you hear somebody say “Where’s the beef?” hopefully you will think a little differently knowing that is in hospitals and drug stores, helping your car run better and your clothes get clean. It is in your sporting goods, photographic equipment, and art supplies. It is in the firecrackers on the Fourth of July and your garden keeping down insect infestations. It’s in the soap for washing your face as well as hand and face creams and the cosmetics you apply to soften and beautify your skin. It is just about everywhere. That’s only cattle and their by-products, we also have pigs, sheep and goats we will talk about in future columns.Sources: Using the Whole Steer — https://www.agribeef.com/blog/using-the-whole-steer/Where’s the Beef? The story of Beef By-products at https://www.orcattlewomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/the-story-of-beef-by-products.pdfUntil next time ...Happy Gardening, Summer, and Farming!———Mary Beth Bennett, Ph.D. is a WVU Extension agent and associate professor. She can be reached at 264-1936, [email protected] or on the web at http://extension.wvu.edu/berkeleyWVU is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer — Minority/Female/Disability/VeteranMary Beth Bennett400 West Stephen Street, Suite 302Martinsburg, WV 25401
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