The Delaware Department of Agriculture is urging farmers to participate in the two major mid-year surveys, the June Agricultural Survey and the June Area Survey, conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS will survey nearly 400 farmers across Delaware to determine crop production and supply levels in 2017.
“As an $8 billion industry, agriculture plays a major role in Delaware’s economy,” said Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse. “The information that our farmers provide is critical to helping everyone – from fellow farmers to lawmakers to extension professionals – make decisions that will impact our industry. It is critical that NASS has the most accurate data, so I urge Delaware farmers to participate in the June Surveys.”
Red imported fire ants were detected during a routine check at a Sussex County business by the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industries nursery inspection team. A Hold and Control Order was promptly issued, and a treatment program to eliminate the fire ants is underway. “Buyers of tropical nursery stock – such as palm trees – should carefully inspect their plants for small, aggressive red stinging ants,” said Stephen Hauss, Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator for the Department of Agriculture. “We need these to be reported quickly and promptly to keep them from spreading or staying in Delaware over the winter.”
“I am proud to announce the largest round of Delaware farmland permanently preserved through the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Program in the last several years. This is a result of federal funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and funding from both New Castle County and Kent County,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse. More than 124,000 acres of Delaware farmland are now permanently preserved for future generations, with 3,039 acres of easements selected into the state’s preservation program.
U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper joined public officials and schoolchildren to observe “Delaware Arbor Day” at Dover Air Force Base, which celebrated its 25th Year as a Tree City USA. The last Friday in April is commemorated as Arbor Day in the First State, an occasion to encourage tree planting and highlight the numerous benefits that trees provide: cleaner air and water, natural beauty, valuable wood products and food, reduced storm water runoff, and improved property values. The ceremony also honored the winners of the Delaware Forest Service’s annual school poster contest and included a ceremonial tree planting of an American holly (Ilex opaca), Delaware’s state tree.
The Delaware Forest Service (DFS) has unveiled a new online tool that uses geographic information systems (GIS) software to help cities, towns, and neighborhoods to measure and increase their community tree canopy percentage. The link is: de.gov/treecanopy
Developed by the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s GIS specialist Jimmy Kroon, the tool covers the entire First State: municipalities as well as homeowner associations and neighborhoods can assess their current level of tree cover as a starting point to explore opportunities to plant new trees and maintain their existing ones.