A new list from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has identified 87 non-native invasive plant species in Virginia www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/documents/nh-invasive-plant-list-2014.pdf.   These invasive plants affect everyone, from the government, to the farmer, to the homeowner.  The United States has seen a $34 billion yearly economic loss due to these invasive plants.   They have a negative effect on natural areas, parks, forest land, farms, yards, as well as wildlife habitat and our ecosystem.  

According to an article in the Richmond Times Dispatch, the DCR, “… used a risk-assessment protocol to determine an invasiveness rank for each species listed. If they are discovered in Virginia, the goal for these species is eradication to prevent their establishment and spread. People who spot these in Virginia should notify DCR.” 

The plants on this list can be aggressive in your yard or nearby natural areas, and unfortunately, can actually replace plants that are native to Virginia.  These invasive plants tend to grow quickly, copiously produce seed, germinate and colonize, and are difficult and costly to remove and/or control.  Kudzu is an invasive plant that has taken over many natural areas of land in Virginia.

Whether you’re a farmer, landscaper, or homeowner, this list will help you identify the list of non-native invasive plants to keep away from your land.

For more information, please visit:

Virginia Invasive Species Working Group: www.vainvasivespecies.org

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation – Natural Heritage Program: www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/invspinfo.shtml

National Invasive Species Awareness Week:  www.nisaw.org

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You might be surprised to learn that farms are spending more on fertilizer and pesticides than fuel.  The USDA Economic Research Service and the Agricultural Resource Management Survey found that the highest energy expenses come from indirect energy sources such as fertilizers and pesticides.  The agricultural farm’s share of indirect expenses is about 17.1%.  Whereas, direct energy’s share of expenses, such as fuel and electricity, is about 8.5%. This data is throughout all farm sizes in U.S. farm businesses.

When looking at all farm sizes, the survey found that small farm businesses highest production expense comes from about 12% of direct energy expenditure.   Medium-sized farm businesses highest energy expense is around 22% of indirect energy expenditure.  The large farm businesses have a higher labor expense which thereby reduces the total energy based expenses. 

The chart below is found in the September 2014 Amber Waves data feature, “Agricultural Energy Use and the Proposed Clean Power Plan.”

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Winter Safety

by Staff December 22, 2014

The winter months are cold, dark and unpredictable. The weather can change suddenly, so being prepared and informed can help you stay safe this winter season. These tips can help you whether you are working/playing outside or traveling in a car. Always watch the weather report if you plan on spending long hours outside or [...]


2015 Winter Forage Conferences

by Sue December 15, 2014

The Virginia Forage and Grassland Council and Virginia Cooperative Extension will host the 2015 Winter Forage Conference, January 20 through 23, 2015. This years theme: Red Meat, Forages and Human Health. The day long conferences are from 8:30am to 4:00pm will be repeated at four locations: January 20 in Weyers Cave at the Weyers Cave [...]


Farming and the Peace Corps

by Staff December 3, 2014

Urban and small farmers have a wide range of skills and knowledge. Dedicating a few years to the Peace Corps can significantly improve the lives of people in underdeveloped countries. The Peace Corps is looking for small farmers to volunteer some of their time and experience. While, it’s a big commitment- the reward will be [...]


Farm Education Classes

by Staff November 26, 2014

Looking into taking some classes this winter to learn more about a topic that interests you? Or perhaps you need more information on a certain technique of farming? Over the next few months, there are several different classes being offered to help the local farmers. On December 2 – 4, you can attend the Exploring [...]