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First case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) found in a Virginia horse in 2018

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has announced the first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a horse this year. The horse, a Quarter Horse mare from Suffolk, entered the North Carolina State Veterinary school hospital in late July and subsequently died. The disease has an 80 to 90 percent mortality rate.

To beef up number of bee hives, VDACS offering hives to new & established beekeepers

Virginia’s recently established Beehive Distribution Program provides beehives to both new and established beekeepers in an effort to increase the number of actively managed bee colonies across the Commonwealth. The program is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).

PWC Supervisors expected to consider enlarging county area where chickens and fowl are allowed

Prince William County Board of County Supervisors is scheduled to consider initiating a zoning text amendment during Supervisors Time on the evening of July 17 to consider whether chickens and fowl can be kept in areas beyond current limits, by right in agricultural areas, and by special use permit in semi-rural residential areas. The proposal was suggested by Coles Supervisor Marty Nohe.

Virginia bee losses over the winter nearly 60 percent, worst loss since 2000

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced June 27 that the winter losses of honeybee colonies over the 2017-2018 season were greater than expected and greater than the average of 30 percent per year for the past decade. “The winter losses were 59.5 percent,” said Keith Tignor, State Apiarist. He adds that this is the highest rate since 2000 when the state began monitoring winter losses. There was a decrease in colony losses reported for the summer of 2017 when compared to the 2016 summer season.

Tier 1 noxious weed Giant hogweed detected in Va. - Why you should care and what to do!

When exposed to skin, the sap from a Giant hogweed plant can cause severe skin and eye irritation, painful blistering and permanent scarring. The plant is easily confused with other look alike plants such as elderberry and cow parsnip. People who think they have found Giant hogweed should take a digital photo of the leaf, stem and flower. They can report it to the local office of Virginia Cooperative Extension or file an online report. It can grow upwards of 15 feet tall with leaves as large as five feet across.

Appearance of unusual tick on beef farm near Charlottesville has agriculture officials worried

Livestock producers and owners should notify VDACS if they notice any unusual ticks that have not been seen before or ticks that occur in large numbers on an individual animal.

Students at Prince William County Schools earn awards in Help a Horse art contest

Seven students from Prince William County Public Schools earned awards in the Help a Horse contest, sponsored by the Prince William County Animal Shelter as part of its annual “Help a Horse” Day event.

VSU receives grant to expand urban agriculture education through distance learning

Virginia State University has been awarded $249,800 by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) to expand its urban agriculture education through distance learning. The Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certificate Program will be changed from its current face-to-face format to a self-paced, online option.

Volunteers needed to help build a “bee hotel” April 14 & April 21 at county landfill

It'll take two days in April to plant a pollinator garden, get a bee hotel built, and install honeybee hives on nearly half an acre at the Prince William County Landfill Complex. Volunteers are needed to help with the work on April 14 and April 21 from 8 a.m. to noon on both days.

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