Knox Farm to host this year’s Farm City Day

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By James C. Cowden
For the Salisbury Post
Ever since the first deed was signed in 1758, there has been a Knox family member farming the fertile land along Third Creek in Western Rowan County.
The Knox Farm will host this year’s annual Farm City Day Nov. 21 at 3485 Amity Hill Road near Cleveland.
The celebration will begin at noon with a lunch sponsored by the Salisbury Kiwanis Club.
The N.C. Cooperative Extension, Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis and local agribusinesses help to conduct Farm City Day.
National Farm City Week traditionally falls the week of Thanksgiving ó Nov. 21-27 this year. It is a time to reflect on our blessings, pledging to help those in need and correct wrongs wherever they exist in our rural and urban communities.
Most Americans, both farm and city, are blessed with an abundance of wholesome food and healthy living spaces. We can do better and we should. It is in everyone’s best interest for our farms and cities to remain strong and viable. Neither farm nor city can exist in isolation because they need each other.
The annual Farm City Day brings together people from rural and urban areas to promote the understanding and appreciation of each group as a valuable partner. Special activities emphasize the link between farm and city occupations, address problems that affect both groups and foster fellowship between farmers and municipal workers.
The featured program for this year’s Farm City Day is on farmland preservation. Knox Farm has permanently protected more than 600 acres of its farmland thus far. Preserving a working family farm takes a great deal of foresight.
The featured speaker will be Steve Troxler, N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture. Preserving family farms is one of Troxler’s top priorities. When he spoke to the Farm City Day group last year, Troxler discussed the State Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation program. Three Rowan County farms received grants to protect 614 acres this year.
Another important component of Farm City Day is honoring local farmers for their outstanding agricultural production in the 2007 cropping year. The top corn yield was C & H Grain of China Grove and Cleveland. Darryl Corriher and Tom Hall had a yield of 246.62 bushels of corn per acre. The soybean winner was Johnny and Brian Moore of Mount Ulla. The Moores produced 58.4 bushels of soybeans per acre. They also had the most efficient yield in the Piedmont region with a cost of $2.74 per bushel cost. Due to a late freeze in April and extremely dry conditions, no wheat yields were measured.
Thirty-five percent of Rowan County land is farmed, with more than 750 farms producing crops and/or livestock. The overall county harvest data showed area farms producing 941,000 bushels of corn; 690,000 bushels of soybeans; 400,000 bushels of wheat; 138,000 bushels of barley; and 18,000 bushels of oats. They also produced 27,000 tons of corn silage; 39,000 tons of hay; and 700 bales of cotton. Cash receipts for all crops was $25 million.
Rowan County animal agriculture ranks seventh in the state for dairy cows, with more than 1,500 cows; 11th for beef cows, with 9,000; and 13th overall for cattle, with 20,000. Add in 6,000 pigs, as well as some goats, sheep and poultry and livestock annual cash receipts totaled nearly $16 million. Total annual receipts for all agriculture in Rowan County was $43.5 million.
The Farm City Day celebration on Nov. 21 is open to the public. Advance reservations are needed by Nov. 18 to attend the lunch. Contact the Cooperative Extension office at 704-216-8970 to register.
James Cowden is Rowan County Extension director