Row Crop Production

Each year the Extension office conducts a county wide field day on a local farm to discuss crop production.  A second field day is conducted for the Tri-County Area of Dinwiddie, Prince George and Sussex Counties.  During Field Days, the local ANR Agents, VCE Specialist, and Sponsors discuss row crop variety trials, production demo plots, and current crop management topics critical to that days' production situation.  Participants are provided a firsthand opportunity to see new varieties, production equipment and techniques, and discuss the latest agriculture chemical products on the market.

Each year the Dinwiddie Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Mike Parrish works with VCE Crop Specialists to conduct several On-Farm Demonstrations or Research Plots.  During the growing season, local farmers volunteer to work with the agent and VCE Specialist to conduct on-farm field plots for data collection or demonstration for educational publication materials, field days or production workshops.  The agent works with farmers to manage the plots from planting through harvest.  The data gathered from local plots is important to the local farmers to observe real results from their county or region of the state.  In many cases the plots are developed and implemented based on local grower requests or needs.  This approach benefits both the farmers and agents.   Each year, Dinwiddie will have close to 8 different plot on farms working with Cotton, Corn, Forages, Soybeans, Tobacco, and Small Grains.

Each year the Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent makes close to 10,000 face to face contacts with Local Farmers and Lawn and Garden Owners to solve production and pest management related questions.  During these on site visits the Extension Agent works to assist local citizens with question like, How do I control this pest or how much fertilizer do I need for my yard?  The local Extension agent collects information from the citizen and works with extension resources to come up with a legal and environmentally sound answer for correcting the problem at hand.  Many times the agent will collect or request pest samples like weeds or insects and plant material for proper identification.  

 If you have production agriculture or horticulture questions, contact Dinwiddie Extension Office for assistance.

Each year, the Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Agent works with local Ag Producers to Calibrate their chemicals and Fertilizer Application Equipment.  These chemicals can range from both traditional and organic pest controls to natural and synthetic soil amendments.   As chemicals change and equipment advances, farmers regularly work with the local extension agent to ensure they are accurately applying products to the land and crops.  One of the reasons this assistance is important is to ensure applicator safety and proper applications.  Many farmers regularly calibrate equipment to prevent inaccurate application and costly waste of such products. This one-on-one instruction helps to ensure the safety of the applicator, the crops, and the environment.

During the year, the ANR Extension Agent conducts and incorporates safety topics into educational meetings for both youth and adults relating to farm, home, and garden safety.  Safety topics range from proper ATV usage, farm equipment highway safety to safe operations of forage handling equipment.

Over the past three years, the Counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George, and Sussex have conducted quarterly Pasture Walks for the Tri-County Grazing Club.  A typical pasture walk is held late afternoon on a local Livestock or Forage producer's farm.  The participants are able to walk the host farmer's pastures and hay fields and discuss production questions occurring during that particular growing season.  In addition to getting first hand information from the host producer, many of the participants share their own experiences with each other during the walks.  Dr. Chris Teutsch, a Virginia Tech Forage Specialist and the local Ag Extension Agents  help answer production questions during the meeting.  On many occasions, participants bring in weeds and forage samples for identification and recommendations to solve production problems.

Recycling and Disposal

Each year this Extension Program collects over 1000 Ag equipment tires from Agriculture Producers in Dinwiddie County. This program provides local farmers with an opportunity to clean up an environmental eye sore on their property. Over the past 10 years the program has collected over 15,000 tires and saved the participants over $52,500 in disposal fees.

This annual program collects over 3000 gallons of old waste motor and hydraulic oil from agriculture producers in Dinwiddie County. This program has properly collected and recycled over 35,000 gallons of used agriculture equipment oil from local farms. The Appomattox River Soil and Water Conservation also provide assistance with this program. If you would like information please contact the local Extension Office.

This annual program collects, on average, 4000 lbs of hazardous chemical for local residents. The primary chemicals collected range from home cleaners to garden pesticides. Residents from both Dinwiddie and the City of Petersburg are welcome to participate. The Appomattox River Soil and Water Conservation District is a Program Partner. For more details contact Mike Parrish at the Dinwiddie Extension Office.

This program is conducted each year by the ANR Extension Agent under the guidelines and support of the Pesticide Service Department for VDACS. Dinwiddie has been providing this program to local Farmers since 1993. From '93 to present Dinwiddie farmers have properly recycled close to 70,000 ag plastic pesticide containers. This program has received several recognition awards from VDACS and the SWCD for the success of the program. If you would like more details please contact the local Extension Office.

Dinwiddie Extension was recognized by the Virginia Pesticide Control Board for outstanding work (1st Place) in the Plastic Pesticide Recycling Program and in Pesticide Recertification.

Pesticide Permits and Recertification

Each year the Dinwiddie Extension Office provides local Private Pesticide Applicators with re-certification training classes.

The local Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent conducts several training sessions each winter for local farmers to attend to gain re-certification credits for their Pesticide Applicator Permits.  During these classes, participants receive training and updates on Pesticide Safety, Chemical Label updates, State and Federal Regulation Updates, Worker Protection Requirements and Equipment Calibration, Environmental Stewardship, and Endangered Species Precautions.

The Dinwiddie Extension Office also administers the Private Pesticide Applicators Permit Exam.  If interested in taking the Exam to gain your Private Pesticide Applicator Permit contact the Dinwiddie Extension Office.

In 2006, the Dinwiddie Master Gardener Program was revitalized to help support the Extension Office with Urban Horticulture Questions and Programs.  Each year, the Master Gardener Classes start at the beginning of February.   The Dinwiddie Master Gardeners assist the Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent with Horticulture projects, including the County Rain Garden, School Projects, Urban Farm Day, Community Educational Displays, Educational Presentations & Displays, and Landscaping projects.  Currently the Dinwiddie Extension Office has 16 active Master Gardener Volunteers, who give an average each year 30 to 50 hours of volunteer time assisting Home, Garden and Landscape questions.

What we offer:

  • Gardening Workshops
  • Answers to Gardening     Questions and Plant Problems
  • Gardening Tips
  • Educational Gardens

Major Events the Master Gardeners work with or attend each year are

  • Dinwiddie/ Petersburg Urban Farm Day
  • Dinwiddie County Fair
  • Pamplin Parks Old County Fair
  • Farm and Family Field Day
  • Dinwiddie 4-H Day Camps
  • Dinwiddie 4-H Junior Master Gardener Program
  • Dinwiddie Rain Garden Planting and Clean up
  • Dinwiddie Master Gardener Training Program 
  • Dinwiddie Extension Vegetable Field Day
  • Dinwiddie Master Gardener Fall and Spring Plant Sale
  • Dinwiddie School Planting Projects
  • Partnership Projects with Other Organizations
  • Brent and Becky’s Bulb Tour
  • Prince George Master Gardener Horticulture Symposium
  • Chesterfield Master Gardener VSU Randolph Farm Tour

Farm Pond Management and Aquaculture Work Shops are conducted each year in Dinwiddie County and the Tri-County Area.  During workshops, the agent works with Aqua-culture Specialists from VSU and VCE to discuss pond health questions, including Ph, aquatic weed management, and aquatic life management. Many workshops cover commercial and recreational fish production.  For more information, contact the Dinwiddie Extension Office.

Annually, the Dinwiddie Extension Office and the Appomattox River Soil and Water Conservation District conducts a Urban Farm Day program for all the second graders in Dinwiddie and Petersburg.  Over 700 students attend this on-farm educational program.  Each year, the program enlists over 50 volunteers who assist with over 15 individual educational stations.  This event provides students with a opportunity to visit a real working farm and gain knowledge on many Agriculture and Environmental Topics.  Students are able to visit each stop for 15 minutes to see vast educational displays and listen to presentations that range from Locally Grown Agriculture Crops, Water Quality, and Farm Safety to Forestry and Wild Life Management.

The annual 4-H Ham Curing Project usually starts in late January and includes a tour of the Gwaltney Plant of Smithfield.  Each participant is responsible for prepping, trimming, and working their ham in salt for curing.  The overall project takes 10 weeks and includes classes on salt preserving, peppering and salt equalization and wood smoke preservation, proper carving and the art of ham cooking.  The most important thing, hopefully, is that the participants gain the knowledge of preserving a great Dinwiddie Salt Cured Ham.

As well as:

  • Soil Sampling
  • Weed Identification
  • In-School Educational Lectures

Dinwiddie 4-H

4-H is a the largest youth organization in America. Learn about programs and camps available for youth in Dinwiddie County.


Engaging with Communities

Virginia Cooperative Extension specialists in community viability work with Extension agents, campus-based faculty, organizational partners, communities, and individuals to further opportunity and build capacity in five program areas:   

Examples of our work include training county elected officials, educating entrepreneurs, facilitating collaborative projects, supporting the growth of community food systems and local economies, enhancing agent skills and community capacity in facilitation and leadership, conducting problem-driven research, and creating publications and tools that address critical community needs.

Do you have a question about Community Viability?

Perhaps one of the Community Viability specialists below can help you. Contact a Community Viability specialist or direct a question to them using our Ask an Expertsystem. 

Community Viability Specialists