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Kudzu help is here

Cooperative extension can help property owners; classes planned

COLUMBUS—Private property owners with kudzu problems have a resource right here in Polk County. 

The Polk County Cooperative Extension Office will come out to a property and help come up with a plan to control kudzu, or any other problem weed. 

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday night and heard from cooperative extension director Scott Welborn about kudzu and what his office offers. 

The county also heard from Jay Harden, with Avery Creek Nursery about chemicals that are available to control kudzu. 

The cooperative extension office is holding two kudzu classes soon, with both open to the public. The first will be held on Feb. 25 from 9-11 a.m. on pesticide applicator. The class will be directed to pesticide applicators but is open to the public. 

A kudzu control class for the public will be held on April 28 from 10-11 a.m. Both classes will be held at the Polk County Cooperative Extension Office, located on Carmel Lane, Columbus. 

Commissioners have heard a lot concerns at meetings over the last few month about kudzu in the county. 

Welborn said since the meetings regarding kudzu, he has had four people request information from his office. 

“Since you were here last you’ve only had four people,” asked commissioner vice chair Tommy Melton. 

Welborn said the ones who have called have been very interested in controlling kudzu. He also said since kudzu is dormant during the winter, he expects to have more calls in the spring when things start growing. He said that is why his office is waiting until the spring to have the public class on kudzu because that is when kudzu starts coming back. 

Melton said he had a resident asked him about goats to control kudzu. Welborn said a lot of people in the mountains get goats, but it is not a permanent fix and takes a lot of work. He said the cooperative extension was involved with the goats that the Town of Tryon rented to control kudzu near the IGA and the lot still looks pretty good so there is potential. 

“We can get them in touch with people that are already doing that,” Welborn said for anyone who wants to control kudzu on private property with goats. 

Commissioner Ray Gasperson asked if cooperative extension agents will come out to evaluate residents’ property. Welborn said yes, that agents will come out and help figure out a plan. He said they do the same thing for issues like poison ivy. 

Commissioner Chair Myron Yoder said this is one good thing about living in a small county. 

“We can’t necessarily throw money at it, but we can educate the public,” Yoder said. 

Harden discussed different methods of controlling kudzu and said the end of September is often the best time for chemical treatments, depending on weather and temperatures. 

For more information about what the Polk County Cooperative Extension offers people can visit https://polk.ces.ncsu.edu/