Taylor Dill is the Extension field crops agent in Cleveland and Lincoln Counties. She supports row crop farmers by providing educational programs and technical support focusing on soybeans, corn, and small grains. In addition to making farm visits to assess field conditions and formulate site-specific recommendations, Taylor organizes educational field days, workshops, and on-farm demonstrations.
Ms. Dill received her Master's Degree in agronomy from the Ohio State University, researching the effects of flooding and nitrogen management on corn. In addition to her formal training, Taylor has personal farming experience; she was raised on a 1,200-acre row crop farm in Darke County, Ohio.
Taylor joined NC Cooperative Extension in June 2019, after most of the row crops in our area were already planted. One of her first major assignments was to coordinate the annual Southwest Piedmont Corn & Soybean Field Day, held August 17 at ASR Grain Company in Shelby. More than 150 farmers from across our region attended the event, which featured lectures and educational presentations in the corn and soybean fields. Since then, Taylor has devoted much of her time to making farm visits, getting to know local farmers, helping them solve problems, and gaining a better perspective about their individual operations and the types of information and assistance they need.
Taylor is already looking ahead to next growing season, with plans to coordinate variety trials for soybeans, corn, and alfalfa. This local research will help determine which varieties perform best in our climate and soils, helping farmers choose high-yielding varieties that make their farming operations more productive and profitable. Taylor also plans to work with Extension specialists at NC State University to conduct on-farm research on nutrient management in corn, the benefits derived from cover crops, and disease management in soybeans. This research gives Taylor an opportunity to bring hands-on education to producers, and arms her with the knowledge she needs to address farmers' problems promptly.
Ms. Dill will also be providing educational programs for farmers on judicious use of pesticides, marketing, estate planning, economic efficiency, and soil fertility. Many of these meetings will occur during the coming winter months, when farmers aren't quite so busy.
Due to extremely wet conditions earlier this spring, some of our local soybeans are showing late season disease symptoms. Taylor diagnosed Cleveland County's first incidence of Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome in early August 2019. She was recently featured in a video being used by NC State University to alert growers state-wide about the disease and how to avoid it in the future.
If you're a row crop farmer, Taylor would like to schedule a farm visit to help identify problems in your fields and work with you to find solutions. She has many years of experience scouting fields and identifying diseases, nutrient deficiencies, and weeds. If you have any desire to be a part of Extension's on-farm research , have a topic that you want more information on, or have a specific problem that you want her to address, please contact Taylor at email@example.com, 704-736-8462 (Lincoln), or 704-482-4265 (Cleveland).
Submitted by Greg Traywick