New NCDA&CS regional agronomist serving growers in Boone/Hickory/Morganton area
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has hired Dwayne Tate as a regional agronomist to advise growers in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Mitchell, Watauga and Wilkes counties.
Tate is available for consultation beginning Dec. 12. He replaces Lynn Howard, who retired in June after 31 years of state service.
"We're glad to have Dwayne join our staff," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "He comes to us with extensive experience in traditional mountain-area agriculture: burley tobacco, fruit and vegetable crops, Christmas trees and greenhouse tobacco float systems. He will be a valuable resource for growers in our northwestern counties."
Tate earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Berea College in Kentucky and has been involved in agricultural field and research studies at N.C. State University since 1982.
He served most recently as agricultural research specialist at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station and Extension Center in Mills River.
Tate's work has earned him the SPA Award of Excellence from N.C. State in 2003 and the 2008 Educator of the Year Award from the N.C. Christmas Tree Association.
As regional agronomist, Tate is part of the Agronomic Division's Field Services Section. He can provide advice on a wide range of agronomic issues, including liming, crop fertilization, nutrient management, soil testing, plant tissue analysis, use of animal wastes and composts, nematode assay, and testing of source water and nutrient solutions.