March 24, 2015

Good afternoon,

Mother Nature played a trick on us again.  We were happy to see the warm temperatures for a short time and then we were reminded that it is still March.  We did finish up our fertilizer training and pesticide recertification this past week.  Our three hour Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training that we had in Ada on March 5 had 98 participants get certified while our two hour Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training that we had in Mt. Victory March 19 had another 98 applicators get certified for the new this fertilizer certification requirement.  There will be additional trainings in the future so that all applicators who need to get certified can do so by September 30, 2017.


Earlier in the day on March 19, we had 62 private pesticide applicators go through recertification.  If there is anyone else out there who needs to get their pesticide recertification, please call the Hardin County Extension office at 419-674-2297 as soon as possible so that I can take care of you before the deadline of March 31.  That is also true for anyone who attended last Thursday’s pesticide recertification meeting in Mt. Victory for Core, Grain & Cereal Crops (Cat 1), Forage Crops & Livestock (Cat 2), and Fumigation (Cat 6), but still need additional areas such as Fruit & Vegetable Crops (Cat 3), Nursery & Forest Crops (Cat 4), or Greenhouse Crops (Cat 5).  There are only a couple of other programs still going on around the state.


Upcoming events include the Hardin County Beef Banquet on Saturday, March 28, starting at 6:00 pm in the Community Building at the fairgrounds.  There will be a ‘Making Hay’ program in Shelby County on April 2 at 7:00 pm.  See the attached flyer for more details about this program, which is free to the public.  The Hardin County Master Gardeners are hosting a phenology program, which is the science of when things happen, such as plant blooms and insect hatchings in the garden.  This program will be April 18, starting at 9:00 am at Harco Industries in Kenton.  There is a $10 registration fee which needs to be sent in by April 11.  See the attached news article and flyer for more information about this event which also includes a talk about ‘Planting for Pollinators’ and a demonstration of ‘How to Plant a Bare Root Rose.’

Hay Flyer

Phenology Flyer

Garden Phenology News Release

I have also attached an informative article about cover crops, written by Putnam County Extension Educator Jim Hoorman.  It explains the benefits of growing cover crops as part of your cropping program.  Speaking of Putnam County, they are hosting a New Pesticide Applicator Class on April 7, from 10:00 am-12:00 pm on April 7.  There will be someone from the Ohio Department of Agriculture giving the tests the same day when the participants finish the class.  If you know someone interested in this approach to getting a new pesticide license, send them to for more information.  In addition, there are some other articles included below that you might find interesting while waiting for the weather to warm up again.  (Maybe that will happen as soon as tomorrow…)

Benefits of Cover Crops








Wheat is starting to green up…  –  Laura Lindsey, Pierce Paul, Ed Lentz

Spring is coming (thank goodness!), and the winter wheat crop is starting to green-up.  Similar to what we’ve seen in the past few years, wheat planted shortly after the fly-free date looks better than the wheat that was planted late. Our current recommendations.  Fields should not be evaluated until completely green from warmer temperatures for at least 10 to 14 days. Stand evaluations will be more accurate when made during weather periods that promote growth.  Yield potential is reduced if tiller numbers fall below 25 per square foot after green up.  Go to to continue reading this article.






Planter Check-up for March  –  John Fulton

Even though the snow is falling here this evening, it is time to check the planter. Here is a list of suggestions for planter setup and maintenance. Check meters on a test stand in order to visually inspect parts and evaluate performance. Inspect all mechanical drive components and look for any excessive wear including down pressure springs, parallel linkages and bushings. Check seed tubes for any wear in particular the bottom section that can wear or become damaged. Replace if damaged or has excessive wear. Check size, wear and spacing for opening discs; always replace disc openers in pairs. Inspect gauge wheels and ensure opening discs are making proper contacting with the discs.   Adjust the shims for each gauge wheel arm to ensure the correct contact with the disc. Inspect closing wheels or discs and ensure bearings are in good shape and that the down force spring is properly set. Replace wheels if worn excessively. For vacuum planters, check all lines for damaged tubes. Check hydraulic motor for leaks and make sure fan is clean.  Go to to continue reading this article.






Cover Crop Strategies Field Day on Tuesday, April 7th  –  Debbie Brown

There is a Cover Crop Strategies Field Day on Tuesday, April 7th. This is a follow-up to a field day held last fall when the cover crops were green and growing. This spring the focus is on what’s been happening “below” the soil surface!! Some of the specific points to be discussed will include managing cover crops in the spring, preparing to plant the next crop, and year-round tips for effective cover crop use. Go to to continue reading this article.






Hardin County Farm Bureau Scholarship Information – Hardin County Farm Bureau

The Hardin County Farm Bureau is pleased to announce that the 2015-2016 scholarship applications are available for both the Jane Ralston and Walter Oates scholarships. If you or someone you know would like to apply, please click on the files below to print and complete the applications. You can also call or email the county office at 419-523-5874 or to receive a copy as well.  The application deadline is April 1, 2015. For application and details, go to






Grazing Bites – Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist

It certainly doesn’t look like it at the moment, but spring is just about here. It seems like it has been quite a while since I’ve seen grass; not just green grass, but any grass. I imagine the cows laying around, chewing cud with their eyes shut in quiet slumber and daydreaming about some new green fresh forage. I was asked recently when you should take soil fertility samples on pastures. The real answer to that question is usually six months prior to asking. If we know we are going to be reseeding some pasture in the spring, then we should be collecting the soil samples the previous September or October. I prefer to collect them in early September. If you want to see trends, it is best to pull those samples at the same time frame each time.  To continue reading this and other beef cattle articles, go to





Mark A. Badertscher

Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

OSU Extension Hardin County

1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326

419-674-2297 Office



March 14, 2015

Good afternoon,

This coming week is National Agriculture Week March 15-21.  The purpose of this week is to encourage every American to understand how food and fiber products are produced; appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products;  value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy; and acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.  National Ag Day is March 18.  Make sure you listen to WKTN this week for Hardin County agriculture promotion spots and read the attached news release for more information about this special week, saluting our own farmers and agribusinesses in the county.

National Ag Week News Release

There will be a 2-hour Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training meeting at the Plaza Inn, Mt. Victory on March 19 for those with an Ohio Pesticide License who need this new fertilizer certification.  You can call the Extension office at 419-674-2297 or reply to this email to register.  The fertilizer training is for those who apply fertilizer (both commercial and private applicators) to 50 or more acres.  This fertilizer training will be from 1:00-3:00 pm and is free.  It will be held after the normal Pesticide Recertification training which is being conducted the same day from 9:00 am-12:00 pm.  See the attached news release and flyer for more details.

2 Hour Fertilizer Training Mt Victory

Pesticide Recertification News Release

The annual Hardin County Beef Banquet will be held March 28 in the Community Building at the fairgrounds, starting at 6:00 pm.  Tickets can be purchased until March 27 from the following county Cattle Producers Directors: Holli Underwood, Tony Good, Rina Thacker, Bruce Donnelly, Rick Royer, Adam Billenstein, Paige Guenther, Deana Gibson, Dane Jeffers, Derek Dunson, Marcia Hoovler, or Stacia Hall. Tickets can also be purchased from the Extension Office at 1021 West Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton.  See the attached news release for more information.

Beef Banquet News Release

I’m sure the change in weather has producers thinking about when it will be fit to get into the fields.  Although it’s going to be awhile before things dry out, I ‘ve attached an interesting article written by Putnam County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator Jim Hoorman titled ‘Corn Myths.’   I’ve also attached some other articles for you to read as you gear up for this busy spring planting season.

Corn Myths








Minimizing pollen contamination of non-GMO Corn  – Peter Thomison

As the commodity price for corn has dropped during the past two years, there has been greater interest among some growers in producing non-GMO corn for a premium. According to the USDA-ERS ( 86% of Ohio’s corn acreage in 2014 was planted to transgenic (GMO) corn. With GMO corn plantings so prevalent across the state, corn growers interested in obtaining non-GMO corn premiums need to develop plans to minimize pollen contamination of non-GMO corn. Pollen from corn containing transgenic traits may contaminate (by cross-pollination) nearby non-GMO corn.  Go to to continue reading this article.






Frost Seeding to Improve Pasture and Hayfield Quality  –  Rory Lewandowski

As I look at the weather forecast this week, it appears that spring is arriving. One task that is well suited to the transition time between winter and spring is frost seeding. Frost seeding involves broadcasting seed over a pasture or hay field area and letting the natural freeze/thaw cycles of late winter and early spring help to move the seed into good contact with the soil. A basic requirement for frost seeding success is exposed soil. When looking down into the sod you should be able to see down to the soil. The broadcast seed must be able to come into contact with the soil. Frost seeding will fail when there is too much forage residual cover and the seed gets hung up in that residue. Go to to continue reading this article about frost seeding.






Ohio State University Extension Addressing Nutrient Management Issues in the State  – Steve Culman

Water quality and nutrient management issues are getting more and more attention these days. With additional regulatory measures being debated in the state legislature, it seems that everyone has an idea about how to ‘fix’ the algal blooms in Lake Erie and across Ohio. And not surprisingly, the ‘fix’ depends on who you ask. The reality is that addressing nutrient management issues across the state is a complex and difficult task, as excessive nutrients come from a variety of different sources. But the work is increasingly important and relevant as the debate intensifies. Go to to finish reading this article about how OSU Extension is addressing nutrient management.






Collect and Share Rainfall Information Online  – Mark Badertscher

Are you interested in knowing the rainfall amount the same day it rains or maybe for the week, month, or growing season? Are you interested in comparing rainfall amounts using charts and data to compare different years? Many farmers now have cropland around their county and in some cases, in multiple counties. Different farms receive different amounts of rainfall. There is a rainfall collection and reporting system that meets these needs that is as close as your smartphone or computer.  Go to to learn more about the CoCoRaHS network and how to become an online rainfall reporter.





2015 Spring Live Healthy Live Well Email Wellness Challenge – Kathy Oliver

Who:  Any adult wanting to live healthy life with support from Ohio State University Extension. What: A “Spring Clean Your Wellness Routine” email challenge, which provides you with two emails a week on a variety of health topics. Where:  In the convenience of your own home, office, or pocket. When:  March 30 through May 10, 2015. How: Click on  to register. Why:  We work better together. Supporting one another in living a healthy lifestyle is a smart and fun thing to do.  Participants will learn about such topics as Vegetables and Fruits, Fitness Focus, Roasted Vegetables, Local Foods, Gardening with Herbs, Seasoning with Herbs, and Stress Relief.




Mark A. Badertscher

Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

OSU Extension Hardin County

1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326

419-674-2297 Office


March 6, 2015

Good afternoon,

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and time to update folks about what is going on in Hardin County Agriculture and Natural Resources.  Monday we had the Hardin County Dairy Service Unit Annual Meeting with Paul Detwiler from Sexing Technologies and the Ohio Heifer Center as the speaker on exporting bred heifers to Turkey, heifer feed research, and manure recycling into bedding.  Tuesday and Wednesday saw hundreds of farmers, crop consultants, agribusiness professionals converge in Ada for what Gene McCluer likes to call the “Hardin County Agronomy Day,” otherwise known as the Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference (CTC).  Hardin County’s own Brian Watkins was one of the speakers and did a talk on using Big Data to measure machine efficiencies across different tillage systems.


The Farm Bureau Board met on Tuesday evening and is in the planning stages of a possible county farm tour with a special twist.  This group also stepped up and helped with registration and provided breakfast for the 3-Hour Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training which was attended by 100 people Thursday at Ohio Northern University in Ada.  This morning was Ag Council with an update from Senator Cliff Hite on pending legislation that could have an effect on farmers and commercial applicators in the Lake Erie Watershed.  We also spent time discussing the new 2015 OSU Extension Crop Production Budgets which can be found at among other agriculture and county information that was shared.


Saturday, March 7 will be the Hardin County Lamb Banquet, starting at 6:30 pm at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Kenton.  The Fair Board will meet the same evening, starting at 7:30 pm at the fair office.  The Men’s Garden Club will meet Monday, March 9 at the home of member Jim Candler, near Ridgeway starting at 6:30 pm.  Tuesday, March 10 will be the final agronomy webinar, Agronomic Use of Manure which will begin at 7:00 pm at the Extension office in Kenton.  ‘Can Manure Sourced Nutrients be used to Meet Crop Need?’ will be presented by Greg LaBarge, Field Specialist-Agronomic Systems, OSUE.  His presentation will be followed by ‘Alternative Applications Timing to Take Advantage of Nitrogen’ presented by Glen Arnold, Field Specialist-Manure Nutrient Utilization, OSUE.  For more information, see the attached flyer.

Hardin 2015 CSW Connection Series

There will be a Cattle Producers Directors meeting Wednesday, March 11 starting at 7:30 pm in the Allmax Software Building to discuss the upcoming Beef Banquet.  I have attached a news release regarding the new Beef Ambassador program and Beef Scholarships to this email.  The annual Hardin County Ag Society Consignment Sale will be held at the fairgrounds Saturday, March 14 starting at 9:00 am.  Farm Machinery and other items to be consigned for this sale can be delivered to the fairgrounds Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this coming week (March 11-13) until 5:30 pm.  No consignments will be accepted on Sale Day.

Beef Ambassador-Scholarship News Release

The Hardin County Pork Banquet will be held also on Saturday, March 14 at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Kenton starting at 6:30 pm.  Tickets for this banquet can be purchased through March 9 from the following county Pork Producers Directors: Grant Mizek, Kevin (Dewey) Skidmore, Steve Searson, Christine Heilman, Doug Heilman, Tim Holbrook, Mark Watkins, Nancy Weaver, Luke Underwood, Rob Wilson, Dick Cronley, Matthew Holbrook, Lavern Weaver, Mike Martino, Rob Underwood, Nathan Weaver, Lane Ritchey, Tiffany and Tyler Sparks. Tickets can also be purchased from the Extension office at 1021 West Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton.  The Pork Producers will be presenting their scholarships and recognizing their royalty at this event.  See the attached news release for more information.

Pork Banquet News Release

While traveling around the ten county area in the Top of Ohio Extension Education Research Area teaching pesticide and fertilizer certification, the question has come up quite often regarding the current rules for manure application on frozen or snow covered ground.  I have also answered some questions regarding this topic locally.  To help understand the current rules, I have attached an article written by Putnam County Extension Educator Jim Hoorman.  There are also some agronomy related articles for your reading below if you’re looking for some good information on these cold days.

Winter Manure Application








This Winter: Below Normal  –  Jim Noel

For this winter through February 16, temperatures were about 1 degree below normal in northern Ohio and normal in southern Ohio. The cold since then will cause these numbers to drop a little for the 3 month period. Precipitation for winter through February 16 was 80-100 percent of normal and snowfall was near to slightly below normal except near Lake Erie. February ended on a colder and drier note through February 28. Looking ahead to March, the weather pattern will change from colder than normal and drier than normal to a normal to warmer than normal pattern and wetter. The spring outlook calls for near normal temperatures and precipitation. The outlook for summer calls for near normal to warmer than normal temperatures and near to slightly below normal precipitation.  For more information on the weather, go to






Naked Soybeans in Ohio?  – Anne Dorrance

At several meetings and based on a few emails this winter it is very clear that Ohio soybean farmers are examining their budgets and looking for ways to cut costs in 2015.  Planting naked seed, no fungicide seed treatment, is one place that some producers are contemplating.  There is plenty of concern if this is really a good choice to reduce costs.  It is true that soybeans do not always need a fungicide seed treatment.  However, on our soils with poor drainage where replanting is relatively common, replanting costs today are much higher than our estimates of $80/acre from 10 years ago. Basically seed treatments are an insurance policy to protect that young seed/seedling until it is out of the ground and growing. To continue reading this article, go to






2015 Overholt Drainage School will be held March 16-20  –  Larry Brown

The 2015 Overholt Drainage School will be held March 16-20 at the Defiance County Emergency Management Agency Building on ST RT 15 (22491 Mill Street, Defiance, OH 43512).  This year’s program includes three sessions: 1) Agricultural subsurface drainage: System design and installation; 2) Drainage water management: Controlled drainage system design and installation; and 3) Concepts in Water Table Management with Subirrigation: Aspects of Design, Benefits, Installation, Management. The Overholt Drainage School is designed and taught to provide continuing education for land improvement contractors, soil and water conservation technicians, farmers, engineers, crop consultants, educators and others interested in advancing their knowledge of basic concepts, principles, and skills related to the purpose, design, layout, construction, and management of Soil and Water Conservation Systems. The School has been taught for over 50 years. The brochure and registration can be downloaded from the Soil & Water section of the Agronomic Crops Team website:  Space is limited so register early. If you have any questions, or would like to access the link to on-line credit card payment, please contact Larry Brown at, or call 614-292-3826.







Is It Too Early to Apply N to Wheat? – Yes  – Ed Lentz, Laura Lindsey

Each year producers ask the question when is the best time to apply N to wheat? Also, is it ok to apply N on frozen ground? For any N application the question to ask is, “When does the crop need N?” Wheat does not require large amounts of N until stem elongation (Feekes Growth Stage 6), which is the middle or the end of April depending on the location in state. Ohio research has shown no yield benefit from applications made prior to this time period. Soil organic matter and/or N applied at planting generally provide sufficient N for early growth until stem elongation. Nitrogen applied prior to rapid utilization has the potential to be lost and unavailable for the crop. Nitrogen source will also affect the potential for loss. Urea-ammonium nitrate (28%) has the greatest potential for loss, ammonium sulfate the least, and urea would be somewhere between the two other sources. To continue reading this article, go to







New Weed Science Resources –  Mark Loux

A couple of new resources on weed identification and herbicide site of action from OSU weed science. We have developed an iBook for weed ID, “The Ohio State University Guide to Weed Identification”.  This is a really nice resource to download onto an iPad or Mac computer for use in weed ID in the field or wherever.  It will not run on iPhone or other platforms.  The first edition of this is currently free on iTunes, but we will charge for the subsequent editions that will contain even more weeds.  Go to iTunes, and then search “weed identification” and it should come up. A collection of our time-lapse videos demonstrating herbicide mechanism of action is available on YouTube.  These are labeled with herbicide site of action number.  Search for “Ohio State Weed Science” in YouTube or use this link:




Mark A. Badertscher

Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

OSU Extension Hardin County

1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton, OH 43326

419-674-2297 Office