OSU Extension educates CCAs, maximizing the university’s impact on millions of acres of farmland statewide. (pictured: Tina Lust and Harold Watters)
As part of her job to advise producers statewide on farming issues, Tina Lust regularly reads the Crop Observation and Recommendation Network (CORN) newsletter, written weekly by Ohio State University Extension specialists.
The publication offers information on Ohio agronomic crops, and it is just one of the ways OSU Extension works year-round to continually educate Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) through agronomic workshops, presentations, schools and conferences — providing them the most up-to-date information needed to help producers increase yields, increase financial bottom lines, reduce environmental impact and boost the state’s overall economy.
CORN newsletter is part of Extension’s efforts to reach Ohio farmers one crop adviser at a time. Working to educate CCAs helps to extend and maximize The Ohio State University’s impact on Ohio crops to millions of acres of farmland statewide, said Harold Watters, an OSU Extension agronomy field specialist and coordinator of the university’s Agronomic Crops Team.
- OSU Extension provides training year-round, offering the continuing education credits needed by Ohio’s 540 Certified Crop Advisers to retain their certification.
- CCAs each consult on an average of 40,000 to 50,000 acres of Ohio farmland.
- The economic impact that CCAs have on farmers can be easily $100 per acre, according to industry efforts.
- CCAs need to earn 40 hours biannually in the following training categories, all of which OSU Extension offers either for free or at a nominal charge: nutrient management, pest management, soil and water management, and crop management.
- CCA training is offered by 40 members of OSU Extension’s Agronomic Crops Team, Extension’s county educators and, specifically, 65 agriculture educators throughout Ohio’s 88 counties.
- CORN newsletter has some 3,800 subscribers, including farmers, producers, CCAs and agriculture professionals in Ohio and surrounding states.
“Extension professionals offer unbiased, research-based information that CCAs can provide to farmers,” said Tina Lust, past chair, Ohio CCA Board, which works closely with the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. “Agriculture is our No. 1 industry, and farmers need that information to keep on top of new research, technology and innovations in order to farm economically and efficiently, and to stay in business.”
For more information: corn.osu.edu.
Reed Johnson studies bee colonies at OARDC to learn more about factors affecting bee health. Healthy bees are crucial
for both agricultural production and the environment.
Bees are crucial to agriculture and food security. They pollinate about one-third of the crops we eat, valued at more than $14 billion annually in the U.S.
However, this valuable resource is at risk. During the 2013–2014 winter alone, Ohio beekeepers lost 50–80 percent of their honeybees. Bees are dying in large numbers due to many reasons, including diseases, insect pests, loss of habitat and agricultural chemicals.
“Most corn seeds planted today are coated with insecticides, and when they are chipped off in the planter, the dust lands on nearby flowers,” said entomologist Reed Johnson. “Bees then carry the tainted pollen back to their hives, where young members of the colony become exposed to it.”
Johnson is studying the unintended consequences of these insecticides as well as strategies to protect bees. For example, he has tested a lubricant that is applied to the seed to reduce dust, which shows promise in field trials.
- The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and Ohio State University Extension work together with the beekeeping industry and others to deliver the following programs, which promote healthy bees and environments that boost bee numbers.
- A monthly webinar series is attended by some 120 beekeepers from Ohio, other states and several countries. It focuses on ways to monitor for health issues and combat pests that attack bees. The sessions are archived online and reach many more beekeepers.
- Monthly face-to-face educational programs with beekeeper associations throughout Ohio deal with topics such as integrated pest management and creating forage habitats for bees.
- A statewide network of 28 research and demonstration gardens were planted in 2014 at schools, parks, arboreta and OSU Extension offices. The gardens evaluate which combinations of plants attract bees most, so that recommendations can be made to help enhance their habitats.
“Ohio State University research is required to provide information to the Ohio agriculture community, which will allow collaboration between beekeepers and farmers to help each other keep honeybees healthy and safe, and provide the pollination needed to keep crop production sustainable and profitable,” said Dwight Wells, regional director of the Ohio State Beekeepers Association.