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Beating the Heat on Farms

By Wayne Dellinger, Aaron Wilson, and Dee Jepson. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team.

As we reach the middle of June, there is growing concern for human and livestock welfare as we approach our first heat wave of the season. With forecast highs in the mid to upper 90s and little relief in the evenings in the coming week, steps need to be taken to ensure everyone stays cool and safe.

Looking at the numbers:

  • On April 24, 2024, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under the Department of Labor, presented a draft of the framework that addresses heightened efforts to keep workers safe in the heat. This particularly focuses on dangers to agricultural workers. Since 2022, OSHA has conducted almost 5,000 inspections that were heat-related.
  • A study using the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries database found that heat-related deaths are 35 times higher in farm workers when compared to workers in other industries.
  • Ohio State University researchers have estimated that economic loss to the United States livestock and poultry industries due to heat stress can range from $1.9 to $2.7 billion annually.A verticle bar graph showing the difference between heat related deaths and other weather related deaths. Shows data for 2023, 10 year average, and 30 year average.

Keeping an eye on the weather forecast is the first step to prevention. Much attention is given to tornado, severe storms, and floods. However, according to the National Weather Service, heat-related deaths are still the greatest weather-related cause of death in the U.S.

Heat advisories and excessive heat warmings are both based on the heat index which is a combination of air temperature and humidity. Heat advisories are issued when indices are expected
Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress to be 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for at least two days while excessive heat warnings are issued for indices of 105 Fahrenheit and higher for at least two days.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are real possibilities with indices this high while also possible at lower levels depending on the health of the individual. Here are some best management practices to keep you and your livestock more comfortable:

Farmers and employees:

  1. Start the day well hydrated and keep drinking water regularly through the day. If you wait until you are thirsty, you have waited too long.
  2. Keep particularly strenuous tasks (especially those requiring additional personal protective equipment) to the cooler parts of the day when possible.
  3. Increase number of breaks and slowly build up a tolerance to working in the heat, especially in the first few high heat events in the season.

Livestock:

  1. Ensure all ventilation equipment in barns is well maintained and functioning properly. If temperature alarms are present, test them.
  2. Always have fresh, clean water available to the animals.
  3. Shade must be available for animals not confined in structures.
  4. Consider changing feeding times for animals. Feed intake produces heat. This usually peaks 4 to 6 hours after feeding. Receiving more of the daily ration after the heat of the day will help relieve some of this added stress.A diagram explaining the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Prevention of heat-related illness is ideal, but awareness of the signs to watch for is also important to be prepared for action. According to OSHA, heat exhaustion symptoms include fatigue, irritability, thirst, nausea, dizziness, heavy sweating, and elevated body temperature or fast heart rate. If you or someone you are with is experiencing these symptoms, move to a cooler area and cool the body by loosening clothing, drinking water, fanning, or use cool, wet towels. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention.

Heat stroke is the most serious of heat-related illnesses. Regardless of age, over 20% of those suffering from heat stroke will die. In addition to the symptoms of heat exhaustion, a heat stroke victim will also show signs of confusion, slurred speech, unconsciousness, seizures, or hot, dry skin. If these additional symptoms are observed, take same action as heat exhaustion, and dial 911 immediately.

Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County, can be reached at 937-644-8117 or dellinger.6@osu.edu.
Aaron Wilson, Ag Weather and Climate Field Specialist, can be reached at 614-292-7930 or wilson.1010@osu.edu.
Dee Jepsen, Professor and State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader, can be reached at (614) 292-6008 or Jepsen.4@osu.edu.
This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

Honeysuckle; Friend or Foe?

By Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension

Originally posted to the Ohio BEEF Cattle Newsletter, to view the original post, click HERE. 

Honeysuckle is a commonly found plant that often draws the attention of passersby with its pleasantly fragrant blossoms from April to July. The sweet nectar inside its tubular flowers is edible by many animals and even people. There are over 180 known honeysuckle species in the northern hemisphere. Its beauty and fragrance led to the introduction of many non-native honeysuckle species to North America in the 1800s primarily for ornamental use. Despite the sweetness it adds to the air, the impacts that non-native types have had on our environment are certainly not sweet.

Unfortunately, four of these introduced species are extremely aggressive in our landscapes and have created an imbalance in natural systems due to their ability to outcompete native plants for resources. The types of honeysuckles which are damaging to these spaces are Japanese honeysuckle, which is a vining type, and three bush-type honeysuckles- amur, morrow’s, and tartarian. Some species form dense thickets of shrubs and some spread with vast creeping vines that can strangle neighboring plants. These honeysuckle species are commonly found in pastures, woodlands, reclaimed sites, and waste spaces.

Because of their invasive status in Ohio, it is every landowner’s legal responsibility to control their spread. Although they can be used as a food source for some wildlife,

Tartarian honeysuckle. Photo by Kathy Smith, OSU Extension, School of Environment and Natural Resources.

allowing their unimpeded growth reduces the success of other plants that produce nuts and berries with greater nutritional value for birds, insects, and mammals. The reduction of native plant species leads to a reduction in the diversity of native wildlife as well.

Honeysuckles are easy to identify by their aroma and their flowers. On all four invasive species the flowers change to a buttery-yellow color as they age and resemble clusters of popped popcorn. Although color can vary by species, most often newly blooming flowers are white and grow in pairs along the plant’s stems. Differences between species can be defined by closely examining the leaves, stems, and berries.

The easiest way to distinguish Japanese honeysuckle from the two common vining native species- trumpet and wild honeysuckle, is to compare berry color in the fall. Japanese honeysuckle berries will appear black while trumpet and wild honeysuckle berries appear red. However, the bush type honeysuckles also have red berries, so berry color alone cannot confirm the plant’s identity. Trumpet honeysuckle has a vining habit similar to Japanese honeysuckle, but the flowers of trumpet honeysuckle are not fragrant and are crimson red compared to the deeply fragrant and creamy white blossoms of Japanese honeysuckle. Although trumpet honeysuckle is not fragrant to humans, the nectar in the flowers is highly attractive to butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds.

In my experience, almost all the honeysuckles I have encountered in the landscape are one of the four invasive types.

For simplicity, recommendations for honeysuckle species are typically communicated for vining honeysuckle and bush honeysuckle, because treatment methods and identification features of the bush types are very similar. Honeysuckles reproduce by seed, which is often spread by birds, and by creeping stems and root sprouts. Thus, the most effective treatment methods for honeysuckle include removing or killing the root tissue.

Mechanical control for small infestations can be employed by digging or pulling plants up by the roots, tillage, mowing if plants are small, burning, or by using land clearing machinery in cases where large thickets have formed. Multiple herbicides provide 80% or better control of honeysuckle depending on the method of application and the time of year. These include products containing metsulfuron methyl, dicamba, 2,4-D, and/or triclopyr, while glyphosate products are only 60-70% effective on honeysuckle.

Foliar application with these products is often preferred in the late-fall because honeysuckles retain green leaves longer than most other surrounding plants making identification easier and any herbicide overspray less damaging to surrounding desirable plants. Honeysuckles can also be treated with basal bark or cut stump treatments. Basal bark treatments can be effective anytime that temperatures are above freezing, except during spring sap flow. Cut stump treatment can be effective in the summer, fall, or winter. Springtime treatment is least effective because herbicides are less likely to be translocated to the root tissue at that time and the plant will easily regrow from the unharmed root system.

For more information about successfully keeping invasive honeysuckles at bay, consult the fact sheet “Controlling Non-Native Invasive Plants in Ohio Forests: Bush Honeysuckle” by Kathy Smith on our Ohioline website at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/F-68.

With honeysuckle blooming now across the state, I encourage admirers to pick all the flowers they want to use in arrangements for their tables and loved ones, because every flower removed stops seed development. After enjoying the flowers, remember to return to execute the remainder of the plant in order to help preserve the environment for our beneficial natives!

2024 Summer Income Tax School

This article was originally posted on the Ag Law Blog. To view the original post, click HERE. 

Summer Tax School 2024
Income Tax Schools at The Ohio State University Announces A Summer Tax School “Overview of Small Businesses”
Barry Ward & Jeff Lewis, OSU Income Tax Schools

An Overview of Small Businesses is the focus of the upcoming Summer Tax School Webinar featured by Income Tax Schools at The Ohio State University. Long-time instructor, John Lawrence, will be the primary instructor for this webinar.

This webinar is scheduled for July 31st and registration is now open. The registration page can be accessed at: go.osu.edu/summertaxschool

This Summer Tax School is designed to help tax professionals learn about tax issues related to:

  • Selection and formation of a business entity
  • Operation of the business entity
  • Business entity transition and estate planning issues
  • Relevant updates on federal tax law issues

By the end of this course, participants will have a thorough understanding of how to navigate the complex tax landscape, make informed decisions that optimize tax outcomes, and ensure the long-term success and sustainability of their businesses.

Webinar Agenda for July 31st:

9:00 Webinar room opens

9:20 Welcome and introductions

9:30 Session 1: Selection and Formation of the Business Entity: Tax Laws, Regulations, and Implications.

10:50 Break

11:00 Session 2: Business Entity Operation: Tax Planning for the Present.

Noon Lunch break

12:45 Session 3: Business Entity Transition and Estate Planning: Tax Planning for the Future.

1:45 Break

1:55 Session 4: Update on State and Federal Tax Law Rules and Regulations for Small Businesses.

2:50 Webinar concludes

Continuing Educations Credit Hours: 5
Continuing Legal Education Hours: 4

Registration cost is $200 and includes 5 hours of Continuing Education (CPE) and 4 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE).  Registration information and the online registration portal can be found online at: go.osu.edu/summertaxschool

Participants may contact Barry Ward at 614-688-3959, ward.8@osu.edu or Jeff Lewis at 614-292-2433, lewis.1459@osu.edu for more information.

Hail Damage In Shelby County

Early last week, storms brought scattered hail across the county. Roughly 200 acres of corn were damaged on the intersection of Pasco-Montra and Miranda Road. With our good growing conditions this year, the corn was above average in height, meaning it took more damage than it would have in years past. Both the producer and I agreed that there should not be a large impact on yields, as the crops continue to grow.

It’s High Season For Ohio’s Noxious Weeds Laws

Originally posted on the Farm Office Blog. To view the post on the original site, Click HERE. 
By:Peggy Kirk Hall, Attorney and Director, Agricultural & Resource Law Program Wednesday, May 29th, 2024

The poison hemlock popping up across Ohio and the questions we’re receiving in the Farm Office both signal that the high season for “noxious weeds” has begun. Ohio has several statutes and regulations intended to curtail the spread of the invasive and potentially harmful weeds we refer to as noxious weeds.  The most common question we’re hearing is this:  if there is a weed problem spreading onto or around my property, what can I do about it?

Poison hemlock plants growing in field

There are several answers to this question, and the first is to have a civil discussion with the landowner or agency responsible for the property, alerting them to the problem.  Sometimes that party simply doesn’t know about the weeds or doesn’t know how to remedy the problem.  If the neighborly discussion strategy fails, then the legal answer to the question depends upon two factors:  1) whether the weed is one named in the law or on the “noxious weeds” list, and 2) the location of the weed.

  1. Does the law apply to the weed?

There are two ways Ohio noxious weeds law would apply to a weed situation. One way is if the law specifically refers to the weed.  For example, one law specifically names wild parsnip, wild carrot, oxeye daisy, and wild mustard. The second way is if the law refers generally to noxious weeds, which applies to weeds named on Ohio’s noxious weeds list.  The Ohio Department of Agriculture has the responsibility of identifying and maintaining a list of noxious weeds—that list is in Ohio Administrative Code 901:5-37-01 and includes the following:

  • Shatter cane (Sorghum bicolor)
  • Russian thistle (Salsola Kali var. tenuifolia)
  • Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense L. (Pers.))
  • Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)
  • Grapevines: when growing in groups of one hundred or more and not pruned, sprayed, cultivated, or otherwise maintained for two consecutive years.
  • Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense L. (Scop.))
  • Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum)
  • Cressleaf groundsel (Senecio glabellus)
  • Musk thistle (Carduus nutans)
  • Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
  • Mile-A-Minute Weed (Polygonum perfoliatum)
  • Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
  • Apple of Peru (Nicandra physalodes)
  • Marestail (Conyza canadensis)
  • Kochia (Bassia scoparia)
  • Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri)
  • Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata)
  • Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
  • Yellow Groove Bamboo (Phyllostachys aureasculata), when the plant has spread from its original premise of planting and is not being maintained.
  • Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
  • Heart-podded hoary cress (Lepidium draba sub. draba)
  • Hairy whitetop or ballcress (Lepidium appelianum)
  • Perennial sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis)
  • Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens)
  • Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula)
  • Hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium)
  • Serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma)
  • Columbus grass (Sorghum x almum)
  • Musk thistle (Carduus nutans)
  • Forage Kochia (Bassia prostrata)
  • Water Hemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus)
  1.  What is the location of the weed?

There are several different noxious weeds laws, and which one applies depends on the location of the weed.  Here are the three most common locations we receive questions about:

  • If a noxious weed is in the fence row on land outside of a municipality, Ohio’s line fence law addresses noxious weeds in ORC 971.33—971.35.  The law states that a landowner or occupant may give notice to an adjacent landowner or tenant to clear “brush, briers, thistles, or other noxious weeds” within four feet of the line fence on the owner or tenant’s side of the fence.  If the adjacent owner or tenant fails to do so within 10 days, the landowner or occupant may provide notice to the board of township trustees and the trustees must view the premises and determine if there is just cause for the clearing.  If there is, the trustees must “cause the weeds to be cut, by letting the work to the lowest bidder, or by entering into a private contract.”  The county auditor must assess the costs on the landowner’s property taxes.
  • If noxious weeds, wild parsnip, wild carrot, oxeye daisy, wild mustard, or other harmful weeds are on private land beyond the fence row, a person may send written information to the township trustees of the weeds and where they exist.  The trustees must then notify the owner or about the existence of the weeds. The owner must either destroy the weeds or show the township trustees why there is no need for doing so.  If the owner does not take one of these actions within five days of the trustee’s notice, the township trustees “shall cause the weeds to be cut or destroyed and may employ the necessary labor, materials, and equipment to perform the task.” The county auditor must assess the costs on the landowner’s property taxes.
  • If noxious weeds are along a public roadway, Ohio law requires counties, townships and municipalities to cut or destroy the noxious weeds every year between June 1 and 20, August 1 and 20, and if necessary, September 1 and 20, or whenever it’s necessary to destroy the vegetation to prevent or eliminate a safety hazard.  ORC 5579.04 and 5579.08.

There are other laws that help us deal with the noxious weeds high season, and we review each of those in our law bulletin, Ohio’s Noxious Weeds Laws, in the Property Law Library on farmoffice.osu.edu