Having grown up in a family of sports fans, few things capture my interest more than March Madness. From the Cinderella stories to the blue bloods of both college and Ohio high school tournaments, March is the highlight of the sports calendar, unless the Reds somehow reach the World Series in my lifetime. Watching high school games at various locations and filling out a handful of NCAA brackets is something I look forward to annually.
I think March in general is a time that we look forward to, get excited, or maybe a bit anxious for. Typically, March marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring and the coming growing season. As I talk to farmers around the county, the itch to pull the planter out of the shed is beginning to grow, and understandably so. In Extension, we just came out of Conservation Tillage Conference last week, and are discussing on farm agronomy research plans today. As those in the Twittersphere and on social media would say #plant18 is just around the corner here in Ohio.
On the livestock side, March is a busy month for many of the beef producers in the state as calving is in full swing. In talking to my parents, they had a couple of calves born over the past few days. In addition to spring calving, this weekend is the Ohio Beef Expo, which kicks off the unofficial start to bull buying season. If you are looking for purebred beef bulls or females there will be plenty of opportunity on Saturday, as well as some educational programming including Beef Quality Assurance on Friday. Speaking of livestock sales, I have seen more flyers than I can ever remember for sales where youth have the opportunity to purchase their pigs, lambs, or goats for this summer’s fair.
Around the house, there is also a ton of things that can be done this time of year. This is a good time to start vegetable plants, such as tomatoes for transplanting outdoors after the threat of frost has disappeared. This is also the time to check plants for insect problems. Check conifers and arbor vitae for bags that are a couple of inches long and remove them. Then destroy the bags as there could be up to 800 bagworm eggs in each one. One of my first house calls last summer was to a bagworm infestation and they can certainly cause significant damage to a tree. I know once we get a warm evening I need to gather twigs from the yard, as it will be time to mow grass before too long.
In the spirt of March Maddness I’ll end this week with a quote from Hall of Famer, Larry Bird, “I’ve got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.” Have a great week.