From Across the Field – Here Comes March Madness

Growing up my father coached 5th-6th grade basketball for more than a decade and his love for the game was something that I inherited. For me, March is the highlight of the sports calendar, unless the Reds somehow reach the World Series in my lifetime and then we can talk about October. Watching high school games at various tournament 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, the beginning of spring, and the coming growing season. While the current amount of excess moisture and mud may temper the itch to pull the planter out of the shed, that itch will be beginning to grow. In Extension, we have Conservation Tillage Conference coming up next week in Ada, and have been discussing on-farm research plans for the coming growing season. If March goes by as fast as February did those 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 brother, he has continued to have ewes lamb over the past few days. In addition to spring calving, the Ohio Beef Expo will take place from March 15-17, 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 am beginning to see and receive flyers for sales where youth have the opportunity to purchase their pigs, lambs, or goats for this summer’s fair season

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 Madness. I’ll end this week with a quote from Hall of Famer, Michael Jordan, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Have a great week.
March 7 – Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification
March 16 – NW OH Small Farms Conference

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