From Across the Field: 3-6-2020

March Madness

First, I cannot believe that it is March already, it seems that February went by in a blur. March is here and that means March Madness. As a sports fan I hope to take in some postseason high school and college basketball in the coming weeks in between programs. In a typically year March is bit more toned downed from a programming standpoint, that appears not to be the case this year. I ought to have a talk with guy who makes my schedule a bit more often.

One upcoming program that I am excited to offer is our 2020 Feeding Cattle for the Consumer Series. This series tailored around the same concept as Beef 509, a two part program with both live and carcass evaluation. The first of the two-part series will be held at Southern Roots Ranch in West Unity on Thursday, March 19. Southern Roots Ranch is operated by Tyler Keckley and family. At that meeting we will talk cattle feeding nutrition, fed cattle evaluation, and estimate carcass characteristics.

The second part of the series will take place on April 2 at Brookview Farms Meats where will have the opportunity to grade and evaluate the steers from week one of the program.  We ask that you RSVP for the program in the next week. Beef from Brookview will be served on both evenings. For more information contact the Extension office. Youth in the area are also able to obtain livestock quality assurance by attending the program.

If you have peach trees, it is about time to spray with a Bordeaux mixture (lime and copper sulfate) to reduce diseases such a Peach Leaf Curl. A lime sulfur spray will reduce disease problems on many of our raspberry and blackberry plants as well.

If it would ever dry out, now is a great time to stir the compost pile. Get some oxygen inside, mix the layers a bit and let Mother Nature water it for you. If you have a little spot in the vegetable garden that does not look too winter-bad, this is an excellent time to plant a few lettuce, spinach, arugula and radish seed. Don’t get crazy with it, it might be a failed experiment, but if it warms up some, you may be rewarded with an early crop in April if you get a little lucky. If you have a chance, you can even plant some onion sets.

This is also a great time to check trees around the landscape for signs of potential insect problems. Check spruces and other trees for bags an inch or two long, remove and destroy as there could be 300-800 bagworm eggs inside, which can damage the tree. Also, check trees such as wild cherry for the Eastern Tent Caterpillar. Look at smaller branches for bronze colored, foamy looking egg masses that may surround the branch. They will hatch as the leaves emerge, make the nests where branches connect and defoliate the tree. If we can remove the masses now, we will greatly reduce any problems next month. I’ll end this week with a thought from W. Edward Deming: “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” Have a great week.

Upcoming Events
3/5 Fertilizer and Pesticide Recert
3/19 Cattle Feeding School

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