Another wet start to the week. We are fortunate not have gotten the rains here that central Ohio has received. Over the weekend I helped my family navigate the challenges presented by the current muddy situation. Where my parents farm is, a large portion of the soil is red clay that makes Hoytville clay seem like potting soil. When that stuff gets wet it is about like walking in concrete, so much that my rubber boots got stuck on Saturday and I proceeded to fall nearly face first into it. My brother eventually did help me out of the mess after a good minute of laughing. Continue reading
Editor’s Note: I am posting this week’s column as it contains important information regarding our office in response to COVID-19.
The past several weeks has presented us with the real and difficult challenges related to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). The Ohio State University has been proactively implementing protocols to ensure the safety and health of our students and clientele; that is our number one priority. After consultation with the college and university leadership, OSU Extension is cancelling, or going virtual with our educational events and meetings through at least April 20 and possibly beyond. Furthermore, our office at the direction of OSU Extension administration will be closed beginning 3-19-2020, until further notice. We understand this may cause an inconvenience to many, but please know that health of individuals and the health of our community at-large is our highest priority. We will share updates as more information becomes available. Thanks for your patience as we learn more about how this virus is affecting Ohioans. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
I Hate Mud
I may have mentioned before that I hate mud, and that the ideal winter is one where it is cold enough for the ground to be frozen or one with limited precipitation. Unfortunately, over the past couple of winters we really haven’t experienced either of those conditions. With regards to rainfall, we are already ahead of where we were a year ago. Continue reading
Not All Roses
First off, thank you to all of the sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and attendees of Northwest Ohio Crops Day last week in Deshler. For the third year in a row it was a cold snowy day, filled with excellent information with regards to the upcoming growing season. A few points that I took home were that our recent weather patterns have the potential to become trends as our climate changes. Another key point was that commodity outlooks for the coming year were rather guarded due to factors across the globe. I’m always amazed that they are able to get two corn crops in a year in Brazil, which impacts the amount of corn available on the global market. I sure hope this year is more cooperating than last. Continue reading
Taste of Spring
Well I guess the groundhog wasn’t all wrong when he didn’t see his shadow over the weekend. This Monday was as nice of an early February day as I can remember. However, it appears that we will encounter a cold snap or two going forward. Thus far it’s almost like 2020 has been the winter that never was.
Over the weekend I ventured back down to southern Ohio after the first session of our Ohio Beef Schools in Licking County. Excessive moisture has made things muddier in that part of the state, especially where livestock are being fed hay. On a positive note the family sheep flock has all lambed with the exception of three stubborn ewes that are holding out for the next 17 day cycle.
There is still time to attend for NW Ohio Crops Day in Deshler. We will be down that way this afternoon getting things set up. There is plenty room for walk-ins tomorrow morning. So, come on down, hopefully learn a thing or two, and visit some of the sponsors of the day’s event. It would be remiss of me if I did not thank those sponsors who make NW Ohio Crops Day and all of our Extension events possible. As a reminder there are private and commercial applicator credits available. Also, new this year there will be Bavarian Haus coffee cake for breakfast (which I hear is tremendous). Continue reading
Furry Foe, and Weatherman Alike
Well it is almost February, which means we are past the halfway point of winter and in the heart of Extension meeting season. Looking ahead to the next week, I have a First Monday Coffee Break planned at the Extension office where we will discuss non-meat alternative proteins and how to have a sound conversation on the topic with consumers. Also, next Friday is NW Ohio Crops Day, which I have wrote about before. The deadline to RSVP for the event at the reduced cost is tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.
Speaking of animals and halfway through winter, Sunday is Groundhog Day. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, the groundhog will leave the burrow, signifying that winter will soon end. If on the other hand, if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly “see its shadow” and retreat into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks. Continue reading
New Year, New Ag Policy
In the last week or so, there have been a couple of rather large announcements that could impact agriculture and those involved in 2020. First of which is the governor’s unrolling of $30 million through the Ohio Department of Agriculture through the new H2Ohio program. The program will incentivize voluntary conservation practices of the next five years in counties, including Henry, that lie in the lower Maumee watershed. There are information meetings scheduled, with the Henry/Putnam meeting being at the Fogle Center in Leipsic at 6 p.m. on February 20th.
Other news over the least week also included the signing of a Phase 1 China trade deal, which is intended to increase the amount of agricultural exports into China. U.S. soy, pork, and beef, entering China are all part of the deal. Continue reading
NW Ohio Crops Day
Between the mud and the snow in the forecast, there hasn’t been a whole lot to get excited about this past week. All of our year end reporting is done and in the office, we are now focusing our attention towards upcoming programs.
Similar to the last couple of years the flagship program for agriculture in the county has been Northwest Ohio Crops Day, held at the Bavarian Haus in Deshler. This year’s program will be Friday, February 7th and we have a great line up of presenters and sponsors.
Head lining this year’s meeting are Greg Roth, professor and cover crop specialist from Penn State University. Greg is an expert in the area of cover crop interseeding. In addition, I have asked him to elaborate on best management practices for the use of cover crops as they apply to water quality. Penn State was at the forefront of development and implementation of BMP’s in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Continue reading
It’s finally starting to feel like winter as the wind has gotten cold over the past couple of days. School is back in session, folks have made their resolutions, and the Buckeyes are no longer playing football; so bring on meeting season! After the first of the year things seem to ramp back up as we progress past the holidays. We continue to plan for Northwest Ohio Crops Day and the various other programs scheduled the first quarter of the year. Continue reading