Solar Leasing Guide Available

By: Peggy Kirk Hall
Source: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/blog
Large “utility-scale” solar energy development is on the rise in Ohio.  In the past two years, the Ohio Power Siting Board has approved six large scale solar projects with generating capacities of 50MW or more, and three more projects are pending approval.   These “solar farms” require a large land base, and in Ohio that land base is predominantly farmland.   The nine solar energy facilities noted on this map will cover about 16,500 acres in Brown, Clermont, Hardin, Highland and Vinton counties.  About 12,300 of those acres were previously used for agriculture.

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Gypsy Moth Adults Take Flight

By: Amy Stone, OSU Extension Lucas County

The caterpillar feeding frenzy has ended for the year and adult activity is being observed in NW Ohio. The male moths have taken flight in their zig-zag pattern in hopes of finding a mate. The female moths are white and a bit larger in size, and typically don’t move far distances from the pupal casing that they emerged from. She gives off a pheromone to alert close by males of her location. After a visit from the male moth, she will begin laying eggs. The mass of eggs laid now, will remain in that stage until the following spring, as there is one generation per year. Continue reading

New Beech Tree Disease Could Cost Ohio Millions

By: Misti Crane, Ohio State Assistant Director of Research Communications

A confounding new disease is killing beech trees in Ohio and elsewhere, and plant scientists are sounding an alarm while looking for an explanation.

In a study published in the journal Forest Pathology, researchers and naturalists from Ohio State University and metro parks in northeastern Ohio reported on the emerging beech leaf disease epidemic, calling for speedy work to find a culprit so that work can begin to stop its spread. Continue reading

USDA Announces Sign-Up Period for Updated Conservation Stewardship Program

Source: USDA

The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding this year is May 10, 2019. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest up to $700 million for new enrollments and contract extensions in fiscal year 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to this critical conservation program, which helps agricultural producers take the conservation activities on their farm or ranch to the next level. Continue reading

Trading for Water Quality

By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

WICHITA, Kan. (DTN) — Cities looking to address water-quality challenges in watersheds leading into their drinking water supply may want to see how Wichita, Kansas, works with upstream farmers to reduce pesticide and sediment in the Little Arkansas River watershed.

Litigation over water quality, especially the federal case in Des Moines, Iowa, in recent years, has drawn a lot of attention. Meanwhile, some other more cooperative water-quality efforts have received less attention. Continue reading