Recognize and Mitigate Crop Heat Stress

Recent conditions in some areas (soaked soil, fog- and dew-filled mornings, high daytime humidity) can give a different impression about the season so far than weather data at and various forecasts. Temperature, rainfall, and other data are collected around the clock at OSU vegetable (and other) research sites in Fremont, Celeryville, Wooster, and Piketon and have been for decades. So far in 2021, these four locations have accumulated less precipitation and more growing degree days (GDD) than their historical averages. Also, climate and weather authorities reported on June 11 that the Upper Midwest, including Ohio, is set to experience hot, droughty conditions. Most agree that a dry year is less problematic than a wet one — provided irrigation is possible. However, it can be difficult for vegetable growers to escape the unwanted effects of excessively high temperatures. A way to separate potentially minor, moderate, and severe heat stress, example effects of moderate-severe heat stress, and main strategies for mitigating heat stress during production are summarized below.

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Summer is a good time for a youth labor legal checkup

School is out and youth employment is in.  As more and more youth turn to the job market during summer break, now is a good time to review the laws that apply to youth working in agricultural situations.  Here’s a quick refresher that can help you comply with youth employment laws.  For additional details and explanation, refer to our law bulletin on “Youth Labor on the Farm: Laws Farmers Need to Know.

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Poisonous Pasture Weeds and Livestock

– Dwight Lingenfelter, Extension Associate, Weed Science, Penn State

Poisonous Pasture Weeds and Livestock

Horsenettle in a pasture setting. (Source: D. Lingenfelter, Penn State Weed Science)

During drought and other poor environmental conditions that reduce forage growth, there are concerns for poisonous weeds in pastures and hay. Livestock may be forced to graze on weeds that normally they would not, or they may eat weeds out of curiosity. Scout your pastures and remove these weeds before they cause livestock health problems. Keep in mind there are numerous poisonous plants that could invade an area or pasture. Many plants contain potentially poisonous substances that may be toxic to livestock if consumed. In addition, certain plants may be problematic because of mechanical irritation when eaten, photosensitization, and disagreeable tastes or odors in meat, milk or milk products. If you suspect livestock poisoning, call your local extension educator or veterinarian immediately. If death occurs, the stomach contents should be examined for consumed herbage. Identify the suspected plants and remove livestock from the grazing area until all poisonous plants have been removed or destroyed.

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Small Ruminant AI Day in Licking County (August 21, 2021)

Dean Kreager, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Licking County

Artificial Insemination (AI) results from a multi-breeder insemination day in Licking County.

(Image Source: K Bar K Farm)

The Licking County Sheep Improvement Association has been working with OSU Extension to provide the opportunity for multiple breeders to bring sheep to one location for artificial insemination. The August 2020 date marked the 3rd year of this event. Insemination of 104 sheep occurred during the 2020 event and included both fresh and frozen semen.

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What exactly are pesticides and how do I select which one to use.

Originally posted in the Licking County Agricultural News, By: Dean Kreager

I was reminded by a phone call this week that there is a lot of misunderstanding about “Pesticides”.  This seems to have become a dirty word.  Many associate the word with death and destruction.  According to law a pesticide is “Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest”.  Part of the confusion comes from products such as Roundup®.  This was originally a systemic broad spectrum herbicide that killed the majority of plants it was sprayed on.  The active ingredient is glyphosate.  Now many people refer to all glyphosate products as Roundup although there are many other brands.  To add to the confusion Roundup® is now also on the label of products that do not contain glyphosate but have other active ingredients.  These products include insecticides and selective herbicides for lawns.  This has led to the confusion that Roundup kills everything.

Home made weed and bug killers are also pesticides.  Use of all of these products are regulated by pesticide laws that need to be followed.    The shelves at garden stores are loaded with a wide variety of products and it is up to you to be sure you are using the correct product in the correct way.   Click here for a fact sheet providing a good understanding of pesticides and how to select and use them.