‘Hardy’ mums? Here’s how to help them survive

Originally posted in the Dayton Daily News.

Have you noticed that “hardy” mums aren’t necessarily hardy and don’t come back in the spring? I have had many gardeners complain about planting mums in the fall only to have them die.

I have two answers for you. One, just consider them annuals and enjoy their fall color and plant them every year in late summer. The other answer takes a bit of work, but you are more likely to be successful.

Proper care of decorative mums leads to successful overwintering. CONTRIBUTED

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The Benefits of Shearing Before Lambing

Richard Ehrhardt, Michigan State University Extension Specialist, Small Ruminants
(Previously published on MSU Extension, Sheep & Goat)

Shearing before lambing is a practice that benefits the welfare of the sheep as well as making management easier and increasing flock productivity. There are important considerations to keep in mind to perform this practice effectively. These relate primarily to timing relative to birth, stubble length, feeding, and protection post-shearing. If these conditions are considered carefully, the benefits are significant to both sheep and shepherd.

#1. Drier environment: Wool holds considerable moisture, with a full fleece capable of absorbing a lot of water under humid climates, even when sheep are housed indoors. This moisture holding capacity of wool creates a microclimate close to the lamb that is relatively damp, thus creating a prime environment for hosting pathogens and allowing them to proliferate. Both the

relative humidity of the barn and the microclimate near the lamb are drier when ewes are shorn, creating a healthier environment that is less conducive to pathogen growth.

#2. Cleaner environment: Wool also has the capacity to hold mud and manure as well as absorb fluids from the birth process, all of which can harbor and promote the growth of pathogens. A short fleece minimizes this situation, creating a much cleaner environment for the benefit of both the ewe and her lamb(s).

 

 

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Multi-Species Grazing as an Alternative to Pasture Spraying

James Doyle, Extension Natural Resource Management Field Specialist, South Dakota State University
(Previously published by South Dakota State University Extension: August 6, 2020)

 

Broadacre spraying of pastures is intended to reduce undesirable plants and increase grasses for livestock. This practice often results in unintended consequences including damage and reduction of native forbs and reduced profitability. One approach to managing perceived “weedy” plants that can offset those negative outcomes is incorporating different species of livestock into a grazing operation.

(Image Source: Rocky Lemus, Progressive Forage)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Planting Garlic

Late Fall is a great time to plant winter hardy garlic. The cloves will produce roots before going dormant. You may notice that your garlic will start growing little green shoots before winter. This is normal and your garlic will be fine throughout the winter.

Deciding what variety of garlic to grow can be overwhelming. First determine if you would like to grow a hard neck, soft neck or elephant garlic. The Ohio State University Extension has a fact sheet with more information on picking the right variety for you. Here is the fact sheet: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-1627

Burpee also has a video with easy to follow directions for planting.

Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2020

Farming is a complex business and many Ohio farmers utilize outside assistance for specific farm-related work. This option is appealing for tasks requiring specialized equipment or technical expertise. Often, having someone else with specialized tools perform a task is more cost effective and saves time. Farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply, “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2020 reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 377 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2020. These rates, except where noted, include the implement and tractor if required, all variable machinery costs such as fuel, oil, lube, twine, etc., and the labor for the operation.

Some custom rates published in this study vary widely, possibly influenced by:

  • Type or size of equipment used (e.g. 20-shank chisel plow versus a 9-shank)
  • Size and shape of fields,
  • Condition of the crop (for harvesting operations)
  • Skill level of labor
  • Amount of labor needed in relation to the equipment capabilities
  • Cost margin differences for full-time custom operators compared to farmers supplementing current income

Some custom rates reflect discounted rates as the parties involved have family relationships or are strengthening a relationship to help secure the custom farmed land in a cash or other rental agreement. Some providers charge differently because they are simply attempting to spread their fixed costs over more acreage to decrease fixed costs per acre and are willing to forgo complete cost recovery.

The complete “Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2020” is available online at the Farm Office website here

 

Source: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-mgt-tools/custom-rates-and-machinery-costs

 

Farm Science Review Goes Virtual

the Farm Science Review is virtual this year.  To access the show follow this link https://fsr.osu.edu/  Farm Science Review staff and OSU Extension Educators have been working diligently to host the virtual farm science review.  I encourage you to check out the page and see the amazing line up of live and pre-recorded talks.

2020 FSR Gwynne Conservation Area Presentation Schedule. We have a full line-up of talks covering tree ID, invasive species, soil health, grazing management, invasive species control, tree ID, pond management, recreational lease hunting, pollinators and other beneficial insects, bats, owls, snakes, paw-paws, ginseng, and more.

There will also be Ask the Expert Sessions with topics ranging from Backyard Poultry Health, Farm Stress, Weather, Farm Neighbor Laws and much more. Here is the complete line up for the three days.

Tuesday through Thursday of the review, there will be one live webinar every day, starting at 10:30 am. Each day will also feature a one-hour Q&A session with natural resources and Extension professionals at 1 pm.

Governor signs Ohio coronavirus immunity bill

Source: Peggy Kirk Hall, OSU

What does H.B. 606 mean for agricultural businesses?

The new law provides certainty that agricultural businesses won’t be assailed by lawsuits seeking damages for COVID-19.  A person claiming harm from exposure to COVID-19 at an agricultural business will only be successful upon a showing that the business acted recklessly and with intentional disregard or indifference to the possibility of COVID-19.  That’s a high evidentiary standard and burden of proof for a claimant. 

It took five months of negotiation, but the Ohio General Assembly has enacted a controversial bill that grants immunity from civil liability for coronavirus injuries, deaths, or losses. Governor DeWine signed House Bill 606 on September 14, stating that it strikes a balance between reopening the economy and keeping Ohioans safe.  The bill will be effective in 90 days.

The bill’s statement of findings and declaration of intent illustrate why it faced disagreement within the General Assembly.  After stating its findings that business owners are unsure of the tort liability they may face when reopening after COVID-19, that businesses need certainty because recommendations on how to avoid COVID-19 change frequently, that individuals who decide to go out in public places should bear responsibility for taking steps to avoid exposure to COVID-19, that nothing in existing Ohio law established duties on business and premise owners to prevent exposure to airborne germs and viruses, and that the legislature has not delegated authority to Ohio’s Executive Branch to create new legal duties for business and premises owners, the General Assembly made a clear declaration of intent in the bill:  “Orders and recommendations from the Executive Branch, from counties and local municipalities, from boards of health and other agencies, and from any federal government agency do not create any new legal duties for purposes of tort liability” and “are presumed to be irrelevant to the issue of the existence of a duty or breach of a duty….and inadmissible at trial to establish proof of a duty or breach of a duty in tort actions.”

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland), refers to it as the “Good Samaritan Expansion Bill.”  That name relates to one of the two types of immunity in the bill, a temporary qualified immunity for coronavirus-based claims against health care providers.  In its original version of H.B. 606, the House of Representatives included only the health care immunity provisions.  Of interest to farms and other businesses are the bill’s general immunity provisions, however, added to the final legislation by the Senate.

General immunity from coronavirus claims

The new law will prohibit a person from bringing a civil action that seeks damages for injury, death or loss to a person or property allegedly caused by exposure to or transmission of coronavirus, with one exception.  The civil immunity does not apply if the exposure to or transmission of coronavirus resulted from a defendant’s “reckless conduct,” “intentional misconduct,” or “willful or wanton misconduct.”  “Reckless conduct” means disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that conduct or circumstances are likely to cause exposure to or transmission of coronavirus and having “heedless indifference” to the consequences.

Government guidelines don’t create legal duties

Consistent with the bill’s stated intent, the new law clarifies that a claimant cannot assert liability based on a failure to follow government guidelines for coronavirus.  The law states that any government order, recommendation or guideline for coronavirus does not create a duty of care that can be enforced through a civil cause of action.  A person may not admit such orders and guidelines as evidence of a legal right, duty of care or new legal cause of action.

No class actions

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