Understanding Ohio’s Line Fence Law

BY  | OCTOBER 11, 2018 · 11:05 AM

Since significant changes were made to Ohio’s Line Fence Law in 2008, landowners have contacted us with a variety of questions about how it works.  We have compiled many of the frequently asked questions in our new law bulletin, appropriately titled Ohio’s Line Fence Law: Frequently Asked Questions.  The law bulletin answers questions like:

  • Who has to pay for a new line fence?
  • Can I stop my neighbor from installing a new line fence?
  • Who has to pay for maintenance and upkeep of a line fence?
  • What is the role of the township trustees?
  • What happens when my neighbor and I disagree?

The new law bulletin is available here.  If you still have some questions about Ohio’s line fence law, check out the Line Fence Law section of our Ag Law Library here, including our more in-depth fact sheet and our explanation about line fence affidavits.

Dairy exodus: Ohio has lost 172 dairy farms in 12 months

Commentary by Dianne Shoemaker/ OSU Extension Field Specialist

Since June 25, 66 more Ohio dairy farms have ceased milking cows. In three months, 3 percent of Ohio’s dairy herds are gone.

Since October 2017 — when there were 2,312 operating, licensed dairy farms in Ohio — 172 farms have quit milking, a decline of 7.4 percent of dairy farms in one year.

On Sept. 25, 2018, Ohio had 1,745 Grade A farms and 395 Grade M (Manufacturing Grade) farms, totaling 2,140 operating dairy farms.

Sadly, these numbers will continue to rise, as too many years of poor milk prices and unpredictable markets for milk, cull cows, breeding stock, and feed take their toll.

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Biodegradable Mulch: Your Next Production Tool?

Vegetable extension-research personnel from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Iowa met on October 5, 2018 to discuss ongoing work and to plan follow-up activities … all toward helping improve short- and long-term farm success. Biodegradable mulch (BDM) was among the most talked-about topics. Dr. Annette Wszelaki of the Univ. of Tennessee led the BDM discussion and she provides comments for VegNet readers below. Also, note that Dr. Wszelaki will expand on these comments and summarize the large amount of research that her and other teams in various states have been doing with BDM, including on commercial farms, at the OPGMA-led Ohio Produce Network Meeting in Dublin, OH in January-2019. That presentation will be an excellent opportunity to gain a thorough update on BDM and its possible place in your toolbox.

Comments and Photos by Dr. Annette Wszelaki, Professor and Commercial Vegetable Extension Specialist, Univ. of Tennessee

Plastic mulches provide many advantages for vegetable production, such as weed and disease management, earliness of harvest, increased yield and quality, and moisture retention. However, plastic mulch use is not without disadvantages, including the cost, labor and environmental issues associated with plastic mulch disposal. Biodegradable mulches (BDMs) offer a potential alternative if they can provide similar advantages to plastic mulch without the disadvantages.

BDMs can look similar to traditional polyethylene mulch (i.e., stretchy and black or white-on-black) or in the form of paper (brown or black, sometimes with creping to give it stretch). They can be laid with a standard mulch layer. BDM’s are designed to cover the soil during the production season, and then begin to degrade as harvest nears. At the end of the season, BDM’s can be tilled directly into the soil. There they will degrade into carbon dioxide, water, and the bacteria and fungi that eat them. The degradation rate varies depending on environmental conditions, but by spring, most remnants will have disappeared.

At the University of Tennessee, we have been working with BDM’s on a variety of crops (tomatoes, pumpkins, and peppers) for 10 years. We have found comparable yields and quality to traditional plastic mulch with these crops, but not all biodegradable mulches and crop responses are equal!

Want to learn more about biodegradable mulches? Come to the session Could biodegradable mulches replace plastic in your production system? at the 2019 Ohio Produce Network in Dublin, January 16-17, 2019. In the meantime, please contact Annette Wszelaki (annettew@utk.edu or 865.974.8332) or visit www.biodegradablemulch.org for more information. Many thanks to Jenny Moore, Jeff Martin, the East TN Ag Research and Education Center Farm Crew, and many students along the way for their contributions to this project.

Figure 1. Creped paper biodegradable mulch just after field laying.



Figure 2. Stockpile of polyethylene plastic mulch on a Tennessee tomato farm.

Figure 3. Biodegradable plastic mulch in the newly planted pepper field.

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 has been detected for the first time in the United States, in Medina Ohio.

This virus is fatal to wild and domestic rabbits and may impact pet owners, breeders, and 4-H youth to name a few. Here is more information about what you can do to prevent this disease.

Beef Quality Assurance Updates

By Christine Gelley, Noble County Extension

Beef and dairy farmers who sell cattle through United Producers, Inc. have been formally advised to complete Beef Quality Assurance Training before January 2019. Muskingum Livestock in Zanesville has shared the same advice.

Throughout 2018, many agricultural organizations and businesses have been sharing the message that some of America’s largest meat distributers will only buy beef that is backed by BQA after the turn of the New Year.

This certification is not mandated by law. However, it is being required by some of the links that make up the beef supply chain, including auction barns, feed lots, packers, retailers, and consumers. Essentially, marketing beef without BQA certification will become increasingly difficult and those who do so successfully may find their compensation inadequate.

There are many opportunities for beef and dairy producers to get certified. You can take the training class at anytime, online, for free, through the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association at www.bqa.org. Local training courses have been and will continue to be offered.

Upcoming Beef Quality Assurance Trainings

  • October 15 at 6 PM at the Morgan Co. High School Ag Room, 800 Raider Dr. McConnelsville, OH.
  • October 18 at 6 PM at the Perry County Extension Office, 104 S Columbus St, Somerset, OH.
  • October 22 at 7 PM at the Frontier Power Community Room, 770 South 2nd St. Coshocton, OH.
  • October 30 at 6:30 PM at the Marietta High School Auditorium, 208 Davis Ave. Marietta, OH.
  • November 13 at 7 PM at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Barn, 944 Malinda St, Zanesville, OH.
  • November 29, 2018 at 7pm at the Knox County OSU Extension Office, 160 Columbus Rd, Mount Vernon, OH.
  • December 13 at 6PM at the OSU Extension Regional Office, 16714 Wolf Run Road Caldwell, OH.
  • December 18 at 7 PM at the Muskingum Livestock Auction Barn, 944 Malinda St, Zanesville, OH.

Learn more about Beef Quality Assurance at:http://u.osu.edu/beefteam/bqa/.

Take the online training at www.bqa.org.

Biennial and Perennial Weed Control is Best in the Fall

Dwight Lingenfelter, Extension Associate, Weed Science, Penn State University
William S. Curran,Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Weed Science, Penn State University

Fall is an excellent time to manage biennial and perennial weeds. In particular, biennials such as common burdock, wild carrot, and bull, musk, and plumeless thistles are much easier to kill while they are in the rosette stage of growth, prior to surviving a winter. Once biennials start growth in the spring they rapidly develop with the goal of reproducing and it becomes more difficult to control them.

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Safe Driving During Harvest Season

By: Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

As tractors, combines, and grain trucks begin to appear on Ohio roads, roadway safety becomes a focus for all who share the road with farm machinery.

Vehicle collisions can happen at any time. Many are a result of speed differential between slower-moving farm equipment and passenger vehicles, where the motoring public doesn’t slow down in time before colliding with machinery. Other collisions are a result of cars and trucks passing farm implements without a clear distance of on-coming traffic. Following safe road practices, farm operators can do their part to be seen with enhanced visibility. And while SMV operators are not required to move out of the way for passing traffic, they may choose to do so when enough berm is available. Other steps for enhanced visibility are listed below.

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What to Plant in the Fall Season

The nights are cooler. The days are shorter. Vegetables in the garden are looking peaked, and summer flowers are turning brown.

 It’s prime time for some planting.

“A typical consumer looks at it as, ‘Oh, winter is coming, let’s give up gardening.’ That’s not necessarily so,” said Daniel Struve, an Ohio State horticulturalist emeritus. In fact, he recommends fall for planting many trees, shrubs, grass and flower bulbs and even fall flowers for some late color.

Sean Barnes, a horticulturist at Ohio State’s Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens, agrees — noting that trees and shrubs benefit from a chance to get their roots established before the stress of a hot, dry summer.

They shared their tips for making the most of fall planting.

Are you planting trees and shrubs?

Warm fall soils promote root growth. “They really are active; you just can’t see it,” Struve said.

There are exceptions.

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PEM or “Polio” in Small Ruminants

Richard Ehrhardt, Small Ruminant Extension Specialist, Michigan State University
(Previously published on the Michigan State University Sheep and Goat Extension Page)


Understanding how to prevent and treat Polioencephalomalacia (PEM) in sheep and goats.

Polioencephalomalacia (PEM) is also known as cerebrocortical necrosis (CCN) and is a relatively common nutritional disorder in sheep and goats. A common name for this disease in sheep and goats is “polio”; however, it has absolutely no relationship with the infectious viral disease found in humans (poliomyelitis). Cases of PEM can be successfully treated if detected early in the disease course, making recognition of early symptoms a critical issue for sheep and goat producers.

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Planting Buckeye Nuts

Originally posted in the Secrest Arboretum Newsletter.


Fall is here and that means trees are releasing their fruits produced over the summer. For squirrels and other wildlife, this is a busy time. It is a busy time for us here at Secrest too.

Our staff and volunteers have been out collecting and cleaning various tree fruits to sow in the spring. Each year we receive questions on how to grow oaks, or buckeyes, or other trees from seed. Usually when someone plants an acorn or a buckeye it doesn’t grow simply because it didn’t receive the right conditions needed to germinate.

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