OSU Extension Announces Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness: A Tournament of Education
Published on March 23, 2020
Columbus, Ohio—Did your usual conference get canceled? Looking to fill the void of the big basketball tournament? Ohio State University Extension is here to help with a new virtual education program for the agricultural community.
“Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness: A Tournament of Education” will include 64 educational events broken into daily brackets. Each day, a virtual educational session will be held at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. The educational tournament is free of charge and will likely continue until mid-May.
“This effort is a direct response to providing a variety of useful and timely sessions for farmers and families across the state during Gov. DeWine’s stay-at-home order,” said Jacqueline Wilkins, interim director of OSU Extension. “While our ‘tournament’ is being loosely tied to March Madness, it’s not a competition, and people can join in at any time for as many or as few sessions as they desire.”
The tournament opens on Wednesday, March 25, with the eFields 2019 Results webinar. Learn how the eFields program used modern technologies to help Ohio farmers learn new practices and techniques to improve farm efficiency and profitability. Tip-off is at 9 a.m., and registration is required at go.osu.edu/eFieldsWebinar.
Also in this bracket is a March 25 noon webinar from Sam Custer, interim assistant director of OSU Extension’s agriculture and natural resources program, to discuss how educators are working remotely to continue serving Ohioans during these uncharted waters of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.
Tournament “brackets” will change daily. Topics will cover a variety of subjects and be presented in a variety of virtual platforms. When possible, question-and-answer opportunities will be included.
To find complete details on the tournament’s educational opportunities and other event and webinar links, visit go.osu.edu/agmadness.
Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness is just one example of how OSU Extension is employing its online resources during this challenging time to remain engaged with Ohioans. “The intent is to reach the agricultural community in a time of high stress,” Custer said. “OSU Extension has also updated its Ag Crisis website to include a toolbox of resources related to COVID-19. Those can be reached at go.osu.edu/AgCrisis.”
OSU Extension has implemented a teleworking plan effective immediately, and all OSU Extension offices statewide are closed until further notice. The plan mirrors The Ohio State University’s decision last week to require all employees who can do so to work from home and to maintain only critical services on university property across all campuses.
Clients, stakeholders, and other community members can continue to connect with any OSU Extension staff member via phone or email as usual. To contact your local Extension office, visit for office phone numbers and a direct link to each office’s website and staff directory. If you reach voicemail, please leave a message with your name and contact information, and you will be contacted as soon as possible.
OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), and works to share knowledge with every county in Ohio. Its four major program areas are family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, community development, and agriculture and natural resources.
JUST ADDED! Tonight at 8:00 p.m. Melanie Ivey and Sonja Ilic will host a webinar for produce growers. They will provide a brief overview of the current situation and what growers can do to continue operations amid COVID-19. Following their presentation, the webinar will be open to attendees for Q&A. Link is https://go.osu.edu/agmadness. Once there, enter the arena. Tonight’s doors open at 7:30 p.m. This will be recorded for replay.
On March 31st at 6:00 p.m. there will be a backyard poultry production webinar. Please click this link with the flyer for details. Backyard Poultry Production Virtual
The following web address contains up to date info on COVID-19 and how it affects agriculture and farm employees. https://go.osu.edu/AgCrisis
Modified from an original post by Jeff Stachler
With these rains the lawn is beginning to grow and the weeds are not far behind. Some of the earliest emerging broadleaf weeds have begun to emerge. The biggest problem with weeds in turfgrass is reduced aesthetic value, although some weeds can out compete turfgrass when management is reduced. Smooth and large crabgrass, yellow foxtail, and annual bluegrass are the most frequent annual grass weeds in turfgrass.
Smooth crabgrass emerges in the spring before large crabgrass. Smooth crabgrass emergence begins slowly when soil temperatures in the upper inch of soil reaches 54F for seven days and moisture is available. This 54F soil temperature occurs many times when the dogwood begin to flower and the forsythia flowers begin to fade. The current soil temperature for Columbus, Ohio is 46F which is right in line with the 5-year average of 46.4! Visit this website to track soil temperature for your area: http://www.greencastonline.com/tools/soil-temperature . Based upon the current 10 day forecast, crabgrass preventer does not need to be applied until sometime after April 5th and likely much later. Waiting to apply crabgrass preventer until just before emergence will ensure control of smooth and large crabgrass later into the season. Peak crabgrass emergence is from mid-May to July 1st. Crabgrass preventer must be applied before plants emerge, otherwise it will not be effective. After applying the crabgrass preventer irrigate the lawn to get the herbicide incorporated into the soil.
If crabgrass densities are high, a postemergence herbicide application may be required. If you have used preemergence crabgrass preventer for many years and have successfully controlled the crabgrass, it may be wise to stop applying the crabgrass preventer and scout to see whether any crabgrass will emerge. If it does emerge then apply a postemergence herbicide. Crabgrass can be controlled with some postemergence herbicides, but timing and rate are very important to effectively control crabgrass. Effective postemergence herbicides include Dimension, Methar 30, Acclaim Extra, MSMA Turf Herbicide, and Drive 75 DF, but some of these may be difficult to obtain. Acclaim Extra can injure certain bluegrass varieties. When applying postemergence herbicides be sure to obtain thorough coverage and do not mow for two days before and after the herbicide application.
|Farm Office Blog
Tuesday, March 10th, 2020
Written by Ellen Essman, Senior Research Associate
|In Ohio and around the country, farmers are gearing up for a new planting season. Spring is (almost) here! Before we leave winter totally behind, we wanted to keep you up to date on some notable ag law news from the past few months.
Here’s a look at what’s going on in ag law across the country…
New law signed to ramp up ag protections at U.S. ports of entry. Last summer, a bill was introduced in the United States Senate by a bipartisan group of senators. The purpose of the bill was to give more resources to Customs and Border Control (CBP) to inspect food and other agricultural goods coming across the U.S. border. On March 3, 2020, the President signed the bill into law. The new law authorizes CBP to hire and train more agricultural specialists, technicians, and canine teams for inspections at ports of entry. The additional hires are meant to help efforts to prevent foreign animal diseases like African swine fever from entering the United States. You can read the law here.
The Renewable Fuel Standard gets a win. We reported on Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) issues last fall, and it seems as though the battles between biofuel producers and oil refineries have spilled over into 2020. For a refresher, the RFS program “requires a certain volume of renewable fuel to replace the quantity of petroleum-based transportation fuel” and other fuels. Renewable fuels include biofuels made from crops like corn, soybeans, and sugarcane. In recent years, the demand for biofuels has dropped as the Trump administration waived required volumes for certain oil refiners. As a result, biofuels groups filed a lawsuit, asserting that EPA did not have the power to grant some of the waivers it gave to small oil refiners. On January 24, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit agreed with the biofuels groups. You can find the 99-page opinion here. If you’re not up for that bit of light reading, here’s the SparkNotes version: the court determined that EPA did not have the authority to grant three waivers to two small refineries in 2017. The court found that EPA “exceeded its statutory authority” because it extended exemptions that had never been given in the first place. To put it another way, the court asked how EPA could “extend” a waiver when the waiver had not been given in previous years. The Trump Administration is currently contemplating whether or not to appeal the decision.
Virginia General Assembly defines “milk.” To paraphrase Shakespeare, does “milk by another name taste as sweet?” Joining the company of a number of other states that have defined “milk” and “meat,” the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill on March 4, 2020 that defines milk as “the lacteal secretion, practically free of colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of a healthy hooved mammal.” The bill would make it illegal to label products as “milk” in Virginia unless they met the definition above. Essentially, products like almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc. would be misbranded if the labels represent the products as milk. Governor Ralph Northam has not yet signed or vetoed the bill. If he signs the bill, it would not become effective until six months after 11 of 14 southern states enact similar laws. The 11 states would also have to enact their laws before or on October 1, 2029 for Virginia’s law to take effect. The states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. North Carolina has already passed a similar law.
And now, for ag law in our neck of the woods.
Purple paint bill reintroduced in Ohio. You may recall that the Ohio General Assembly has been toying with the idea of a purple paint law for the past several years. On March 4, 2020, Senator Bill Coley (R-Liberty Township) once again introduced a purple paint bill. What exactly does “purple paint” mean? If passed, the bill would allow landowners to put purple paint on trees and/or fence posts. The marks would have to be vertical lines at least eight inches long, between three and five feet from the base of the tree or post, readily visible, and placed at intervals of at most 25 yards. If the bill passed, such marks would be sufficient to inform those recklessly trespassing on private property that they are not authorized to be there. People who recklessly trespass on land with purple paint marks would be guilty of a fourth degree criminal misdemeanor. You can read the bill here.
Bill giving tax credits to beginning farmers considered. Senate Bill 159, titled “Grant tax credits to assist beginning farmers” had a hearing in the Senate Ways & Means Committee on March 3, 2020. The bill, introduced last year, seeks to provide tax incentives to beginning farmers who participate in an approved financial management program, as well as to businesses that sell or rent agricultural land, livestock, facilities, or equipment to beginning farmers. A nearly identical bill is being considered in the House, HB 183. Back in February, Governor Mike DeWine indicated he would sign such a bill if it passed the General Assembly. SB 159 is available here, and HB 183 is available here.
Beginning March 19th, our Extension employees will begin teleworking in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will be checking phone messages multiple times per day and will be answering emails as they arrive. My email is email@example.com and I will continue as normal. Below is the press release regarding this situation. We thank you for your patience.
March 18, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OSU Extension offices throughout Ohio will implement teleworking options for staff amid current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak concerns
Columbus, OHIO – Governor DeWine recently issued a state of emergency for the state of Ohio, and along with the Ohio Department of Health, has implemented a variety of strategies to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To do our part in reducing risk to Ohio State University Extension employees or clientele, we have implemented a teleworking plan effective immediately, and all OSU Extension offices will be closed to the public until further notice.
This mirrors The Ohio State University’s decision earlier this week to close university buildings and facilities on all of its campuses to “critical services” only (such as law enforcement and public safety; hospitals and health services; facility utilities; and a few others).
While our physical offices will be closed, we are committed to continuing to conduct our work as fully as possible. Our employees are prepared to telework and are ready to serve their local clients and communities. In recent years, OSU Extension has invested in the technology needed to facilitate effective teleworking for our organization; and we will utilize our resources during this challenging situation to remain engaged with Ohioans. Clients, stakeholders, and other community members should continue to connect with any OSU Extension staff member via phone or email as usual.
Reopening of any county office facilities will depend on decisions from the governor and the state of Ohio, as well as The Ohio State University. The exact date when normal operations are expected resume in county Extension offices is unknown at this time. Until then, OSU Extension office staff will be working remotely and will remain accessible and available via email and phone. The health and well-being of our stakeholders, event participants, and employees is of utmost importance.
Each OSU Extension office has developed a business continuity plan that outlines how Extension staff will operate during situations such as the coronavirus outbreak. All staff will continue to work and serve local clientele through normal office hours (as previously determined by each county), and they will remain accountable for program management needs.
Please note that most Extension-planned activities from now through April 20 are now postponed, scheduled to be held virtually, or cancelled. If you have not already been contacted about an event or activity in which you were scheduled to participate and you have a question, please check with your local contact for that event.
Thank you for your cooperation and collaboration related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Ohio State University remains committed to the health and well-being of our community; and OSU Extension remains committed to serving our communities in each county as this situation evolves. These are unprecedented times, and we sincerely appreciate your flexibility and support.
If you have questions, please contact your local OSU Extension office.
Licking County Extension, 740-670-5315
You can also visit extension.osu.edu/lao for office phone numbers and a direct link to each office’s website and staff directory. If you reach voice mail, please leave a message with your name and contact information, and you will be contacted as soon as possible. For information on the coronavirus and how to prevent its spread, or learn how the state of Ohio and The Ohio State University are working to keep our communities safe, visit:
Ohio Department of Heath
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The Ohio State University
Ohio State University Extension
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As you may be aware, The Ohio State University has announced the suspension of face-to-face instruction of lectures, discussion sections, seminars, and other similar classroom settings, and the move to virtual instruction effective immediately and through at least Monday, March 30. Also, events deemed nonessential between now and April 20 are subject to review, to evaluate whether they should continue in person. Based on these guidelines, we have decided to cancel the Licking County Hall of Fame Breakfast scheduled for Friday March 13th at 7:30.
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of viral illnesses is to minimize the circumstances in which individuals might interact and transmit the diseases.
The safety of our community is our top priority. We realize that our COVID-19 policy guidelines will cause disruption, but the risk of not acting outweighs the inconvenience of these temporary measures. We will share updates as more information becomes available. Learn how we’re working to keep our communities safe.
This is the 26th anniversary of the Licking County Agricultural Hall of Fame. We will have a breakfast banquet on March 13th at 7:30 a.m. to induct our new member. This year’s inductee is Phil Watts from Watts Farm and Granville Milling. If you would like to join our celebration, the fee for this catered meal is $10 payable in advance. Please call the Licking County Extension office by March 10th at 740-670-5315 for details. Click on the following link for the flyer.AG Hall of Fame March 2020 Flyer (003)
Sowing Seeds for Success
Do you own a few acres that you want to be productive but you’re not sure what to do?
Do you have a passion for farming and turning your piece of this wonderful earth into a food producing oasis?
Do you own land or forest that you’re not quite sure how to manage?
Do you raise or produce products that you would like to market and sell off your farm but you’re not sure how to make it successful?
If you’re asking yourself these questions, you need to attend this event! Targeted to new and small farm owners, this confence offers eight educational tracts on:
- Produce Production
- Natural Resources
- Specialty Crops
- Farm Management
- Miscellaneous Topics
You’ll also have the opportunity to browse a trade show featuring the newest and most innovated ideas and services for your farming operation. Talk with the vendors and network with your peers. If you are a new or small farm owner, you don’t want to miss this event.
Go to the following link for information on the 32 different breakout sessions as well as registration information.