A new format for 2020: Farm Science Review online September 22nd-24th

This year we will all miss the socialization time at the Farm Science Review and of course this year the weather looks to be perfect.  However, there will be 187 online educational and demonstration sessions for FREE!  Nearly any topic you can think related to agriculture or natural resources will have an online session that you can watch and ask questions.  Yes, this includes anything from combine demonstrations to snake ID, gardening topics, and livestock production.  Click on this link for a 4 minute video about the 2020 FSR.

Go to https://fsr.osu.edu/  to sign up and find more information.  The sign up is simple (and all you have to do is click the box for no emails during the sign up if you are worried about getting on a bunch of email lists).  Once you are registered you can look at the available “Sessions” and “Demonstrations” to create a list of events you are interested in.  This website also has many links to find additional information on many subjects.  Spend a little time looking around and you may be surprised how much you learn.  There is even a Farm Science Review YouTube channel with great videos: FSR YouTube.

Contact me with any questions,


Email: kreager.5@osu.edu

Deadline Approaching for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, Additional crops and livestock have been added to the eligible list.

August 28, 2020

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Deadline Approaching for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

CFAP Application Deadline is Sept. 11

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farmers and ranchers that the deadline to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is Sept. 11, 2020. This program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.

Over 160 commodities are eligible for CFAP, including certain non-specialty crops, livestock, dairy, wool, specialty crops, eggs, aquaculture, and nursery crops and cut flowers. All eligible commodities, payment rates, and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

FSA offers several options for farmers and ranchers to apply for CFAP, including a call center where employees can answer your questions and help you get started on your application. Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.

With only two weeks before the deadline, now is the time to check out the resources on farmers.gov/cfap and contact the call center or your local office for your last-minute questions.

Producers have several options for applying to the CFAP program by the Sept. 11 deadline:

  • Using an online portal, accessible at gov/cfap. This allows producers with secure USDA login credentials, known as eAuthentication, to certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications, and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center.
  • Completing the application form using our CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator found at gov/cfap. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, then signed, and submitted to their local USDA Service Center.
  • Downloading the AD-3114 application form from gov/cfap and manually completing the form to submit to the local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically, or by hand delivery to an office drop box. In some limited cases, the office may be open for in-person business by appointment. Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status to check the status of your local office.

USDA Service Centers can also work with producers to complete and securely transmit digitally signed applications through two commercially available tools: Box and OneSpan. Producers who are interested in digitally signing their applications should notify their local service centers when calling to discuss the CFAP application process. You can learn more about these solutions at farmers.gov/mydocs.

All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap/apply. For existing FSA customers, these documents are likely already on file.

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in the office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Please contact your local FSA Office.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Fall Fruit Research Updates and Live Q&A Featuring Brambles (Blackberries and Raspberries), Grapes, Hardy Figs, and Hardy Kiwis

Join us for timely fruit research updates for your farm and garden, and to get your questions answered by experts from The Ohio State University. This FREE, online-only event will feature several video presentations recorded from the OSU South Centers research fields, as well as live question and answer segments. The event will take place from 10-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 using the Zoom meeting platform.

When registering, you can submit questions you would like answered during the event. To register, visit https://go.osu.edu/fruitupdate. Be sure to include an email address that your monitor regularly, as this will be the method we use to send you the link to join the event.

This event is made possible via funding by a Specialty Crop Block Grant from USDA through Ohio Department of Agriculture and by a Viticulture Extension grant from Ohio Grape Industries Committee.

Click here for the flyer and more information: Fruit Q A 2020

Forest and wildlife history and future challenges

Our next Virtual A DAY in the WOODS program “Forest and wildlife history and future challenges”  will be offered as a Zoom webinar on September 11 from 10 am to 11:30 am.

The live program will feature two live presentations on forest and wildlife history.   Two additional presentations focusing on future challenges to forests and wildlife will be available for viewing in advance. All four presenters will be available for a live question and answer session during the live event.

For program details and to register visit: https://u.osu.edu/apsley.1/2020/08/26/forest-and-wildlife-history-and-future-challenges/

In case you missed it,  we now have 22 tree identification videos available at: http://go.osu.edu/treeid . These short videos each feature a tree species and focus on identification characteristics.  A new video will be launched on Facebook on Treemendous Tuesday’s at https://www.facebook.com/seohiowoods



Soil & Water recruiting candidates for the Board of Supervisors


The Board is actively seeking interested, conservation-minded leaders to continue the mission of promoting conservation of natural resources through local leadership, education and technical assistance.  The Supervisors, elected by county residents and landowners, help chart the course for soil and water conservation and natural resources management in Licking County.  The Board also provides supervision to the District Administrator, oversight of fiscal decisions and technical expertise.  Information on programs and services can be found here:  https://lickingswcd.com/who-we-are/board.html

The Board is composed of representatives from agricultural and urban backgrounds, educators and technical experts serving a three-year term as unpaid public officials.  The two Board members elected will begin their service term on January 1, 2021.

 2020 Board members:

Ron Thompson, Chair

John Wagy, Vice Chair

Bill Goodman, Secretary/Treasurer

Seth Dobbelaer, Fiscal Agent

Mamie Hollenback, Member

The Board meets monthly at the Agricultural Service Center, 771 East Main Street, Newark, Ohio 43055 typically on the second Wednesday of the month at 4:30 pm.  The public is welcome via zoom for the remainder of 2020, so please join us for an upcoming meeting to learn about our organization.

 The deadline for submitting a Candidate Information Form is September 11, 2020.

If you have any questions regarding the becoming a candidate or the election process, please contact Kristy Hawthorne at 740-670-5330 or KristyHawthorne@LickingSWCD.com.

Planning to Open Agritourism for Fall and Christmas Seasons

by: Eric Barrett, Rob Leeds, Peggy Hall, Dee Jepsen, Lisa Pfeifer & Brad Bergefurd

In big or small ways, COVID-19 has impacted aspects of farming and agribusiness. Safety, health, and wellness have become necessary concerns for all farm operations. Inviting the public to an agricultural operation for activities requires farm businesses to take additional safety measures for employees and customers. Agritourism is unique in that the activities offered by farms are enjoyed by the greater community in a managed, mostly outdoor environment.

Beyond agriculture, the pandemic has been especially difficult for businesses that focus on entertainment and related activities where large groups of people congregate. To the public, agritourism may seem similar to fairs and festivals. But agritourism is quite different. Agritourism farms are operated over a series of weeks and even months. Many have been operating pick-your-own activities and farm market/produce stands throughout the pandemic. Agritourism farms engage in emergency planning (i.e. – u.osu.edu/agritourismready). These farms are well staffed and have adopted effective tools over the years to manage all types of customer situations. Their livelihood depends on their ability to manage crowds and keep customers safe.

Agritourism operations need to go above and beyond to plan for safe operations of their farms during the pandemic. This is not only important for public safety; it is important for the future of the farm business. Additionally, customers may see well-planned safety measures as a reason to visit the farm during these challenging times.

As operations begin putting together COVID-19 safety plans for their fall and Christmas seasons it is important that the farm communicates and develops a working relationship with the local health department. The local health department is the entity that is charged with protecting the health of the community and ensuring that the standards outlined in the Responsible RestartOhio orders are met. When making the first call to the local health department, farms should have an outline prepared for the preliminary discussion. For Example, be able to explain What activities will happen, and the plan for disinfecting high touch areas of the farm. Some preliminary guidance is available that relates to agritourism farms. This includes:

Consumer, Retail, Services and Entertainment


Restaurants, Bars, and Banquet & Catering Facilities/Services


Ohio K-12 Schools (As it relates to operating school tours)


Child Care (As it relates to operating school tours)


Local departments may also have additional resources and insights that will help put together a plan to allow farms to keep their guests safe and address situations that may arise during the season. The earlier you can meet with them the more help they can provide. Help them get familiar with your operation and how its operated. Talk to them about keeping your guests safe while sustaining the farm. This year our guests will be looking for fun and safe activities, working with our local partners will be one way we can show our commitment to safety.

Additional resources including printable posters for safety related practices can be found at http://go.osu.edu/foodfarmsafe

OSU Extension Bulletin Forthcoming

OSU Extension has prepared a guidance bulletin to help farms develop their plans. The guide is based on publications from the state of Ohio, the CDC and others. The guide is in the final stage of the approval process and will be available in the coming days. This guide can be used to develop opening plans or update existing plans for agritourism operations.

The guidance bulletin will be posted here on the Ohio Ag Manager website. To watch for updates on the guide, we encourage farms to subscribe to our Ohio Ag Manager Blog at http://ohioagmanager.osu.edu/

Do you have the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus) growing on your property?

Have you noticed extremely fast growing trees along the edges of woods, in fence rows or even in your landscaping.  If these trees have leaves similar to a walnut tree and might be producing reddish colored winged seeds, somewhat like maples, then it is time to investigate what type of trees they really are.  Ailanthus trees, also known as tree-of-heaven, are seen throughout the county and are an invasive specie that needs to be removed.  Be careful, it is not as easy as just cutting them off at the ground.  Left untreated, the roots from these cut trees are capable of producing dozens of new trees.  The following link is the fact sheet from Ohio State providing information on Ailanthus: Controlling Non-Native Invasive Plants in Ohio Forests_ Ailanthus _ Ohioline