Registration is Open for the OFGC 2021 Summer Forage Field Days including stops in Licking and Knox counties

Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Noble County

The Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council cordially invites you to join forage and livestock enthusiasts from across the state for their 2021 Summer Forage Field Days. Anyone with an interest in pasture management, hay production, or livestock systems is welcome to attend one or all of the field days planned as drive-it-yourself day tours in Central Ohio.

The series will begin June 25, 2021 in Crawford County. Finishing sheep, goats, and cattle on forage will be the topic of this field day and will include a stop on storing wet forages. This program will feature a tour in the morning of a grazing goat operation at H&M Family Farm with Mike & Angie Hall. Guests- Bob Hendershot, John Berger, and Mark Sulc will discuss finishing sheep, goats, and steers on forage. After lunch we will travel to a second farm to view alternative forage storage methods. At this stop we discuss baleage and methods to prevent barn fires. The Crawford County field day will begin at 980 Brokensword Rd. Sycamore, OH 44882 at 11:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m.

On July 9, 2021, the series will continue in Wayne County. Improving soil with multi-species grazing and accelerated lambing will be the themes of the day. We will begin at Lone Pine Pastures with Jeff & Michelle Ramseyer who raise Katahdin sheep, Shorthorn beef cattle, pastured hogs, meat goats, and custom graze stocker calves. Along with pasture management, scrapie eradication continues to be a topic of importance for American sheep and goat producers. Over lunch we will review the importance of scrapie tagging and tag options approved for use in Ohio with Brady Campbell, Ph.D., OSU Department of Animal Sciences. After lunch we will travel to the farm of Leroy Kuhns to learn more about the use of accelerated lambing with registered Dorset sheep and corn, oats, and hay production for horses. The Wayne County field day is offered with support from the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, and the American Sheep Industry Association. We especially encourage early-career shepherds to attend this event. The field day will begin at 1689 Varns Rd. Wooster, OH 44691 at 11:00 a.m. and conclude at 4:00 p.m.

Our third Summer Forage Field Day will take place on August 28, 2021 with stops in Licking and Knox Counties. Our tour will begin at Lightning Ridge Farm in Granville where Bill O’Neill raises Longhorn cattle utilizing intensive grazing. With twelve divided lots and the capability to increase divisions into twenty-four paddocks, cattle are moved daily and have access to portable piped water. We will also discuss the value of hay quality preservation while touring a new hoop barn constructed for hay storage. The second stop in the tour will move six miles north to a field managed by Ned Campbell who has provided space to plant twelve varieties of forages following wheat harvest. Attendees will be able to observe and discuss the value of these forages for grazing or harvesting. For the final stop, we will move further north into Knox county to learn about the use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) approved warm-season grass production. This field day will begin at 6817 Cat Run Rd. Granville, OH 43023 at 11:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m.

There is a $10 registration fee per field day per person. Lunch is included with registration and will be provided at each field day. A $5 discount will be applied if the person registering is an OFGC Member or a resident of the host county. Payment will be collected at the field day. Please register within one week of the event you plan to attend by completing a quick registration form here.

Questions about the Summer Forage Field Days can be directed to Gary Wilson by calling 419-348-3500.

The Summer Forage Field Day series is a collaborative event planned by members of the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council, Ohio State University Extension Staff, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

We look forward to seeing you out in the field this summer!

Sheep 101 Field Day

OSU Extension –Morrow County and Morrow County Farm Bureau are offering a FREE small ruminant field day for local sheep producers. The program is set up for beginning and experienced producers.

Date:  Saturday, August 14
Time:  9:00 a.m. –2:30 p.m.
Location:  Dale and Cathy Davis Farm
3149 County Road 169
Cardington, Ohio 43315

Please RSVP by July 31 to Morrow County Farm Bureau 419-747-7488 or

Topics include:

  • Labor Saving Time Tricks
  • Shearing
  • Vaccinations
  • Scrapie eradication
  • Lambing Simulator
  • Experienced Producer Q&A

The sessions will be taught by OSU Extension Educators and industry professionals. Lunch will be provided.Funding for the program is provided by OSIA, OSWP and ASI.

Click here for the flyer with more details: Sheep 101 Field Day Flyer

Summer is a good time for a youth labor checkup

Farm Office Blog

Summer is a good time for a youth labor checkup

Monday, June 14th, 2021

Written by Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law

Written by Peggy Kirk Hall and Jeffrey K. Lewis

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.

  1. The agricultural “exemption” applies only to your children and grandchildren.  Many farmers know that there are unique exemptions for agricultural employers when it comes to employment law.  Youth employment is no different.  In Ohio, youth employment laws do not apply to children working on a farm owned or operated by their parent, grandparent, or legal guardian.   This means that your children, grandchildren, and legal guardianship children working on farms you own or operate may perform tasks that are considered “hazardous,” receive a wage less than federal and state minimum wage and work longer hours.  Keep in mind that this exemption does not apply to youth who are your cousins, nieces, nephews, and other extended family members—those family members are subject to youth employment laws.
  2. Lawn mowing and similar tasks are special.  Ohio Revised Code § 4109.06(9) explicitly states that youth engaged in “lawn mowing, snow shoveling, and other related employment” are not subject to Ohio’s youth employment laws.  This means that farms may hire youth to mow the grass and do similar tasks around the farm without having to comply with labor laws regarding working hours and wage requirements.
  3. Treat youth like adults for verification, workers compensation and taxes.  The law doesn’t deal with youth uniquely when it comes to Form I-9 employment verification, workers compensation coverage, and withholding taxes.  A farm employer must complete these same requirements for youth employees.
  4. Don’t start them too young.  Minimum working age is a tricky area of law.  Federal law allows youth under the age of 14 to be employed as long as certain requirements are met, such as having written parental consent and limiting work hours and tasks.  States may preempt federal law by being more restrictive.  Ohio law, however, doesn’t address youth under 14 and doesn’t explicitly permit or prohibit them from being employed.  Be aware that the Ohio Department of Commerce has stated that it interprets this silence in Ohio law as a prohibition against employing youth under 14.  This creates a compliance risk for employers who want to employ a youth under 14, as Ohio may deem that a violation of state law.  Before hiring youth under 14 for jobs other than the specifically exempted tasks of lawn mowing, snow shoveling or similar work, consult with your attorney.
  5. Keep younger youth away from “hazardous” jobs.  State and federal laws are clear on this point:  youth under the age of 16 cannot perform “hazardous” tasks.  This restriction includes operating heavy machinery with moving parts, working inside silos and manure pits, handling toxic chemicals, working with breeding livestock, sows and newborn calves, and other dangerous tasks.  An exception is that 14- and 15-year-olds may operate tractors and other machinery if they have a valid 4-H or vocational agricultural certificate of completion for safe tractor and machine operation.  See the complete list of prohibited hazardous tasks in our law bulletin on “Youth Labor on the Farm: Laws Farmers Need to Know.
  6. Don’t make them work too early or too late.  During the summer months, youth between 16 and 18 years of age may work as early or as late as needed.  Youth under the age of 16, however, may not start work before 7 am or work past 9 pm.
  7. Give the kids a break.  If youth are working longer hours, you must give them a break from working.  All youth under the age of 18 must receive a 30-minute break for every 5 hours worked.
  8. Know how much to pay.  If a farm grossed less than $323,000 in 2020, the employer must pay employees the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. If the farm grossed more than $323,000 then the employer must pay employees the Ohio minimum wage of $80.  Two exemptions allow a farmer to pay less than both the federal and state minimum wage to youth.  If the farm is owned or operated by a youth’s parent, grandparent, or legal guardian the minimum wage requirements do not apply.  Second, if the farm is a “small farm,” which means that the farm did not use more than 500 man-days of agricultural labor during any calendar quarter of the preceding year, then the farm is not required to pay the federal or state minimum wage to any youth employed on the farm.
  9. Sign a wage agreement.  This requirement catches many employers off guard.  Ohio law requires that before any youth can begin work, the youth and the employer must sign a wage agreement.  Be sure to keep this signed agreement with the youth’s employment records.  A sample wage agreement from the Ohio Department of Commerce is available here.
  10. Do your recordkeeping.  Just as you would with other employees, maintain a file on each of your youth employees.    The file should include the youth’s full name, permanent address, and date of birth, the youth’s wage agreement, and any 4-H or vocational agricultural certificates.  Also keep time slips, payroll records, parental consent forms, and name and contact information of youth’s parent or legal guardian..

Summer is a hot time to employ our youth and school them about farming and farm-related businesses.  But don’t let legal compliance ruin your summer fun.  If you have youth working on the farm and have concerns about any of the items in this quick overview, be sure to talk with your attorney.  Doing so will ensure that the summer job is a good experience for both you and your young employees.



Fish to Fork: Grilling in the Great Lakes

I thought this might interest some of people who enjoy fishing.

Join the Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative and Ohio Sea Grant for a webinar about seafood safety, grilling tips, and demonstrations of seafood prep and grilling at home using seafood grown in Great Lakes aquaculture!

Preparing fish at home may seem intimidating, but you can do it! Seafood is an important and nutritious source of protein we can all benefit from in our diets. This webinar will show you how to choose, prepare and grill seafood kebabs using trout, catfish and shrimp so you can take advantage of great seafood in the Great Lakes. You’ll also learn important food safety information, from buying, storing and preparing fish and other seafood safely to putting away your leftovers properly.

For more information and to register click this link

Licking County Farm Tour registration deadline is fast approaching!

After being postponed in 2020 we are happy to offer the Licking County Farm Tour again this year.  Once again, Licking County Extension has teamed with Licking County Farm Bureau and the Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District to provide access for you to see what is going on at 2 great local farms.  These locations are Watts Family Farm and Timbuk Farms.  Please click here for more details: Li. Co. Farm Tour Flyer 2021

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

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.

It’s Not Easy Being Green. The Many Colors Of Early Season Corn.

June 3, 2021 Purdue Pest & Crop newsletter

By: Dan Quinn

Over the last couple weeks in central Indiana, average air temperatures have increased by 28% to an average of 78°F and then again decreased by 33% to an average of 52°F. The combination of large temperature swings, significant cooling off, and bright sunny days combined with cool nights have led to an array of different colored corn showing up as farmer’s begin to walk their fields this spring. The good news is for the majority of these colors, warm, sunny days will correct these issues.

Purple Corn: purple corn symptoms (Image 1) are caused by the accumulation of a purple pigment in the corn leaves known as anthocyanin. Corn leaves produce sugars by photosynthesis and these sugars are typically metabolized to generate energy for further plant growth. However, when cool temperatures caused plant growth to slow or root development is restricted, these sugars tend to accumulate in the leaf and trigger anthocyanin pigment formation (e.g., purple leaf color). Purple corn can also occur from a genetic response to bright, sunny days and cool nights (Nielsen, 2000). In addition, hybrid genetics can play a role in whether or not a corn plant produces anthocyanin. This symptom often disappears with warmer temperatures and yield losses should be minimal to none.

Image 1: Purple corn leaf symptoms observed on V2 corn in Northern Indiana in 2021 caused by the build up of anthocyanin in the corn leaves due to cool temperatures.

Note: This symptom is often confused with phosphorus deficiency of corn. So, before you get the fertilizer spreader out once these symptoms occur, pay attention to your soil test levels and to the corn as temperatures become warmer and if these symptoms begin to disappear.

Yellow-Green Corn: cool temperatures can also cause corn to appear ugly yellow-green instead of that dark, beautiful green we are all looking for. Up until corn reaches the V3 growth stage (3 visibly collared leaves), the energy and nutrition of the seedlings are dependent on the kernel reserves. Once corn gets beyond the V3 growth stage, seedlings begin to transition to being dependent on the nodal root system (Nielsen, 2010; Quinn, 2021). During this transition, when poor growing conditions occur (e.g., cool temperatures) this causes insufficient photosynthesis, slowed nodal root development, and poor plant nutrient uptake. Therefore, corn plants appear an ugly yellow-green. However, with more sunshine and higher temperatures, these symptoms are often resolved.

Silver Corn: over the last few days we have observed cool, calm, and clear nights which can cause radiational heat loss from corn leaves, thus causing minor leaf surface damage (Nielsen, 2021). This minor chilling injury can result in a silver or gray leaf surface often known as “silver leaf syndrome”. For more information please read this recent article:

White Corn: white or “bleached” corn leaves are often blamed on herbicide damage, specifically the pigment inhibitors herbicides (e.g., group 13 and 27). However, young corn that has been under environmental stress such as cool and cloudy weather, which can cause poor root development, can cause a white appearance (Hager and McGlamery, 1997). These symptoms have also been observed this year on corn that had significant root burn caused by a spring anhydrous application. Frost damage can also cause the bleaching of corn leaves, which was observed from frost events occurring recently in the Northern Corn Belt. Furthermore, single, white corn plants within a field can be genetic mutants, although this is a rare occurrence.

Image 2: Corn at the V2 growth stage exhibiting symptoms of white corn leaves caused by stressful early-season conditions in 2021.
Image 2: Corn at the V2 growth stage exhibiting symptoms of white corn leaves caused by stressful early-season conditions in 2021.



Hager, A., and M. McGlamery. 1997. Causes of White Corn Plants. Univ. of Illinois Coop. Ext. Serv.,glyphosate%20(Roundup%20or%20Touchdown).

Nielsen, R.L. 2000. Isn’t Corn Supposed to be Green? Corny News Network, Purdue Extension.

Nielsen, R.L. 2010. Corn and the Ugly Duckling. Corny News Network, Purdue Extension.

Nielsen, R.L. 2020. Assessing Frost/Cold Temperature Injury to Young Corn. Corny News Network, Purdue Extension.

Nielsen, R.L. 2021. “Silver Leaf” Syndrome in Corn. Corny News Network, Purdue Extension.

Quinn, D.J. 2021. Corn Growth Stages VE to V3…What’s Going On? Purdue Extension.

Silva, G. Purple Corn Syndrome: What Causes Purple Coloration of Corn? Michigan State University Ext.

Licking County Rainfall Totals

If you think this spring has been dry you are right.  For the growing season of April and May we are 1.71 inches below last year and .85 inches below the long term average.  Many long term forecasts are calling for a hot and potentially dry summer.