Join us for a UTV farm tour this Saturday!

As of now the weather is looking good through Saturday afternoon!
Licking County Farm Bureau invites you to bring your UTV and join us for a farm tour! Cost is $50 for one UTV and 2 passengers. Extra passengers are $10 each. Lunch is included.
Registration starts at 10:30am, Lunch served at 11am and the tour will start at 11:30am. Tour stops include: Licking Valley FFA Farm, Bowerston Shale, Toboso Ag, Cedar Hill Farm and Claylick Run Farm.
  • Licking Valley FFA – The unique school farm includes dairy feeder calves, market hogs, crops, research trials and more!  See and hear about what these students are doing.
  • Bowerston Shale – This brick manufacturing company has been a long time staple of the community but you are likely not aware of all the brick artwork that originated at this facility and can be observed across the country.  Take this opportunity to see what goes on in this off the beaten path business.
  • Toboso Ag – This recently opened family owned gravel quarry is located in Toboso, Ohio. The Boyce’s are providing everything from top soil to gravel.
  • Cedar Hill Farm – The Kreager’s are a 6th and 7th generation family farm that has implemented a number of conservation practices including pumping water 1500 feet to multiple grazing paddocks, a heavy use pad for winter feeding, and fencing for conservation and better use of resources.
  • Claylick Run Farm – David Felumlee and his family operate a progressive angus seed stock business selling cattle to farms in multiple states.  They also operate a crop enterprise and have recently added a goat venture.
Register by calling 740-452-2356 or licking@ofbf.org. Space is limited, insurance is required and all participants must sign a waiver.

Forages for Horses Pasture Walk

WHERE: OSU Equine Facility, 3658 Kays Ave, Dublin, OH 43017
WHEN: Thursday, June 23, 2022, 6:00PM – 8:00PM
COST: $18 before June 15th, $25 after 15th. Registration required. Limited to 50 participants.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: No registrations accepted after June 20th.

Open to the public as well as Forages for Horses Course participants (course participants may use their pasture walk voucher for one event)!

Topics Include:
Fencing & Rotational Grazing
Sacrifice/Dry Lot Management
Soil & Pasture Evaluation

RSVP is required for preparation of materials and dinner orders

Click here for registration: go.osu.edu/forages2022

Resolving the drainage problems that surface with Spring rains

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

We can count on legal questions about surface water drainage to flow steadily in the Spring, and this year is no exception.  Spring rains can cause drainage changes made on one person’s land to show up as harm on another’s land.  When that happens, is the person who altered the flow of surface water liable for that harm?  Possibly.  Here is a reminder of how Ohio law deals with surface water drainage problems and allocates liability for drainage interferences, followed by guidance on how to deal with a drainage dispute.

Ohio law allows landowners to change surface water drainage

Back in 1980, the Ohio Supreme Court adopted a new rule for resolving surface water disputes in the case of McGlashan v. Spade Rockledge.  Previous Ohio law treated water as a “common enemy” to be pushed onto others, then absolutely prohibited any land changes that would increase surface water drainage for lower landowners.  In McGlashan, the Court replaced these old laws with the “reasonable use rule” that remains the law in Ohio.  The rule states that landowners do have a right to interfere with the natural flow of surface waters on their property, even if those changes are to the detriment of other landowners.  But the right to alter drainage is limited to only those actions that are “reasonable.”

Drainages changes must be “reasonable”

Although it allows drainage changes, the reasonable use doctrine also states that landowners incur liability when their interference with surface water drainage is “unreasonable.”   What does that mean?  The law contains factors that help clarify when an interference is unreasonable, a determination made on a case-by-case basis.  The factors attempt to balance the need for the land use change that altered drainage against the negative impacts that change has on other landowners.  A court will examine four factors to determine whether the drainage change is unreasonable:  the utility of the land use, the gravity of the harm, the practicality of avoiding that harm, and unfairness to other landowners.    For example, if a land use change has low utility but causes drainage harm to other landowners, or the landowner could take measures to prevent unfair harm to others, a court might deem the landowner’s interference with drainage as “unreasonable.”

What to do if a neighbor’s drainage is causing harm?  

The unfortunate reality of the reasonable use doctrine is that it requires litigation, forcing the harmed party to file an action claiming that the neighbor has acted unreasonably.  Before jumping into litigation, other actions might resolve the problem.  An important first step is to understand the physical nature of the problem.  Can the cause of the increased flow be remedied with physical changes?  Is there a simple change that could reduce the interference, or is there need for a larger-scale drainage solution?  Identifying the source of the harm and the magnitude of the drainage need can lead to solutions.  Involving the local soil and water conservation district or a drainage engineer might be necessary.

Based on the significance of the solutions necessary to eliminate the problem, several options are available:

  • If identified changes would remedy the problem, a talk with a drainage expert or a letter from an attorney explaining the reasonable use doctrine and demanding the changes could encourage the offending landowner to resolve the problem.  If the landowner still refuses to remedy the problem, litigation is the last resort.  The threat of litigation often spurs people into action.
  • Sometimes the issue is one that requires collaboration by multiple landowners.  Identifying a solution and sharing its costs among landowners, based on acreage draining into the area, can be a way to solve the problem.
  • For more substantial drainage problems, a petition for a drainage improvement with the soil and water conservation district or the county engineer might be necessary.  Petitioned drainage improvements involve all landowners in the affected area and are financed through assessments on land within that area.  A visit with those agencies would determine whether a petition improvement is necessary and if so, how to proceed with the petition.
  • For smaller fixes, a landowner always has the option of filing a claim for damages through the small claims court.  The estimated damages or repairs must fall below the $6,000 limit for small claims.  A landowner can make the claim without the assistance of an attorney, and the dispute could be resolved more quickly through this forum.

As the Spring rains continue, keep in mind that the reasonable use doctrine sets a guideline for Ohio landowners:  make only reasonable changes to your surface water drainage and don’t cause an unreasonable drainage problem for your neighbors.  Where changes and interferences are unreasonable and landowners are unwilling to resolve them, the reasonable use doctrine is the last resort that provides the legal remedy for resolving the problem.

For more information on Ohio drainage law, refer to our law bulletin on Surface Water Drainage Rights.

Farm Office Live!

FARM OFFICE LIVE!
Farm Office Live provides the latest outlook and updates on ag law, farm management, ag economics, farm business analysis and other issues dealt with in your farm office. Targeted to farmers and agri-business stakeholders, our specialists digest the latest news and information and present it an easy-to-understand format.
DATE: May 20, 2022
TIME: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
LOCATION: Zoom Webinar
Register or watch replays at go.osu.edu/farmofficelive.

Small Grains Field day

Attention all Small Grain Producers. Are you interested in learning more about wheat cultivars, updates on grain variety trials, disease and insect management, barley for brewing and how to identify wheat quality? Please join us!

Please click here for flyer with details: small grains field day flyer 3

South Licking Watershed Stakeholder Meeting

FLOOD DAMAGE REDUCTION AND
CHANNEL MAINTENANCE PLANNING STUDY
(SOUTH FORK LICKING RIVER)
The South Licking Watershed Conservancy District (SLWCD) invites property owners and other interested parties within the South Fork Licking River watershed to learn about the current efforts to complete a Flood Damage Reduction Planning Study.
This study will evaluate and identify measures for channel protection and maintenance, and specific measures for flood damage reduction to protect homes, businesses and public infrastructure, including roadways. The study area is the portion of the South Fork Licking River watershed within District boundaries, which includes land within Licking, Fairfield, and Perry Counties outlined in blue on map in the link at the end.
The planning study and findings will serve as the basis for updating the Official Plan for the SLWCD, which is essential to the District being able to implement improvements throughout the area.
Landowners are encouraged to provide input about what is happening on your properties and in your communities. How can you get involved?

• Join us at one of the two informational meetings (RSVP here)
Thurs. May 19, 2022 • 2:30 PM • In Person only
Alexandria Public Library, 10 Maple Dr, Alexandria
Tues. May 24, 2022 • 6:00 PM • Hybrid meeting
In Person: Hebron Admin. Building, 934 W Main St, Hebron
Join via Zoom: Email BritneyStuller@LickingSWCD.com
for virtual option or call in information.
• Share your concerns via landowner information form at www.SLWCD.org.
• Call 740-670-5330 to request a landowner information form be sent to you.

South Licking Watershed
Conservancy District
771 East Main Street,
Suite 100, Newark, OH 43055 ~ 740 670 5330 ~ www. org

Click here for flyer and map of the watershed area:  SLWCD Stakeholder meeting announcment 5.2022

Click here for further details: Flood reduction one page description

UTV Farm Tour May 21, 2022

Licking County Farm Bureau invites you to bring your UTV and join us for a farm tour! Cost is $50 for one UTV and 2 passengers. Extra passengers are $10 each. Lunch is included.
Registration starts at 10:30am, Lunch served at 11am and the tour will start at 11:30am. Tour stops include: Licking Valley FFA Farm, Bowerston Shale, Toboso Ag, Cedar Hill Farm and Claylick Run Farm.
  • Licking Valley FFA – The unique school farm includes dairy feeder calves, market hogs, crops, research trials and more!  See and hear about what these students are doing.
  • Bowerston Shale – This brick manufacturing company has been a long time staple of the community but you are likely not aware of all the brick artwork that originated at this facility and can be observed across the country.  Take this opportunity to see what goes on in this off the beaten path business.
  • Toboso Ag – This recently opened family owned gravel quarry is located in Toboso, Ohio. The Boyce’s are providing everything from top soil to gravel.
  • Cedar Hill Farm – The Kreager’s are a 6th and 7th generation family farm that has implemented a number of conservation practices including pumping water 1500 feet to multiple grazing paddocks, a heavy use pad for winter feeding, and fencing for conservation and better use of resources.
  • Claylick Run Farm – David Felumlee and his family operate a progressive angus seed stock business selling cattle to farms in multiple states.  They also operate a crop enterprise and have recently added a goat venture.
Register by calling 740-452-2356 or licking@ofbf.org by May 13. Space is limited, insurance is required and all participants must sign a waiver.