We are returning to standard office hours!

OSU Extension in Licking County will be resuming our office standard hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning October 19th.  While not all staff will be working in the office on any given day, we will have personnel available to assist you.  We do ask for appointments to help us better serve you while maintaining social distancing and a safe environment.

Licking County rainfall totals for the 2020 growing season

Weather extremes have been a theme over the last several years but we have been fortunate in Licking County to not experience the worst of these extremes.  Much of our county experienced a very wet spring but as we reach the end of the growing season the early wetness was balanced by a drier than average end of the summer.  Thanks to our dedicated rainfall reporters from throughout the county, I am able to provide the following chart.  One of our reporters experienced technical difficulties with their weather station but we still have a good picture of rainfall around the county.  For a nicer view of the report click here: AG Rainfall Summary 2020

                                                  Rainfall – Licking County 2020

Alexandria 4.41 6.20 2.19 4.65 5.24 3.39 26.08
Appleton 4.60 5.60 2.20 2.25 3.60 4.00 22.25
Bowling Green 4.40 4.80 1.90 2.70 2.60 1.80 18.20
Madison TWP 5.19 4.92 5.86 4.42 4.63 3.51 28.53
Newton TWP SE 4.77 4.42 3.60 4.70 4.80 2.95 25.24
Union TWP 4.05 5.75 2.65 5.70 4.95 2.79 25.89
Union TWP S 3.70 4.60 1.85 4.80 3.60 2.20 20.75
Utica 4.53 5.09 2.87 3.41 NR NR
Washington TWP 3.60 4.05 3.80 2.30 2.30 3.15 19.20
Washington TWP S 3.80 5.25 3.45 1.70 2.70 3.10 20.00
County Average 4.31 5.07 3.04 3.66 3.82 2.99 22.90
Long-Term County Average 3.66 4.41 4.57 4.37 3.58 2.99 23.58

*NR = Not Reported

Ohio State University Extension Licking County would like to give a special thanks to the following individuals and families who graciously devoted their time and effort to tracking and reporting Licking County rainfall totals. Without their help, this would not be possible.

Rick Black Jim Kiracofe
Larry Coe Jeff Martin
Orville Felumlee David Shipley
John Hankinson Tom Sorg
Kayla Hughes Marcie Williams

If you know someone who would like to participate in this project next year, please have them contact the Extension office at (740) 670-5315.

Exploring Online Sales for Ohio Farmers Markets and Direct Marketing Producers Webinar

With so many platforms it can be daunting to choose the option that fits best for your business.

Join us for this FREE webinar to learn how to utilize online platforms and hear from producers who use them first hand. The webinar is free thanks to funding from NCR SARE but registration is required. Deadline to register is October 14, 2020.

Registration can be found at go.osu.edu/onlineplatforms.

If you have any questions, please contact Anna Adams at adams.2061@osu.edu.

Fall Food Preservation Virtual Series

Gardeners and other lovers of fresh produce are often interested in extending the season’s bounty by preserving fruits and vegetables and meats at home.  Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences teach the basics of home canning and preservation through a virtual series called “Food Preservation Office Hours”.  These online classes emphasize the science behind preservation so that everyone who preserves fruits, vegetables, and meats understands why certain procedures must be followed precisely to ensure a high-quality, safe product that they and their family can enjoy.

All online classes are on Tuesday afternoons from 4:00 – 5:00 PM. Topics include: October 13- Preserving Apples; October 20- Canning Soup; October 27- Canning Meat, Poultry, and Game; November 3- Making Jerky; and November 10- Making Sauerkraut. Join OSU Extension educators for one or more of these free programs by registering at go.osu.edu/fall2020foodpreservationseries . Please contact Shari Gallup at OSU Extension, 740-670-5315, with any questions you may have.

Click here for the flyer: Fall 2020 Food Preservation Office Hours Poster All Webinars w link

How to Become A Master Gardener Volunteer


The OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a premier, statewide network of volunteer education and leadership development; as well as a consumer horticulture education delivery system that maximizes human, material and natural resources, and values teamwork and excellence in educational programming. The Master Gardener Volunteers’ knowledge, experience and enthusiasm have become essential to Extension education of consumer horticulture in the state of Ohio.

The Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides an extensive course in horticulture in exchange for a donation of volunteer hours to share your gardening knowledge with the community through OSU Extension sponsored activities.

Master Gardener Volunteer Training

Volunteers are an important component of the OSU Extension system. Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge; but a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must! There are many opportunities to obtain hours either with a “hands-in-the-dirt” group project or as a “behind-the-scenes” individual contributor supporting non-physical activities.

Master Gardener Volunteer training is offered for residents of Licking County and surrounding areas. The training program provides a balanced, integrated, practical course in plant science. Core topics that are part of the training are oriented to Extension and the Master Gardener Volunteer Program:

    Basic Botany
Plant Physiology
Soils and Soil Fertility
Basic Entomology
Basic Plant Pathology
Plant Disease Diagnosis
Pesticide Use and Safety
Plant Identification
Home Lawn Care
Trees and Shrubs
Home Vegetable Production
Home Fruit Production
Backyard Wildlife Management
Herbs and more!

How do I know if I’d make a good Master Gardener Volunteer?

  • You want to learn more about plants and gardening.
  • You are eager to participate in a practical and intensive training program.
  • You enjoy sharing your knowledge with others.
  • You have the time to attend training and serve your community as a volunteer educator.


The next Master Gardener Volunteer Training will take place virtually, beginning on February 9, 2021 and run on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 9 weeks. There will be an Orientation Night on February 4, 2021 at 6:00 pm at the Extension Office. More details to follow in interview.

Interviews will begin in December 2020 and continue through January 2021.

COST: The training fee is $150 and is payable after interview and acceptance into the program. Scholarships are available by contacting Lori Swihart at swihart.33@osu.edu. There are additional fees (approximately $30) for a mandatory criminal background check.

Volunteer Commitment

The Master Gardener Volunteer training course consists of:

1. A minimum of 50 hours of instruction which includes hands-on lab work.

2. An equivalent number (50) of horticultural significant volunteer hours is required with in a year to become a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer.

Master Gardeners remain active from year to year by:

  1. Obtaining ten (10) continuing education hours
  2. Donating a minimum of twenty (20) community service hours.

. Only pre-approved Ohio State University Extension sponsored activities count toward the requirement.

Understanding more about the program:

If interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer, please download and print the application below.

Master Gardener Volunteer Application

Mail the completed application to:

OSU Extension Licking County
Attn: Lori Swihart
771 E. Main Street, Suite 103
Newark, OH 43055

Or, email to swihart.33@osu.edu or fax to (740) 670-5317.

Applications will be accepted October 1, 2020 through January 15, 2021.

If you do not have internet access, call the office at 740-670-5315 and the application packet will be mailed.

For more information on becoming a Licking County Master Gardener Volunteer contact Lori Swihart at (740) 670-5322 or via email at swihart.33@osu.edu.

State Master Gardener Volunteer website

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Master Gardener Volunteers of Licking County OSUE

Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2020

Farming is a complex business and many Ohio farmers utilize outside assistance for specific farm-related work. This option is appealing for tasks requiring specialized equipment or technical expertise. Often, having someone else with specialized tools perform a task is more cost effective and saves time. Farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply, “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

Ohio Farm Custom Rates

This publication reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 377 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2020. These rates, except where noted, include the implement and tractor if required, all variable machinery costs such as fuel, oil, lube, twine, etc., and the labor for the operation.

Some custom rates published in this study vary widely, possibly influenced by:

  • Type or size of equipment used (e.g. 20-shank chisel plow versus a 9-shank)
  • Size and shape of fields,
  • Condition of the crop (for harvesting operations)
  • Skill level of labor
  • Amount of labor needed in relation to the equipment capabilities
  • Cost margin differences for full-time custom operators compared to farmers supplementing current income

Some custom rates reflect discounted rates as the parties involved have family relationships or are strengthening a relationship to help secure the custom farmed land in a cash or other rental agreement. Some providers charge differently because they are simply attempting to spread their fixed costs over more acreage to decrease fixed costs per acre and are willing to forgo complete cost recovery.

The complete “Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2020” is available online at the Farm Office website:



Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management
F. John Barker, Extension Educator Agriculture/Amos Program
Eric Richer, Extension Educator Agriculture & Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension

Sign-up Has Started for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2

Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) began on Sept. 21, 2020 and will continue through Dec. 11, 2020. CFAP 2 provides eligible producers with direct financial assistance due to market disruptions and associated costs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out our brief video about the program.

CFAP 2 is a separate program from the first round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, now referred to as CFAP 1. Farmers and producers who participated in CFAP 1 will not be automatically enrolled and must complete a new application for CFAP 2. Details on how to apply can be found on farmers.gov/cfap/apply.

CFAP 2 Eligible Commodities Finder

Many more commodities are eligible for CFAP 2 than CFAP 1. Interested in finding the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 payment rates for the eligible commodities you grow or raise? Our new, easy-to-use CFAP 2 Eligible Commodities Finder makes finding payment rates specific to your operation simple. From yam to alpaca farmers – and everyone in between – the payment rate information you need is just a few clicks away. Try it today on your desktop, tablet, or mobile device.

Call Center

A call center is available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. The call center can provide service to non-English speaking customers. Customers will select 1 for English and 2 to speak with a Spanish speaking employee. For other languages, customers select 1 and indicate their language to the call center staff.

Voting is open now for the Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors!

 Get out and vote!  2020 Board of Supervisor Election

Licking County Soil & Water Conservation District has a five-member Board of Supervisors elected by landowners and residents of Licking County.   As unpaid Public Officials, the Board members are responsible for conducting business within the scope of the laws and administrative rules that govern Soil & Water.  Board members also help guide Soil & Water’s mission with professionalism, efficiency, and effectiveness. Two Supervisors will be elected to a three‐year term commencing January 1, 2021.

Candidates are Kim Byce, Bill Goodman and Rhonda Reda.   Visit https://lickingswcd.com/who-we-are/board.html for the candidate’s bios.

Individuals who own or occupy land within the Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District and are 18 years of age or older may vote for Supervisor.

There are three ways an eligible voter can cast a ballot:

1.) At the Soil & Water office from November 4, 2020 until November 18, 2020 during normal business hours; or

2.) At the Soil & Water Drive Thru voting event, which will take place at Soil & Water office on November 12, 2020 and from 4:30-6:30 pm; or

3.) Voting absentee from October 5, 2020 until November 3, 2020, by requesting the ballot application and election ballot from the SWCD office at the following address: 771 East Main Street, Suite 100, Newark, OH  43055, by calling 740‐670‐5330, or email Information@LickingSWCD.com. Absentee ballots must be received by the SWCD office by November 18, 2020.

Farm Service Agency Announces Oct. 30 Deadline to Submit Wildfire, Hurricane Disaster Assistance Applications – Yes this includes Licking County Farms

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) just announced Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, as the deadline to submit applications for the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus (WHIP+) for 2018 and 2019 losses. FSA did not originally specify a deadline when the program was announced.

WHIP+ compensates producers for losses due to hurricanes, floods, snowstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, drought, excessive moisture, and wildfires occurring in calendar years 2018 and 2019. Drought and excessive moisture were added as eligible losses for the program in March 2020.  To date, FSA has received more than 133,000 applications for WHIP+ disaster assistance and paid out nearly $1.4 billion in WHIP+ benefits.

Next week, FSA will launch a new tool on the farmers.gov WHIP+ webpage to help producers understand eligibility for the program and whether they had possible losses in 2018 and 2019.  The tool will also allow producers an opportunity to provide information for FSA staff to reach out to them.

FSA will announce soon the details for producers who experienced quality loss from 2018 and 2019 natural disaster events authorized in appropriations legislation.  There will be a separate signup period for producers reporting quality loss.

For more information or application assistance, visit farmers.gov WHIP+ webpage, or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-center-locator.

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 the 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 required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in office, by phone, and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

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