There’s still time….Perennial School

Ohio State University Extension Clermont County presents Virtual Southwest Ohio Perennial School as a four-part series held Thursdays in April (8,15,22 & 29) at 11:00 am.

Registration is now open:

The series is free to attend, but registration is required. You can choose to attend one or more of the following sessions.


April 8  

Filling in the Blanks with Colorful Annuals – Pam Bennett, OSU Extension, Clark County

As a perennial gardener, you know at times, your perennial bed lacks massive color.  In between blooming seasons, while plants are getting established and other times, annuals can offer that extra WOW to your beds.  Learn about low-maintenance annuals that give color all season long in this fast-paced presentation of color that will leave you even more anxious for spring!


April 15  

Bad@$$ Trees for Poor Places – Scott Beuerlein, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Originally titled “Good Trees for Bad Places,” it was determined by a committee of sobriety-challenged but internationally renowned horticulturists that it needed an upgrade. The trees in this talk are the survivors. They laugh at incorrect planting techniques, mulch volcanoes, bad pruning cuts, and other poor maintenance practices. They embrace poor soil, and they spit at drought. Some of the usual suspects but some you probably won’t know. Enjoy this romp through trees so ornery they’ll resist the very worst that nature can hurl at them and be there to shade your children’s children.


April 22  

Spot this – Report It – Amy Stone, OSU Extension, Lucas County

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that should be on everyone’s radar in Ohio. This session will cover basic information that will empower gardeners to do some scouting in their own landscapes for this sap sucking plant hopper. The nymphs have a much wider host range than the adult, and you may just have those plants that you can monitor and help us ‘spot the spot’ before populations build and their activity could be extensive. There will also be a discussion about how this insect is moving and get you thinking about the modes of transportation that might just be the avenue to your garden or community. In addition, cicada, cicada, cicada will be discussed for the 17-year brood emergence this year.


April 29 

Connect the Dots…2021 – Joe Boggs, OSU Extension, Hamilton County

Integrated Pest Management has always been a way to help improve your vegetable and flower gardens, as well as orchards and more. Learn new ideas and practices from this 2021 version for how flowering plant diversity in landscapes reduces the need to use insecticides?

2021 East Ohio Women in Agriculture Program Series

The 2021 East Ohio Women in Agriculture Program Series has offered (and continues to offer) a variety of financial, production, and home-related topics to help you as a woman in agriculture.


Recordings are available on the “2021 East Ohio Women in Agriculture Program Series” play list on the OSU Extension YouTube page and can be found at the following links:


Farm Income Tax Update – Barry Ward, OSU Extension – This update arms farm taxpayers with tax information on current critical issues including insight into new COVID related legislation.

Cooking with Cast Iron – Christine Kendle, OSU Extension – Are you not sure what pan to use? How to season it? How you should care for your cast iron cookware? This class is for you!

QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention – Panel – QPR includes how to “ask a question to save a life,” recognizing warning signs, and referring for help. This session recording is available upon request only by contacting Erika Lyon at

Insurance – Get Covered! – Kim Davis, Kim Davis Insurance Agency, LLC – Just because you pay an insurance premium doesn’t mean you’re covered for everything! Don’t miss this fun, interactive session discussing all types of insurance.

LOL – Lots of Loans! – Mary Fannin, Farm Credit Mid-America and Stephanie Beatty, Farm Service Agency – Hear from our panel to find the right fit for your needs.  Including lines of credit, ag real estate, equipment & building loans/leases, home loans, home equity loans, youth loans, etc.

The Mystery of Fruit Tree Pruning – Paul Snyder, OARDC Secrest Arboretum – This session covers the basics of how and when to prune fruit trees, highlighting the most common backyard fruit tree, the apple tree. (This will be available soon on the play list.)


There is also still plenty to come!


Webinar Registration is available at . Webinars are Thursdays from noon – 1:00 PM. Here are the remaining webinars in the series:


April 8 – Bury Seeds, Not Stress—Sarah Noggle and Bridget Britton, OSU Extension – When you live where you work, there are stressors that can go unacknowledged. Agriculture life brings unique challenges to us personally and professionally. Join us as we identify what makes us unique and talk about coping strategies.

April 22 – Reaching Your Educational Goals – Dennis DeCamp, OSU Extension – Regardless of age, educational opportunities are always available.  Explore options for obtaining and funding education to meet your goals while maintaining a balanced life.

May 13 – Veterinarians:  Building a Relationship & Knowing When to Call  –  A working relationship with your veterinarian can teach you when it’s appropriate to try something at home vs. having them out on a call to improve your farm’s husbandry & production.

May 27 – He Said, She Said – Emily Marrison, OSU Extension – Women in agriculture often work with men in agriculture. Explore ways to improve interpersonal communication for more productive work settings and peaceful home environments.


Field Day Registration is available at   Field Days are 5:30 PM meal/ 6:00-8:30 PM program. Here are the remaining field days in the series:


April Field Day – Tuesday, April 6 – Soils & Sustainable Agriculture with Erika Lyon and Heather Neikirk, OSU Extension and Clint Finney, USDA-NRCS (Jefferson County) – What is sustainable for you? Dig into improving the health of your soils and the basics of soil testing services and kits. Explore sustainability and stewardship practices and opportunities for utilization in small farm animal and plant-based enterprises. Please register by Friday, April 2.

May Field Day – Tuesday, May 4 – Raising Livestock on 5 Acres or Less with Sandy Smith, OSU Extension (Carroll County) – So you have some land and you want some extra income or a supply of food for your family. This session will investigate all of your options and possibilities. 

July Field Day – Wednesday, July 14 –  Hands-On Tractor Operation Skill-Builder with Dee Jepsen, OSU Farm Safety Specialist (Stark County) – Examining the utility of the compact tractor – safety, parts, color coding, hand signals and operation will be discussed in this interactive audience driven session.



Pond Management Should Be on Your Mind

By Gary Graham, Holmes County Extension
Originally written for the Bargain Hunter

This past February has brought us one of our first great ice skating and ice fishing opportunities on our ponds in a long time. Shallow ponds and those with low inflow may have seen some fish kills due to the thick ice in 2021. If you experienced a fish kill, know that the key to preventing this is to have open water in your pond. But do remember that open water is dangerous if the pond is used for skating or fishing purposes.

As always, you should have some safety equipment up at your pond year-round. Especially if used in winter for ice fishing and skating. Safety equipment is not just for swimming season. Drownings happen in seconds and too often. In many cases, the would-be rescuers become drowning victims themselves. It is best to throw something to the person in the water from the shore, anything that floats will help. Pond safety is too often overlooked, but is a vital, critical part of being a pond owner. We have pond safety kits available at the Holmes County, Ohio State University Extension Office. If you need a kit for your pond, call 330-674-3015 for details.

Now that spring is here, it’s time to control the weed issues you may have experienced last year. Vegetation is not a bad thing in ponds. Aquatic plants add necessary food and oxygen to the aquatic life that reside in your pond. Some of the good weeds are under the water’s surface and are not a visual issue. It’s the vegetation on top of the pond’s water that can cause so much anguish. The first issue to typically appear (and the one that frustrates pond owners the most) is not a weed at all, it is Filamentous algae.

Filamentous algae is a fibrous mat that looks ugly when floating on the pond’s surface and seems to appear overnight. This alga starts its growth cycle on the pond’s bottom. As it grows, it builds oxygen under its fibrous mat. Once buoyant it floats up to the surface. At first, a couple mats will appear and within a few days, the entire pond surface can be covered. It looks bad and if you use your pond for swimming, it is gross to walk/wad through. Fishing can become annoying when the algae snags on the fishing line and hook each time you reel in the line. A little bit of this menace can lead to some major headaches. Left unchecked, it can explode into a real issue that is bad for the pond.

Of course, the next question is, “How do I kill it?” The time to treat for Filamentous algae is when it is growing on the bottom of the pond. Once it floats to the surface, it is too late to treat as it is already dying. Filamentous algae is controllable with some effort. Management needs to be a multi-front approach including mechanical, chemical, biological and structural control strategies to reduce and rid the pond of this unwelcome guest.

Mechanical Strategies
Once the algae floats to the surface there is no sense to treat it with chemical as it is already dying. The best strategy is to mechanically remove it with a rake by pulling it out of the water and away from the pond. You can also drag a rake on the pond bottom, close to shore, to break up the mats making them come to the surface quicker to remove them from the pond. The best time to do mechanical removal is on a windy day as mother nature will help you by blowing the floating algae to one area, making for easier removal. Do not leave the removed mats on the pond bank. As it dies, the nutrients flow back into the pond aiding to the next cycle of

Chemical Strategies
Many copper-based chemicals work very well on filamentous algae. Again, once it comes to the surface it is a waste of money to treat then. Chemical application works best after physical removal of mats, both floating and on the pond bottom. Following this order will require lower volumes of costly chemicals and lessens the potential of killing fish. When treating a pond with any chemical only treat a quarter of the pond at once. If you treat and kill all the plants at the same time, you can create a very low dissolved oxygen zone in the water. It takes large volumes of dissolved oxygen to break down the now dying or dead organic matter. Robbing the water of its dissolved oxygen starves the fish of oxygen and can lead to their death.

Biological and Structural Strategies
This is the hardest one to work on as it often means changing what is happening on the land around the pond. Adding more White Amur fish (biological) is not the answer. They eat bottom rooted pond plants, not algae. If runoff from the landscape runs into the pond this can be a source of nutrient loading. If you do not stop the source of nutrients getting into the pond then it will be hard to get ahead of the algae. Reducing the pathway (structural) of nutrients getting into the pond will help greatly.

One thing that helps all ponds is the use of an aerator to add oxygen to the water column. Especially in ponds that are trying to breakdown organic material that robs oxygen from fish. Two types exist; the best method is a bottom bubbler (called a diffuser) that forces air from the pond bottom up to the surface with a series of fine bubbles. The other is a fountain. Although they look nice, they do not do as good of a job getting the oxygen back into the water column. Wind and fresh water flowing into the pond will also add a little oxygen, but if the incoming water is laden with nutrients, then it is just adding to the weed and algae growth.

Lastly, keep the Canada Geese off your pond. They are neat to look at, but they are dirty, annoying and just a couple can really throw off the water quality (especially in small ponds). Their manure, which they deposit at the ponds edge, (where you walk) is very high in phosphorus. Soluble phosphorus is the nutrient that best grows algae. A mature goose at 14 pounds of weight defecates more than 28 times a day, depositing 2 pounds of high nutrient goose stuff. Plus, if you let two geese take up residence, the next year you will have more as many of the offspring will stay.

So again, now is the time to start developing your plan of attack or treatment plan for your pond. Be realistic in that if you want no weeds, you’ll need to build a cement pool, which you will have to treat to keep the algae out of too. To reach the Holmes County Extension office call 330.674.3015, or stop in at our NEW office space at 111 East Jackson Street, Millersburg (the old BP gas station east of the Courthouse).

Mycotoxins in corn

From Marion County ANR Educator Tim Barnes
We are learning more about the control of mycotoxins!
What can you do????
-infection occur at silking (fungicide application timing)
-temperature & moisture effect infestation
-plant resistant corn variety
-wheat scab is caused by the same fungus
click below to view four videos to further answer your questions….    
Grain Producers Dealing with Vomitoxins in Corn
by John Barker, Knox County Extension Educator
video – HERE
Management of Gibberella Ear Rot & Vomitoxins in Corn
by Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Corn/Wheat State Specialist
video – HERE
Mycotoxin Testing at the Point of Sale
by Rob Leeds, Delaware County Extension Educator
video – HERE
Livestock Producers Dealing with Vomitoxins
by Jacci Smith, Delaware County Extension Educator
video – HERE

Poison Hemlock Control

I have seen a lot of poison hemlock coming up already.  Now is the time to prepare to treat it.

By Mark Loux and Curtis Young
Re-print from 2020
Poison hemlock remains one of the more persistent and prevalent poisonous weeds that we deal with in Ohio. It’s most typically a biennial plant (sometimes perennial), emerging from seed in year one and developing into a low-growing rosette by late fall. The rosette overwinters and then resumes growth in the spring of year two. Stem elongation initiates sooner in spring than many other biennials, and this is followed by continued growth and development into the often very tall plant with substantial overall size. Flowering and seed production occur in summer.
Failure to control poison hemlock occurs partly because, while it often grows in edges and fencerows around crop fields, no one really pays much attention to it until it does reach this large size when it’s less susceptible to herbicides. And everyone is busy getting crops planted in spring anyway so control of hemlock gets low priority. Stages in the poison hemlock life cycle when it is most susceptible to control with herbicides are: 1) fall, when in the low-growing rosette stage; and 2) early spring before stem elongation occurs. It’s most easily controlled in fall, but several products can work well in spring. Herbicide effectiveness ratings for poison hemlock can be found in Table 21 of the current Weed Control Guide for Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Herbicides rated 8 or 9 on poison hemlock include the following: 9 – Crossbow, Remedy Ultra; 8 – Cimarron Max, Curtail, dicamba, glyphosate. Mixing glyphosate and dicamba can improve control compared with either applied alone.
Several online resources cover poison hemlock more comprehensively than this article does, including one from the University of Missouri accessible at: Information on toxicity can also be found via an internet search or by contacting OSU Extension if help is needed to resolve a specific concern.

March 25 Webinar for Private PAT and Fertilizer Recert

Pest Ed is offering a statewide live webinar for private pesticide and fertilizer recertification on March 25.   The online registration deadline is March 23.

Growers self-register for  live online webinars.  Private Pesticide recertification will begin at 8:45 AM on March 25 and fertilizer recertification will be begin at 1:30 PM the same day.  Registration fees are $35 for  Private pesticide recertification (AM)  and $15 for Fertilizer recertification (PM).  Growers must participate actively in the online sessions to receive recertification credit.  In addition, each attendee must participate on a separate computer or electronic device to be counted in the attendance polls.

Register at

Registration deadline: March 23, 2021


Top Ten Backyard Poultry Diseases Webinar Recording

Timothy McDermott DVM

Extension Educator, Franklin County

There has been a resurgence of people who wish to raise their own food for personal and family food security, both with produce and with poultry.  I am increasingly getting asked about backyard poultry keeping so I wanted to put a resource together to assist you in getting the knowledge you need for safe, healthy and productive backyard poultry keeping.  Here is the second webinar to support backyard poultry keeping:  Top Ten Diseases of Backyard Poultry

FIRST THING:  Find out the regulations in your city or municipality that governs the keeping of backyard poultry and follow those rules carefully. 


Here is the recorded Top Ten Backyard Poultry Diseases class.

Tree to Table: Ohio Maple Syrup

Join us for this timely Friday Escape to the Forest Webinar–  From Tree to Table: Ohio Maple Syrup  March 12th from 10 am – 12 pm.

Join OSU’s Les Ober, Geauga Co. Extension, and SENR’s Gabe Karns and Kathy Smith, for this session on how to make your own syrup or explore turning your woods into a sugarbush as an income opportunity.  Continuing education credits will be available.

Register here:

We hope to see you there!

Farm Office Live – get your questions answered!


Barry Ward, David Marrison, Peggy Hall, Dianne Shoemaker and Julie Strawser – Ohio State University Extension

“Farm Office Live” continues this winter as an opportunity for you to get the latest outlook and updates on ag law, farm management, ag economics, farm business analysis and other related issues from faculty and educators with the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Each Farm Office Live begins with presentations on select ag law and farm management topics from our specialists followed by open discussions and a Q&A session. Viewers can attend “Farm Office Live” online each month on Wednesday evening or Friday morning, or can catch a recording of each program.

The full slate of offerings remaining for this winter are:

  • March 10th 7:00 – 8:30 pm
  • March 12th 10:00 – 11:30 am
  • April 7th 7:00 – 8:30 pm
  • April 9th 10:00 – 11:30 am

Topics to be addressed in March include:

  • Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
  • Proposed “American Rescue Plan of 2021” – New Stimulus Legislation
  • General Legislative Update
  • Ohio Farm Business Analysis – A Look at Crops
  • Ohio Cash Rental Rates: Outlook and Discussion on Lease Alternatives

To register or view past recordings, visit

For more information or to submit a topic for discussion, email Julie Strawser at or call the Farm Office at 614-292-2433. We look forward to you joining us!

2021 Virtual Ohio AgritourismReady Conference

There is still time to register for the 2021 Virtual Ohio AgritourismReady Conference! Beginning March 1st, the OSU Direct Marketing Team will release a pre-recorded webinar each Monday in March. We will also be hosting a live social hour on March 18th to answer your questions and hear directly from our presenters! This conference series is free but registration is required. More information and the conference agenda are attached. You can also find more information, including registration, at If you have any questions, please contact Anna Adams at