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Registration now open for 2022 Ohio Woodland, Water and Wildlife Conference

Registration is now open for the 2022 Ohio Woodland Water and Wildlife Conference.  Wednesday March 2, 2022 at the Mid-Ohio Conference Center Mansfield, Ohio

We will once again be live at the Mid- Ohio Conference Center in Mansfield.  The program offers updates on spotted lanternfly and beech leaf disease and presentations on management for wild turkey, ticks and tick-borne pathogens, European frogbit id and control and streambank stabilization to name a few.

Join us by registering HERE.

Early registration is $65 – register by 2/14

Late registration is $85 – 2/15-2/23 (last date to register)

ISA, SAF and pesticide credits are being applied for.

 

Virtual Beef School Begins Next Week With ‘Outlook’

Register today and listen in on one, or all!

The OSU Extension Beef Team isl offering a Virtual Beef School with one webinar per month beginning next week and concluding in April. The first webinar features economist Dr. Andrew Griffith of the University of Tennessee presenting on Beef Markets and Outlooks at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, January 24, 2022. Interested attendees can register for this and any of the other webinars for free by visiting: https://go.osu.edu/beefschool22.

Timely Frost Seeding Improves Pasture, Hay Stands!

Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, OSU Extension, Morgan County

If and when the seed can reach the soil in late winter while there is still freezing and thawing activity, clover can fill in bare spots and add to the density of the pasture stand.

In the past as we’ve talked about the virtues of frost seeding, we’ve suggested it’s something that is best to occur in February or March during the period when the ground is freezing and thawing almost daily. In recent years freezing and thawing temperatures haven’t always happened after mid-February. Since it’s the freezing and thawing over time that gives frost seeding a great chance to work, the time for frost seeding may be upon us soon.

Frost seeding is a very low cost, higher risk way to establish new forages in existing fields by spreading seed over the field and let the freezing and thawing action of the soil allow the seed to make “seed to soil” contact allowing it to successfully germinate. When you see soils “honeycombed” in the morning from a hard frost, or heaved up from a frost, seed that was spread on that soil has a great chance to make a seed to soil contact when the soil thaws. I think the two biggest reasons why frost seeding fails is people wait too late to frost seed and the seed never makes good contact with the soil. I have heard some say that they like to “overseed” or just spread seed over an established stand. Let’s face it, if the seed does not land on the soil but on existing living or dead vegetation, it does not have a chance to successfully germinate: you need exposed soil. In light of the recent snow that’s arrived and/or expected throughout Ohio, it’s important to also note that frost seeding can be done over a thin layer of snow, however it’s important to realize that rapid snow melt can cause the seed to be washed away from where it’s needed.

There’s still ample time to assess and seed potential fields. I am especially fond of frost seeding endophyte infected fescue fields where producers have issues with cattle grazing them during the summer. If you can get cattle to graze these fields in the winter, the quality and palatability is actually good, and in many cases, better than hay you may be feeding. The endophyte levels are very low now and the quality is maintained better than other forages. I actually have one predominately fescue field still stockpiled to turn cows ready to calve in to in early March weeks to have good feed and a thick sod. If you have a field you want to frost seed, if possible, abuse the field without causing environmental issues, break up the sod and expose the soil. Once that is done, go ahead and frost seed. We will rapidly run out of time for a likely successful seeding, so start as soon as possible. Typically you can start at the beginning of February through mid-March. My opinion is that once we get into March, the chance of success starts to drop depending on the weather.

The age old question is what to plant. The seed that has the best chance to germinate and become established is red clover. For years I recommended medium red clover but I am now convinced that that no matter what we plant, use improved varieties. Advancement in genetics is amazing. Numerous studies confirm that those varieties will last several years longer in most conditions. Forage trials at OSU show there a several red clover varieties that have high yields and stand percentages 60% or greater after four years. These are more expensive varieties than some of the common, shorter-lived varieties, but I think it is worth it.

Red clover is a heavy round seed that has a better chance of making soil contact then a light flatter seed.  Dr. Garry Lacefield, retired Extension Forage Specialist from University of Kentucky says that clovers, seeded in the right conditions will germinate most years. Grasses are more “hit or miss” germinating about half of the time. With alfalfa, the odds are even less. Frost seeding alfalfa into an alfalfa stand rarely works as existing alfalfa is toxic to new plants. If an alfalfa field is starting to thin out, an option to extend the life of the stand would be to frost seed red clover.

Another reason to plant clover, especially red clover is the high seedling vigor. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil pH and fertility conditions and is more drought tolerant than white clover. The advantage of frost seeding a legume like red clover is that legumes “fix” nitrogen typically in excess of their own needs, providing added fertility to other plants, improving an improved stand. Once legumes become established in a stand of grass and compose 25-30 % of the stand, there is no need to provide additional nitrogen, reducing fertility costs.

If you choose to frost seed grass, which will do best? Studies by Dan Undersander, Forage Specialist from University of Wisconsin indicate that perennial ryegrass will do best (note that it grows best in Ohio north of I-70), followed by orchardgrass, then timothy. Other studies note that annual ryegrass will work good compared to other grasses.

Some other tips to help succeed include mixing with granular fertilizer when you spread the seed. The coarse fertilizer, when mixed with clover seed will “scour” the seed coat and help in germination. Keep in mind that when you use a broadcast spreader, the fertilizer will travel twice as far as seed, so plan accordingly unless you want a striped field of clover. Over the years, I have heard people applying anywhere from 2-10 pounds of seed per acre with the lower amount applied more frequently.

Finally, grasses tend to grow earlier in the spring than legumes so where available, you could consider a light, early grazing of the grass as the clovers try to get established. You may lose some clover from the cattle trampling some new seedings, but if done right, you will set back the grass and allow the remaining clovers to establish while the grasses recover from the grazing. If you have fields with exposed soils and get the seed on early enough, I like your odds of a successful frost seeding.

Soil Health Webinar Series

 

Watch Precision U 2022 Webinar Recordings On Demand

The Precision U 2022 webinar recordings are now available to watch on the Ohio State University Precision Ag YouTube channel. The webinars cover timely topics heading into the 2022 season. The first webinar in the series covers “Adapting to Supply Chain Shortages” featuring Sarah Waltner (Raven Industries), Jenna Elleman (Ag Pro), and Doug Wical (Sunrise Coop) discussing the impacts of supply chain shortages on agriculture and how to adapt to keep your operation moving this season. The second webinar features Dr. Shaun Casteel (Purdue University) and Louceline Fleuridor and Dr. Steve Culman (The Ohio State University) discussing research looking at the response to sulfur in Indiana and Ohio. Both recordings can be viewed at www.go.osu.edu/PrecisionU.

Soybean Growers are Invited to Participate in a New Study to Improve Honey Bee and Soybean Productivity

By: Laura Lindsey
The corn-soybean cropping system dominates the landscape in much of the Midwest where one-third of US honey bee colonies reside. We are looking for soybean growers to help with a new study that will test whether a slightly different management strategy for soybeans can help support pollinators, improve honey production for beekeepers, and improve soil health while maximizing crop productivity.

This study was largely inspired by a pilot project led by Nate Douridas at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, where a perennial wildflower mix was planted in low-yielding areas in a large field  (see video “Turning Red Acres Greenhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpPhLj-0Db0). During soybean bloom last year, we observed lots of bees foraging on the wildflowers and on soybeans near the wildflower zones. We would like to further investigate how this management strategy, along with planting soybean varieties that are attractive to bees, could improve productivity in both honey bees and soybeans.

We are seeking large fields (100 acres or more) with some existing low-yielding areas identified by yield monitor data that can be replaced with wildflowers (we will provide wildflower seed). Wildflowers may also be planted in border areas of the field. The experiment will continue for four years with the following schedule:

  • Year 1: plant wildflowers and a soybean variety of the grower’s choice.
  • Year 2: plant corn. No change to the wildflower areas.
  • Year 3: plant a nectar-rich soybean variety. No change to the wildflower areas.
  • Year 4: remove wildflowers, plant a nectar-rich soybean variety in the entire field.

We will be working with the Ohio Soybean Performance Trials to identify a list of nectar-rich soybean varieties (data will be available by the end of 2022). We will also monitor the growth of four honey bee colonies installed at one edge of the field with an automated hive scale throughout the study period. We will evaluate the diversity of insect pollinators in the wildflower zones and adjacent soybeans during bloom. Yield monitor maps and pod evaluations (from a small set of hand-harvested plants) will be compared to evaluate any yield benefits. Soil samples will be collected to determine how the perennial wildflowers affect soil properties.

You can also participate without the wildflower experiment by just planting nectar-rich soybean varieties and allowing us to collect insect and plant samples in the field and monitor honey bee colonies housed near the soybean field.

If you are interested in participating in this research, please contact Chia Lin (614-247-4780 or email Lin.724@osu.edu).

Route 23 Connect Project

Some of you may be aware of the Route 23 connect project because it directly affects you and some of you may not be aware of it.  I would encourage you to take a look at the information below to become informed about the project.

Join us for additional Route 23 Connect public meetings!

Two additional public meetings have been added to provide another opportunity to learn about the project. The information shared will be the same that was shared at the November public meetings; no new information will be presented. ODOT will introduce the initial concepts, explain how they will be evaluated, and get your input. You are encouraged to ask questions and/or provide comments during this meeting. The same information will be presented at all meetings – whether they are virtual or in-person – so please attend the meeting that best suits your needs. A presentation will be given at the start time of each meeting.

PARTICIPATE IN PERSON

When: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Times: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Location: Delaware County Fairgrounds, Merchant Building | 236 Pennsylvania Avenue, Delaware, OH 43015

For in-person events, all persons in attendance will be required to follow all federal, state, local, or venue policies in effect on the meeting date.  This includes face covering policies and/or other health-related protocols.

PARTICIPATE ONLINE

When: Thursday, January 27, 2022

Time: 12:00PM

Location: publicinput.com/23Connect | Join by phone at: (855) 925-2801, code: 4637

Individuals who require interpretation services or a reasonable accommodation to participate in these meetings should contact Brooke Ebersole at 740-833-8268 no later than January 12, 2022. Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability.

 Take the survey!

Find the survey on the project website under the “Survey” tab here: publicinput.com/23Connect

 

The current public comment period has been extended.  https://www.transportation.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odot/projects/projects/112768

 

Questions and comments can be submitted on the study website and by mail, email, or phone.

Please submit your comments by February 28, 2022 to be considered during this phase of the study.

https://www.transportation.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odot/projects/projects/112768

 

 

Virtual Organic Agriculture Conferences Available

January and February Virtual Organic Conferences and Events

Organic Confluences Summit: Equity and Access in AgTech

The Organic Center and Purdue University are organizing a free Organic Confluences Summit on Equity and Access in AgTech, which will take place on February 10, 2022. The program is listed below.

Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqc-mgrjkqGNUd2knY-r74ZJD4nPbXPGdo

Read about the speakers here

  • 9:00am Welcome / Opening Remarks
  • 9:10am How AgTech intersects with food sovereignty and racial justice, Samir Doshi, Stanford
  • 9:30am Equity in AgTech with OpenTEAM, Laura Demmel Gilmer, OpenTEAM (Moderator), Crystal Arsenault, Islands Organic Producers Association
  • Pablo Munoz Ledo, LookInto, LaKisha Odom, FFAR
  • 10:30am The Invisible Gender: The right for women to farm, Karen Washington, Rise & Root Farm
  • 10:50am From Farms to Incubators: Women Innovators Revolutionizing How Food Is Grown, Amy Wu, From Farms to Incubators
  • 11:10am Race, Power and Wealth: The Other Side of Digital Technology in Agriculture,
  • Erik Nicholson, Padion Strategy
  • 11:30am Simplified Technology- Skills Before Tech, KaZoua Berry, Big River Farms
  • 11:45am Regenerating Definitions: Re-envisioning Ag from an Indigenous perspective,
  • A-dae Briones, First Nations Development Institute
  • 12:05pm The Peril and Prize of AgTech: Case Studies from the Global South, Jade Algarin, USDA NRCS
  • 12:20pm Chemical Treadmills and Agricultural Inequality, Brian Williams, Mississippi State University
  • 12:40pm Increasing Technological Accessibility for Small Farms, David Selassie Opoku, Growing Gold Farms Subsistence Farmers & The Pursuit Of Human Dignity
  • Jacki Perkins, MOFGA Shared-Use Farm Equipment Program, Wade Miller CROPP Cooperative Cooperative structure for increasing tech access
  • 1:40pm Incorporating Tech into Organic Ideals, Gwendolyn Wyard, Organic Trade Association

This conference is the second of a 2-part series; in December, the first part took place: Connecting AgTech and Organic. The recording of that conference is available, along with the agenda and speaker bios, at https://www.organic-center.org/AgTech.

Organic Seed Growers Conference: Session Details Now Available

The session details are now available for the Organic Seed Growers Conference, and it looks to be one of the best yet with over 150 speakers! The entire conference will take place virtually on the Organic Seed Commons platform from February 4-11, 2022 and, you can view the session details and register here. eOrganic has been honored to work with the Organic Seed Alliance and their partners to serve on the organizing committee for this gathering of seed growers, farmers, gardeners, researchers and enthusiasts of seed crops, organic seed, seed sovereignty, and seed saving. We’ll come together for eight days of roundtables, panels, demonstrations, farm tours, lightning talks, art and music, regional meet ups, keynote presentations, and celebration, with many opportunities to share skills and network! Registration is on a sliding scale, and we hope you can join us!

Webinar: Organic Grass Fed Dairy: Demographics, Management, and Cost of Production

In 2018, the University of Vermont received an USDA OREI Grant to Advance Grass-Fed Dairy: A Whole Systems Approach to Enhancing Productivity, Quality, and Farm Viability in the U.S (OREI 2018-51300-28515). One primary objective was to understand the economic and production metrics for grass-fed dairy systems through implementation of a national survey, production and economic benchmarking on farms in VT and NY. This session will describe the characteristics and demographics of grass-fed dairy farms from our national survey, including herd sizes, acreage, and management systems. We’ll then take a deeper look at some of the data from our smaller northeast region surveys which include the grass-fed cost of production (cost per cwt) and more detail on farm management and production. Presenters are Heather Darby and Sara Ziegler of the University of Vermont, and Sarah Flack of Sarah Flack Consulting. Register here.

This is the first of 3 webinars in early 2022 on Grass-fed dairy production, so check our schedule for the others at https://eorganic.org/node/4942!

Webinar: Advancing Equity through Food and Nutrition

The National Agricultural Library’s Agricultural Law Information Partnership is hosting a virtual two-part event on January 27th, from 11:00 am-3:00 pm ET. Laurie Beyranevand, Director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School, will share legal and original research to address equity in the food system. Then, Rev. Dr. Heber Brown III, founder of the Black Church Food Security Network, will talk about connecting churches and Black farmers to create alternative food systems that address systemic issues of racism and climate change.

The afternoon session consists of an optional Wikipedia editing training session and editing time to focus on food systems and food insecurity.  A full schedule and speaker bios can be found on EventbritePlease register. Full-day attendance is not required.

More Virtual Organic Conferences in January and February

Women Raising Children on Farms OSU Research Project

Researchers at the National Farm Medicine Center and The Ohio State University are looking for women who are raising children 0 to 18 on farms to participate in a small group discussion and a short survey. This small group discussion with other women raising children on farms will be about the strategies that you use to take care of the children and how decisions connected to the children intersect with decisions connected to the farm business, farm safety, and quality of life. The small group discussions will take place in February through Zoom (with the option to call in by phone). The discussion will last 90 minutes and $50 is available as a thank you for your time. For more information call: 715-389-9379 or email: becot.florence@marshfieldresearch.org