The Status of Spring in Three Charts

Three quick charts to help quantify the status of spring near Zanesville, OH:

Here I show growing degree days as measured by the Ohio State University Extension Growing Degrees Calculator.  Growing Degree Days are a measure of activity of plants and insects during a growing season.  Typically growing degree days are limited in February and March.  Growing degree day calculators only count temperatures above a base threshold (usually 50F) and often below a maximum threshold (often 86F).  In brief, the growing degrees accumulated so far in 2024 are above average, but we can see that last year was even higher.

The National Phenology Network measures the development of indicator plants (lilac clones) across the United States.  Current reports show these plants are leafing out up 10-20 days early in regions south of Ohio and just creeping into the southern Ohio region.

Soil temperatures at the Eastern Ohio Agricultural Research Station remain below 50F. It is typically to see soil temperatures fluctuate higher and lower through March and often well into April, depending on overall warming and cooling trends.  While air temperature can be quite warm, soil temperature determines crop and plant progress like seed germination and early crop development.  We often want steady temperatures above 50F, and or even 60F, for optimal conditions.

Corn, Soybean, Soil Health, Grain Storage Economics meeting in Licking County March 6

What crop has the smallest yield penalty for delayed planting? Can you adjust your management practices to mitigate losses due to late planting? How are diseases affected by planting date?

Have you been following the “Battle for the Belt” through this last crop season? We are bringing this discussion to Licking County on March 6th.  The morning sessions are a statewide program offered in 3 locations and we have added lunch and afternoon sessions that address concerns in our part of the state.

This will take place at OSU Newark / COTC.

Cost is $10 and includes a meal.

Call the office 740-670-5315 to register.

Speakers include:

Laura Lindsey  – OSU Professor Soybean and Small Grain Production

Osler Ortez – OSU Assistant Professor – Corn & Emerging Crops

Horacio Lopez-Nicora – OSU Assistant Professor Soybean Pathology and Nematology

Eric Richer – Assistant Professor Field Specialist, Farm Management, OSU Extension “Good Questions to Ask when Investing in On-Farm Storage”

Jim Ippolito – The Rattan Lal Endowed Professor of Soil Health and Soil Fertility, Ohio State  speaking on “Soil Health Perspectives from the New Guy”



Obtaining Agricultural Fertilizer Certification Online Training (new certifications)

March 28, 2024 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Registration Deadline: One Week Prior to the Event
Cost: $35

This 3-hour training is for individuals who are obtaining their Ohio Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification for the first time (not recertification). Agricultural Fertilizer Certification is required for applications to more than 50 acres of crops grown for sale in Ohio. It is not required for lawn and landscape fertilizer applications. This training will be held online as a webinar. Following the completion of this course, we will collect your information to be transferred to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. If you currently hold a pesticide license, your license information will then be updated to include fertilizer certification. If you do not hold a pesticide license, you will be sent an invoice to collect your certification fee. Once the fee is received by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, you will receive your fertilizer certification.

Link to program information and registration.

OSU Extension Hosting Small Conference at Mid-East Career Technical Center Buffalo Campus (April 6)

Ohio State Extension announced plans to host a Small Farm Conference in Senecaville, Ohio on April 6, 2024. The theme for this year’s Mid-Ohio Small Farm Conference is “Sowing Seeds for Success.”

Conference session topics are geared to beginning and small farm owners as well as to farms looking to diversify their operation. There will be five different conference tracks including: Horticulture and Produce Production, Business Management, Livestock, Natural Resources and new this year The Farm Kitchen.

Some conference topic highlights include: Raising Meat Rabbits, Making Goat Milk Soap, Timber Harvesting and Marketing, Basics of Growing PawPaw’s, Food Preservation Basics, Herb Vinegars, Organic Pest Management, Growing Produce with Hydroponics, Starting and Setting up a business, Solar and Wind Leasing.

Anyone interested in developing, growing or diversifying their small farm is invited to attend including market gardeners, farmers market vendors, and anyone interested in small farm living.

Attendees will have the opportunity to browse a trade show featuring the newest and most innovative ideas and services for their farming operation. The conference provides an opportunity to talk with the vendors and network with others.

The Conference will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Mid – East Career Technical Center Buffalo Campus 57090 Vocational Road Senecaville, Ohio 43780
For conference and registration information call OSU Extension Morrow County 419-947-1070, or OSU Extension Knox County 740-397-0401. Please follow this link to register for the conference:

Muskingum and Coshocton Agronomy Dinner January 22

OSU Extension Muskingum and Coshocton County will host an Agronomy Dinner on Monday, January 22, 2024.  Join us for a fine meal at Friendly Hills Camp and Conference Center for agronomic updates for the 2024 cropping year.  Guest Stephanie Karhoff, Agronomic Systems Fields Specialist, will discuss field crop agronomic challenges for the upcoming field season and Bruce Clevenger, Farm Management Specialist, will provide a budgeting and marketing outlook for 2024.  Pre-registration is required and can be made online at or by RSVP to the OSU Extension Muskingum County Extension Office, 225 Underwood St, Zanesville, OH.  Event cost is $20 per person.  Doors open at 5:30 PM with opening remarks at 5:50pm and dinner will be served at 6:00PM. The host facility for this event is Friendly Hills Camp and Conference Center, 5880 Friendly Hills Road, Zanesville, OH.  Contact Clifton Martin, OSU Extension Muskingum County, at 740-454-0144 or Chris Allen, OSU Extension Coshocton County, 740-622-2265. Certified Crop Advisor CEU’s will be available.



Monday, January 22, 2024
5:30 PM

Friendly Hills Camp and Conference Center
5880 Friendly Hills Road, Zanesville, OH

$20 per person

RSVP by January 17, 2024

Guest Speakers:
Stephanie Karhoff
Stephanie is an Agronomic Field Systems Specialist with Ohio State Extension and will speak on Field Crop Agronomy Challenges in 2024.

Bruce Clevenger
Bruce is Farm Management Specialist with OSU Extension and will speak about Field Crop Budgeting and Marketing Outlooks for 2024.

5:30 PM Registration
5:50 PM Welcome and Announcements
6:00 PM Dinner (buffet)
6:30 PM Guest Speakers
8:15 PM Wrap up & Adjourn

Chicken, pork, potatoes, green beans, salad

Contact information:
Clifton Martin, Extension Educator, Muskingum County

Chris Allen, Extension Educator, Coshocton County

Lunch and Learn Series, starts January 19

Join us for lunch on January 19 at the Rural Services Building, 12:00 PM, to discuss soil tests and liming for crop management.  Pizza and Pop are provided.  We will host Greg LaBarge, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems, as our guest speaker.

This is the first of a series of three lunch meetings focused on agronomic production:


Pesticide Applicator Exam Training January 18, 2024

A pesticide applicator exam training session will be offered on January 18, 2023, 6:00 PM, at the Rural Services Building. In order to obtain a Private Pesticide Applicator License, individuals must pass the exam which is administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.  Those who wish to use Restricted Use Products (ODA List) must acquire an applicators license to purchase and apply product. This training is intended to provide an overview of the concepts presented in the exam as preparation.  To register for this training session please email or call 740-454-0144.


Following this training session, the Ohio Department of Agriculture will be present at the Rural Services Building to administer the exam on:

January 25, 20234, 10:00 AM

(Exam registration at the ODA Website)

Or, call ODA at 614-728-6270 for more exam information

Beef Quality Assurance January 30

Are you selling beef animals to be harvested for meat and need to update your Beef Quality Assurance Certification?

The goal of the Ohio Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program is to increase the competitive base for marketing Ohio cattle. Beef Quality Assurance is a program to ensure that beef and dairy cattle are maintained in a manner which will result in a safe and wholesome beef product for the consumer.  The Ohio BQA program is set to meet or exceed the NCBA BQA Guidelines.

Two events are scheduled:

Tuesday, January 30, 2024


Thursday, March 19, 2024

Program starts at 7:00 PM

Location: Muskingum Livestock Auction

No cost, no RSVP needed.


Attending this session will allow you to obtain the Ohio Beef Quality Assurance certificate or renew your existing certificate.  Certificates are good for three years.

An FAQ about the BQA program is available at:

Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification Information

If you are a licensed private pesticide applicator in the state of Ohio you may have recently received information from the Ohio Department of Agriculture for the renewal process. We will also be sending letters by mail to Muskingum County applicators with information to register for continuing education classes to those who need to still earn CEU hours. You may also find our class information on our website at: Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification | Muskingum (

Class programs will occur on February 8, 2024 at 10:00 am and February 20, 2024 at 6:00 PM.  There are two fees associated with recertification.  The ODA license renewal fee is $30 (paid to ODA) and the class registration fee is $35 (paid to OSU Extension Muskingum County).