What is Going on with the Birds??

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American robin showing symptoms. Photo credit Kristi Anderson.

In the above photo, taken last week by Kristi Anderson and posted to the Preservation Parks of Delaware County Facebook page, an American robin is displaying symptoms of the illness.

Recently, there have been reports of sick or dying birds found around Ohio and in nearby states. These birds often have swollen eyes, discharge from their eyes that may appear crusted, or a lack of clarity to the eyes. Affected birds may also exhibit neurological signs, for example, their head may hang to one side then flop to the other side. In late May of this year, wildlife biologists in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia began received reports of sick and dying birds. Since then, reports have surfaced in additional states, including Ohio.

Ohio counties experiencing the bulk of the outbreak so far include Brown, Butler, Clark, Clermont, Delaware, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Warren counties.  Continue reading

Farmer Advocates wanted!

Do you know of a farmer who would be an excellent candidate with leadership, enthusiasm, and passion for soil health and water quality management as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation? You can nominate them by completing an online form. Select the button for the application.

The Nature Conservancy is looking for farmers who are currently utilizing cover crops on their farms in the Maumee River Watershed of the Western Lake Erie Basin. We are looking for a diverse group of farmers; large acreage, small acreage, corn and soy, small grains, livestock, new and experienced, willing to reach out and share their knowledge and experiences with other farmers in their area. Selected farmers will be compensated for their time. Select the button for this application.

If you are interested in being part of this exciting farmer-led outreach project and would like to apply as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation please complete the online application form by selecting the button above.

The application period is open for farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin that are interested in sharing their conservation farming practices with other farmers.  Farmer Advocates will be compensated for their time to attend the training and work with other farmers @ $30/hour.  The focus of the project is to promote farmers learning from each other about building soil health and managing water.

To apply as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation or to nominate a farmer you believe would be an excellent candidate please use the online application and nomination forms on the landing page found at https://sites.google.com/view/farmeradvocate or please contact Stephanie Singer, Stephanie.Singer@tnc.org.

USDA Reminds Producers of Feb. 28 Deadline for CRP General Signup

Grass waterway with HeronThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds agricultural producers interested in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) 2020 general signup to enroll by February 28, 2020. This signup is available to farmers and private landowners who are either enrolling for the first time or re-enrolling for another 10 – to a 15-year term.

Farmers and landowners who enroll in CRP receive yearly rental payments for voluntarily establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”), which can control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands. Continue reading

1 – Day Beginner 101 Beekeeping Class

From the Black Swamp Beekeepers Association

The 1-day class will be Saturday, February 8th, 9 am-4 pm, with a 45min break for lunch, at the Defiance County Extension Office, 6879 Evansport Rd., Defiance, OH. The cost of the class will be $50.00 plus $10.00 if they would like to purchase lunch. The introductory class will be an overview of what to expect for the first year of beekeeping. Registration Deadline Saturday, February 1st. If not paid by the deadline, it will cause a delay in receiving your book and no lunch will be available to you. Mail this form with check/m.o to Attn: Treasurer -Mary Zebolsky, 25212 Watson Road, Defiance, OH.