Ohio’s farm crisis: New website gives help

CFAES recently launched a new website for farmers hit by Ohio’s record rain. Called “Addressing 2019 Agricultural Challenges,” the site gives help on topics related to the ongoing rain-caused farming crisis—from prevented planting to crop insurance to managing stress and more.

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Ohio’s farm crisis is visible from space

Ohio’s unplanted, late-planted, and drowned farm fields, along with those present throughout the Midwest, are actually visible from space, according to a July 2 Washington Post story that interviewed, among others, CFAES soybean expert Laura Lindsey. As seen by satellite, the story says, the region’s beleaguered fields are “more brown belt than farm belt.”

“Right now, farmer stress levels are really high,” Lindsey is quoted as saying in the story. “Farmers are worried about losing their farms.”

CFAES’s “Addressing 2019 Agricultural Challenges” website, launched in response to Ohio’s record rain, offers resources to help those farmers.

Ohio’s farm crisis: ‘Climate Smart’ conference is Thursday

A reminder that CFAES’ Climate Smart: Farming with Weather Extremes conference is this Thursday, July 18, in Plain City, northwest of Columbus. The event will look at what farmers can do to adapt to weather and climate changes.

Aaron Wilson, CFAES climate specialist and a speaker at the event, says “the idea is to get people to start thinking about building resilience to the changes we see.”

Admission to the conference is free and open to the public, but the deadline, unfortunately, has passed for reserving lunch.

Read CFAES’ press release about the conference.

On going organic — and on being a woman urban farmer

In addition to the Pioneering Urban Farm Tour, the Columbus Urban Farm Tour Series features a second tour on Saturday, July 13: the Transitional Produce and Flower Farm Tour at Happy Toes Homestead in Columbus. Owner Katie Hawkins started the 2-acre farm just two years ago. She grows microgreens, herbs, cut flowers, and heirloom vegetables, which she sells through a CSA, at farmer’s markets, and to local restaurants.

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Ohio’s farm crisis: What farmers can do to deal with extreme weather

What can Ohio farmers do about the state’s recent record rainfall? How can they handle prevented planting and other issues caused by that rain? Going forward, how can they help their farms adapt to our wetter, warming world? Those and other questions will be answered at Climate Smart: Farming with Weather Extremes, a conference set for Thursday, July 18, in Plain City.

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Ohio’s farm crisis: What to do about prevented planting

An event offered twice on Wednesday, July 3, will help farmers decide what to do if rain has kept them from planting their crops. The issue is becoming a crisis: The past 12 months have been the wettest on record in Ohio, and due to the rain and muddy fields, many corn and soybean growers haven’t planted this year’s crops yet; they might not be able to plant them at all.

The event, called Managing Prevented Planting Acres, will share details on considerations including crop insurance, weed control, forage production, and cover crops. Experts from CFAES will serve as the featured speakers. The event is set for 9 a.m. to noon in Paulding and 2–5 p.m. in Bryan. The agenda is the same at both locations. Admission is free and open to the public.

Find further details. (Photo: Getty Images.)

Expert to speak on controlled environment ag

More and more farms could be under a roof. Meiny Prins, CEO and co-owner of the Dutch company Priva, presents “Do You Know the Green Belt? Sustainable Urban Agriculture in a Challenging World” from 10–11 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, on Ohio State’s campus in Columbus. The event is billed as an industry summit on controlled environment agriculture, a technology-driven way to produce food in greenhouses, buildings, grow rooms, and the like. Admission to the event is free, but attendees are asked to register in advance. There’s also a way to watch online. Find full details.

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Regenerative agriculture a ‘win-win-win’

An op-ed in the May 13 edition of the Los Angeles Times quotes CFAES scientist Rattan Lal on the benefits of regenerative agriculture—practices such as using compost, minimizing tillage, and growing cover crops. Regenerative agriculture is a “win-win-win option” that can make the soil healthier, increase food production, and help fight climate change, he is quoted as saying. But it is “not widely understood” yet by policymakers, the public, and many farmers.

Lal, a recent recipient of the prestigious Japan Prize, is Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Read the op-ed.