Grafted Plants: What They May Offer You and How to Obtain Them

Grafting creates physical hybrids between seedlings of at least two varieties. The rootstock variety is used for its root system and traits and the scion variety is used for its shoot and fruit traits. Grafting is providing growers with an expanding list of key plant traits more rapidly and in different combinations than standard hybrid variety development. These traits include resistance to specific soilborne diseases (e.g., Fusarium, Verticillium) and the ability to overcome various abiotic stresses (e.g., salinity, drought, low fertility). Plant growth at low soil temperatures, improved fruit quality, and/or greater fruit holding ability on the vine may also be possible in specific cases. Among grafted crops, field and high tunnel acreage of tomato and watermelon are greatest, although interest in and acreage of grafted pepper, eggplant, cucumber, and melon are also rising.

Resources to help growers make the best use of grafting are also increasing and improving. The most important resource is growers who have experimented with grafted plants and share their experiences and views. Online resources (e.g., can also be useful. For example, one site ( helps growers “run the numbers” on grafting’s potential impact on their bottom-line. That decision-support tool improves as information from farm-level tests of grafting is added.

Growers also ask how they can obtain grafted plants. The number of operations supplying Ohio and the U.S. ( is rising. I have personal experience with the three suppliers listed below in alphabetical order. Contact them soon if you are interested in receiving grafted plants for use in 2021.

1. Banner Greenhouses (Nebo, NC; ph. 828-659-3335;
2. Re-Divined (Bainbridge, PA; ph. 717.286.7658;;
3. Tri-Hishtil (Mills River, NC; ph. 828.891.6004/828.620.5020 – Chris Furman;;

Grafted plants can also be prepared by the same person or farm that uses them in the field or high tunnel. Many guides describing how to graft vegetables are available. The following are a small number of examples.

1. and other resources at

Please contact me if you need additional information.

“Spraying done right!” Webinar February 4, 2021

Zoom Webinar
February 4, 2021
12 pm EST, 9 am PST

This 1-hour long Zoom webinar, is meant for growers, and for people who assist them–especially pest management advisors and pesticide applicators. The event will host top-notch experts in the fields of herbicide science, plant pathology, atmospheric sciences and agricultural regulation. Register for free at:

This webinar will deal with pesticide application in agriculture, from the following perspectives:

  • Damages to crops, due to pesticide and herbicide drift from neighboring fields.
  • Inefficiency in pesticide application, and ways to correct it.
  • Pesticide drift liability: perspectives and lessons to recipients and to sources;
  • growers and pesticide applicators.
  • Meteorological factors affecting pesticide application, and localized weather forecasting.

List of speakers:

  • Prof. Doug Doohan (Herbicide Science), Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio State University.
  • Prof. Dorita Edelstein (Atmospheric Science), Institute of Earth Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Institute for Biological Research.
  • John Fentis, Esq. (Law), Environmental Director, California District Attorneys Association.
  • Moderator: Dr. Nadav Nitzan, Head of Plant Pathology, Valley of Springs Research Center, Israel (formerly of the Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University).

Register for free here:

Good Agricultural Practices Trainings

The OSU Produce Safety Team has three online Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) trainings scheduled this winter, with the first one coming up next Thursday, on January 21st. These programs are free to attend.

You can find more information at Registration links are available for each event:

Ohio State Webinar Series Offered on Organic Production

organic production series

According to the 2019 USDA Census of Agriculture, Ohio ranks 5th among U.S. states in the number of certified organic farms. Over the past three years, Ohio’s organic sales and cropland acres have both increased by more than 35%.

For those involved in, considering, or simply curious about organic agriculture, Ohio State is hosting a series of short winter webinars on various organic production topics. These sessions are brief, free, and can be accessed online or by telephone. All sessions are 11:00-11:45 a.m. and will include ample time for questions and discussion. Speakers are from Ohio State unless otherwise noted. Log-in details and session summaries are available at

Wednesday, January 13 at 11 a.m.
Transition Q&A –
Julia Barton from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA)

Wednesday, January 20 at 11 a.m.
Manure Analysis: How Much Nitrogen Can You Get from Manure?
– Glen Arnold

Wednesday, January 27 at 11 a.m.
Irrigation Basics
– Larry Brown

Wednesday, February 3 at 11 a.m.
Cultural Control Strategies for Nightmare Weeds
 – Douglas Doohan

Wednesday, February 17 at 11 a.m.
Considerations for Organic High Tunnel Production
 – Matthew Kleinhenz
(Additional educational programs on high tunnel production are available through Ohio State’s High Tunnel and Season Extension School January 12 through February 16. Learn more at:

Organic webinars for March will focus on beneficial insects, marketing, post-industrial soil reclamation, and more. To view past sessions, see the complete line up, obtain log in details, or to sign up for email reminders, visit or contact program manager Cassandra Brown at 330-263-3634.

Farmer’s Tax Guides – Tax Guidance for Your Farm Business

Do you need a resource to answer those tough farm tax questions? If so, you can access the Farmer’s Tax Guide (IRS Publication 225) online at:

The 2020 Farmer’s Tax Guide explains how federal tax laws apply to farming. This guide can be used as a guide for farmers to figure taxes and complete their farm tax return.

The explanations and examples in this publication reflect the Internal Revenue Service’s interpretation of tax laws enacted by Congress, Treasury regulations, and court decisions. However, the information given does not cover every situation and is not intended to replace the law or change its meaning.

Some of the new topics for the 2020 tax year which are included in this publication are: Tax treatment of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments, Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loans and Forgiven Debt, Increased section 179 expense deduction dollar limits, COVID-19 related employment tax credits and other tax relief, Redesigned Form W-4 for 2020, New Form 1099-NEC, and much more.

Hardcopies of the 2020 Farmer’s Tax Guide are also available at select county OSU Extension offices.

The Rural Tax Education Site has additional resources for agriculturally related income and self-employment tax information that is both current and easy to understand: