USDA Designates Brown and Clermont Counties in Ohio, as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2022 –This Secretarial natural disaster designation allows the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters through emergency loans. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, the reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability.

Impacted Area: Ohio

Triggering Disaster: Excessive rainfall occurred from May 1 through June 16, 2022.

Application Deadline: May 29, 2023

Primary Counties Eligible: Brown and Clermont

Contiguous Counties Also Eligible:

In Ohio: Adams, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland, and Warren

In Kentucky: Bracken, Campbell, Mason, and Pendleton

More Resources

On farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery ToolDisaster Assistance-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help you determine program or loan options. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact your local  USDA Service Center.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Women in Agriculture Series

Agriculture is becoming more complex every year with more technology, changing genetics, higher costs of production, worldwide market impacts, environmental shifts, labor issues, and the list goes on and on. It is also an exciting time for agriculture for many of the same reasons.  As part of the family farming operation, where do you see your role?

This high-impact series is designed to provide women with tools to improve their risk management skills in the complex, dynamic world of agriculture. We invite you to attend one, or all the programs we have planned.  Come for some great discussion, fellowship, and learning.

These events are free to those attending. This program is designed for great discussion and learning. We will have dessert and other refreshments each evening.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 –  Peggy Hall – OSU Ag Law Specialist, Open discussion to address your Ag law questions and concerns

Wednesday, January 11, 2023 –  Robert Moore – OSU Ag Law Specialist, Succession planning thoughts for the family farm operation

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 –  Kaitlin Roush – Clinton Co. FSA Director, Farm Program Update and Discussion

Location: Clinton Co Extension Community Room, 111 S. Nelson Avenue, Wilmington, OH

Time each night:  6:30 to 8:00 PM

Brochure

Make your reservation by calling our office at (937) 382-0901 and let us know what nights you will be attending.

Spread the word – this event is open to anyone.

For More Information Contact: Tony Nye – at 937-382-0901 or nye.1@osu.edu 

2022 Ohio Maple Day

We are fast approaching the date for the 2022 Ohio Maple Day event.  Join us on Dec. 10th at Ashland University’s John C. Meyer Convocation Center for a jam-packed program on all things maple.  Updates on red maple research from both Ohio State’s Gabe Karns and the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center’s Abby van den Berg.  Add to this other talks on reverse osmosis, marketing, and insects impacting maple trees.

A maple-themed lunch and a vendor room that features a variety of maple equipment dealers, consulting foresters, and other associated equipment help round out the day.  There are also SAF continuing education credits available for the program.

You can register here

We hope to see you there!

Wintertime Programs to Refresh, Reflect, Reconnect, and Prepare

Participating in wintertime educational programs offers opportunities to refresh after and reflect on the recent season, reconnect with friends and peers, and prepare for the upcoming season. Each year, Ohio fruit and vegetable growers have a range of programs available to them within relatively small distances of the farm (and other programs much farther away, too!). The flyer for a program featuring Wayne County is above and a partial list of state and regional programs to be held in upcoming months is below.

Ten State and Regional Winter-time Programs for Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Growers to be held in or near Ohio December 2022 – March 2023 (as of 10/15/22)

* Programs listed below occur annually with some having been held each year for decades. These programs tend to be comprehensive in terms of the number of crops and topics discussed. Watch VegNet and other outlets for announcements of additional programs focusing on specific crops and/or issues. Programs are also offered and announced via OSUE County Offices (https://extension.osu.edu/lao).

1. Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo … December 6-8, 2022; Grand Rapids, MI (https://glexpo.com/)

2. Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference … January 2-4, 2023; Bowling Green, KY (https://kyhortcouncil.org/2023-kentucky-fruit-and-vegetable-conference/)

3. The 77th Annual Muck Crops School … January 5, 2023; Willard, OH (Mike Gastier, OSUE Huron County – https://huron.osu.edu/people/mike-gastier)

4. Mid-Ohio Growers Meeting … January 12-13, 2023; Mt. Hope, OH (http://midohiogrowers.com/2017-brochure/)

5. Ohio Produce Network … January 16-17, 2023; Columbus, OH; (https://www.opgma.org/ohio-produce-network/)

6. Indiana Horticulture Conference and Expo … January 23-24, 2023; (https://www.indianahortconference.org/)

7. OAK Conference … January 26-28, 2023; Frankfort, KY (https://www.oak-ky.org/annual-conference)

8. Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention … January 31-February 2, 2023; Hershey, PA (https://www.mafvc.org/)

9. OEFFA Annual Conference … February 16-18, 2023; Newark, OH (https://www.oeffa.org/events.php)

10. Purdue Small Farm Conference; March 2-3, 2023 (https://extension.purdue.edu/anr/_teams/dffs/small_farm_conference/index.html)

Mental Health First Aid ®

Do you know how to identify signs of worsening mental health in adults?
Would you know how to respond and provide support if someone was experiencing a mental health crisis?

In Ohio, 16 of the 17 counties with the highest rates of suicide are rural. Behind every number is a person who was a friend, family member, colleague, or neighbor. Sign up for Mental Health First Aid training and learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of mental health challenges in adults and how to help in a mental health crisis.

How this course works:

  • Register to attend at: https://go.osu.edu/farmstress22mhfa
  • Complete 1.5 hours of self-paced learning online (access to materials provided approximately two weeks prior to training)
  • Attend an interactive and engaging virtual training hosted on Zoom.

FLYER

Upcoming Trainings:

Sept. 29
Oct. 7 or 27
November 4
December 2

This course is valued at $170 but is FREE thanks to funding from a USDA FRSAN grant.*

*This research was supported by the intramural research program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 7 U.S.C 5936, Section 7522 of FCEA of 2008, Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN).

The “letter of intent” for solar and wind energy development: considerations for landowners

Solar and wind energy development is thriving in Ohio, and most of that development will occur on leased farmland.  Programs in the newly enacted federal Inflation Reduction Act might amplify renewable energy development even more. The decision to lease land for wind and solar development is an important one for a farmland owner, and one […]

Read more of this post

Landowner crop lease termination deadline is September 1

September 1 is fast approaching, and this year it’s an especially important date for landowners leasing cropland under an existing lease that doesn’t address when or how the lease terminates.  In those situations, September 1 is the new deadline established in Ohio law for a landowner to notify a tenant that the landowner wants to terminate the lease.  If the landowner does not provide notice by September 1, the lease continues for another lease term. Read more of this post

Organic Certification Cost Share Available from Farm Service Agency

Have you ever considered transitioning all or part of your dairy or crop enterprise to organic production?  If so, you may be interested in programs available through your local Farm Service Agency (FSA).  These include the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) and the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP). 

Organic Certification Cost Share 

The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers who are obtaining organic certification for the first time or renewing their previous certification. Organic certification is obtained through certifying agents accredited by the USDA National Organic Program. 

This program provides 50 percent of a certified operation’s allowable certification costs, up to a maximum of $500.  The following categories or “scopes” are included: crops, livestock, wild crops, processing/handling, and organic program fees. Cost share is provided on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds are obligated.  This program is available until September 30, 2022. 

To be eligible, a producer must have both (1) a valid organic certification for their operation at the time of application and (2) paid fees or expenses related to its initial certification or renewal for certification from a certifying agent.  

Allowable costs under the OCCSP include: 

  • Application fees and administrative fees 
  • Inspection fees, including travel and per diem for organic inspectors 
  • USDA organic certification costs 
  • User fees or sale assessments 
  • Postage 

Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program 

The Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) provides financial assistance to producers interested in obtaining or renewing USDA organic certification.  In addition to many acronyms, there are certain terms that producers need to know the definitions.  These include certified operation, educational event, soil testing, micronutrients, transitional operation, and USDA organic certification.  These terms are defined below: 

  • Certified operation – is a crop or livestock production, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation, or portion of such operation, that is certified by an accredited certifying agent. 
  • An educational event – is an event, conference, training program, or workshop, that provides educational content addressing topics related to organic production and handling. 
  • Soil testing – means soil testing to document micronutrient deficiencies. 
  • Micronutrients – can not be used as a defoliant, herbicide, or desiccant.  Those made from nitrates or chlorides are not allowed.  Deficiencies must be documented by soil or tissue testing. 
  • Transitional operation – is a crop or livestock production operation that is transitioning to organic production in anticipation of obtaining USDA organic certification and has an organic system plan from a certifying agent. 
  • USDA organic certification – means a determination made by a certifying agent that a production or handling operation is in compliance with the Organic Production Act of 1990. 

Eligibility  

To be eligible for OTECP, an applicant must have paid eligible costs during the program year and, at the time of application, be either a certified or a transitional operation.  Expenses that have been incurred during the program year but not paid by the applicant are not eligible for cost-share assistance.  Eligibility for the OTECP is based on the date expenses are paid, rather than on the date the organic certification is effective.  

Eligible Categories 

Certified Organic Operations may have expenses for any combination of the following categories: crops, wild crops, livestock, handling/processing, program fees, soil testing, and educational events. 

Transitional Organic Operations may have expenses for any combination of transitional operation, soil testing, and educational events. 

Payment Amounts & Limitations  

Eligible Applicants  Category of Expenses  Payment Amount 
Certified operations  Certification – crops  25%, up to $250 
Certified operations  Certification – livestock  25%, up to $250 
Certified operations  Certification – wild crops  25%, up to $250 
Certified operations  Certification – handling  25%, up to $250 
Certified operations  State Organic Program fees  25%, up to $250 
Transitional Operations  Eligible transitional expenses  75%, up to $750 
Certified & Transitional Operations  Educational event registration fees  75%, up to $100 
Certified & Transitional Operations  Soil testing  75%, up to $150 

 

Required Documentation 

 In addition to dividing expenses paid by category, applicants self-certify to having either a valid organic certificate or documentation to show a transition to organic.  Applicants must retain documentation in support of their application for three years after the date of approval. 

 Additional Information 

 If you are interested in learning more about this or other Farm Service Agency programs, contact your local FSA office.  Not sure which FSA serves your county?  Use this link (https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app) to locate your nearest FSA office. 

These OSU Extension resources may be of interest: 

 https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/sag-3  

 https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/anr-34  

For Ohio-specific information about the organic certification process, consult the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association: https://certification.oeffa.org/ 

 

Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR, Tuscarawas County 

 

Fruit and Vegetable Crop Walk

Hardin County – There is a segment of agriculture in southeastern Hardin County that specializes in commercial fruit and vegetable production. Hardin County is also home to the Scioto Valley Produce Auction near Mt. Victory where much of this produce is sold. Hardin County OSU Extension has planned a Fruit and Vegetable Crop Walk program on Tuesday, August 2 from 6:00-8:00 pm to help with fruit and vegetable production issues. The location of the program will be on a produce farm at 15237 County Road 209, Kenton. It is open to all fruit and vegetable producers, whether they are commercial or home gardeners.

OSU Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordinator Jim Jasinski will provide information on using IPM techniques to control pests with produce. Ashley Leach, OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor of Entomology will provide an update on specialty crops insects. Gary Gao, OSU Extension Small Fruit Production Specialist will provide information on growing grapes and raspberries. Brad Bergefurd, Technical Specialty Crop Agronomist, Brandt Discovery and Innovation will provide an update for growers on vegetable production fertility. Hardin County OSU Extension Educator Mark Badertscher will provide information about Driftwatch; a voluntary communication tool that enables crop producers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators to work together to protect specialty crops and apiaries through use of mapping programs.

The program will be held outside so bring your lawn chair and umbrella in case of rain. There will be a diagnostic table so be sure to bring along any weeds, plant nutrition problems, plant diseases, and insect specimens in a sealed plastic bag for questions and answers. The program will conclude with a walk through a produce field, pointing out fruit and vegetable issues and steps to properly manage them. There is no cost to attend this event.