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Agricultural Community Review

Spring 2016

INSIDE...

BACK YARD CHICKENS

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Spring 2016, Volume 3, Issue 2

Welcome

03

LETTER FROM THE STAFF

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Features

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2 Spring 2016

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A Source of Inspiration

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sometimes think people imagine that all farms look the same. Kind of like the Fisher Price farm we played with as children. A nice red barn with an assortment of animals roaming the land and little plots of vegetables with a few fruit trees thrown in for good measure – friendly farmer waving as he rides his tractor from place to place on the farm. In reality though we know that each farm is a unique entity with specific needs based on the products produced, topography of the land, or even the desires of the individual farmer. Right here in our region we see how different farming techniques are implemented when crops are grown on the flatlands versus the rolling hills of Amish country or Southeastern Ohio. This is just part of what makes Ohio farms different than those operating throughout the Plains where large equipment rules the day. You can see how producing a farming magazine for such a varied audience can be a challenge. Our goal is to try to speak to each of you at some point throughout the year with stories that will resonate or even inspire! We found a lot of inspiration for this issue of Harvest. One such inspiration is the Rose Hill Willow Farm. Here, a former VP at the Longaberger Basket Company found a way to “blend the agrarian and the artisanal” by creating beautiful keepsakes from the willow grown on his farm. Another came from speaking with the Guernsey-Nobel Beekeepers Association. With bees being one of the greatest pollinators, farmers of all sorts benefit from the growing interest in backyard beekeeping. Or how one individual who was passionate about agriculture passes this along to others interested in pursuing their dreams

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to study farming through the Dr. Jack Judy Scholarship. That is not to say we are short on practical advice. Between our pages hear from Rory Lewandowski, an OSU extension educator, on improving the longevity of your pastures with tips on early season grazing management and learn why an Ashland farmer is embracing no-till farming on his land. We’ve also sprinkled in, like the springtime rains, a few stories on pesticide use, how warmer than average temperatures may impact wheat growth, and why chickens may be a gateway animal to having your own backyard farm. I encourage you to spend some time with Harvest and review all of our features. You never know what may inspire you!


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Farmers Find Value in No-Till Farming Practices Story by | Dylan Sams DIX COMMUNICATIONS

Photo by | Tom E. Puskar DIX COMMUNICATIONS

Right: Ashland County farmer Don Kettering checks his cover crops.

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s planting season creeps slowly nearer day by day, farmers are beginning, yet again to plow and prepare their ďŹ elds for seeds â&#x20AC;&#x201D; unless theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not. Ashland County farmers have been adopting the practice of no-till farming since the 1970s, when it began to become accepted throughout the country. The procedure is exactly what it sounds like â&#x20AC;&#x201D; farmers choosing not to till their ďŹ elds and using drills or other tools to carefully place seeds while disrupting signiďŹ cantly less of their topsoil. Farmers use herbicides like paraquat to kill weeds that normally would have been destroyed by a plow. A simple reason why someone like Ashland farmer Don Kettering would practice no-till farming is to save time and preserve soil. Kettering has been no-tilling at least some of his land since 1975. There are three things Kettering said are beneďŹ ts of no-till â&#x20AC;&#x201D; microbes stay in his soil, old roots are able to take better hold under ground and earthworms are able to process the soil. It also helps prevent soil erosion, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the pioneers came into this county, there was something between 12 and 16 inches of topsoil,â&#x20AC;? Kettering said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Today, I want to say the average in the


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county is 8 inches, and some farms are probably at 4 The Ashland County Soil and Water Conservation inches.” District has been helping farmers since the mid-’70s. Two In practice, then, no-tilling can save a farmer both time no-till drills, like the one Boyer uses, are available to be and money, he said. leased from the district, whose goal is to help landowners For example, Kettering claims he pays only for a gallon learn about conserving their own land. and a half of fuel per acre until harvest in the fall. Director Cathy Berg said the majority of farmers in “There’s a lot of these other guys Ashland County who no-till are in the who run 8 to 10 gallons an acre,” southern part of the county, because Kettering said. of their more varied elevation. “ By practicing noLess is needed because Kettering “A lot of it is out of necessity,” Berg till and leaving cover goes through his field one time to said of the terrain. “(In the south) crops, his soil remains plant and one other time to spray you could lose all of your topsoil.” herbicides while others make She said the drills tend to be used in place and he’s multiple plowing passes on their in late-April and especially through managed to reduce land. May. If the weather gets warm early, a good amount of This year he’ll be practicing no-till more farmers may request to use the on 300 acres of land, he said. drills earlier. soil erosion.” John Boyer, owner of Honey The district also helps farmers to Haven Farm and Kettering’s friend, learn more about soil health and is called him “Mr. No-Till.” working with surrounding counties “Although he doesn’t like the term to organize field days to help farmers no-till,” Boyer said. “His word is never-till.” see no-till and cover crop planting in action. Boyer has taken up the practice on his own farm for To contact the Soil and Water Conservation District, nearly as long as Kettering, normally using a no-till drill call 419-281-7645. available for lease from the Ashland County Soil and Water Conservation District to plant his crops. Ninety percent of Boyer’s 250 acres will not be tilled this year. • REFRIGERATORS • FREEZERS• Boyer said he prefers the method because it allows him to save on both fuel and time. It also protects his topsoil, • RANGES & MICROWAVES • which is especially important because Boyer’s farm has • WASHERS & DRYERS • a 160-foot fall between the end of his driveway and his • TELEVISION • DEHUMIDIFIERS • farm. If a heavy rain comes, it could potentially wipe out • AIR CONDITIONERS • his topsoil. By practicing no-till and leaving cover crops, his soil remains in place and he’s managed to reduce a • ECOWASHER LAUNDRY SYSTEMS • good amount of soil erosion. • WEBER GRILLS • “If you take a block of soil and roll it upside down, what’s it do immediately? It dries it out,” Boyer said of tilling. “It’s hard to replenish any of the water even if it absorbs the water. It’s hard to hold that water because it has been broken.” “No-till comes along, and you just work a little trail, pop that seed in and out of 30-inch rows of corn and you’ve left 28 inches undisturbed.” According to farming publication Modern Farmer, SALES • SERVICE • NEW • SCRATCH-N-DENT no-till farming began to be adopted by American farmers in the mid-to-late ’70s. An article titled “No-Till WWW.WOOSTERAPPLIANCECENTER.ORG Farming: What’s The Deal?” quoted USDA agricultural economist Roger Claassen as saying as late as 1988, only 231 S. MARKET ST 5 percent of farmers in the U.S. practiced no-till farming. MON 9AM TO 5PM • TUE-FRI 9AM TO 6PM Twenty years later, 25 percent of farmers did not till at SAT 9AM TO 3PM least some of their fields. HARVEST

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Different breeds lay differently colored eggs, but any fresh egg tastes great.

Back Yard Chickens Supporting A Healthy Habit Story by | Tami Mosser DIX COMMUNICATIONS

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ndi Williams and Joe Kennedy eat eggs in the morning and don’t worry for one minute where they came from. They can see the hens right in their backyards. It’s all about food security, said Kennedy, who lives south of Wooster with his wife, Jodi. With store-bought eggs, “we don’t have an idea what we’re eating, what the chickens are eating, what health they’re in,” said Kennedy. What started with a dozen pullets has grown in more than two years to a flock of 25. The Kennedys free range their chickens in a large backyard and say they are surprisingly easy to care for, coming right back to the hen house at dusk and back into the yard early in the morning. Williams, who lives just outside Wooster, agrees, though she never thought she’d be tending her own flock. A Connecticut native, Williams said, “I was an insurance brat. I lived in the suburbs.” Her husband, she said, is the native Wayne Countian and former 4-Her. But when Williams took a job as a data analyst with Lehman’s in Kidron, she decided it might be fun to try some of the simple living ideas the store has long been known for. She started with four ISA Browns and got another six hens from her brother-in-law. So, once a day, Williams goes out behind her house to a renovated shed, where the chickens have a nice, warm place to lay eggs and a feeder has been rigged up out of PVC pipe. It needs filled about twice a month. Williams also put together a rainwater capture system. In addition

8 Spring 2016

Photos by | Mike Schenk & Jon Zeltman DIX COMMUNICATIONS

to suggestions she gets at Lehman’s, Williams said, “the Internet is a wonderful thing. I blame Pinterest for a lot.” The Kennedys have a similar system, with a hay floor that Joe Kennedy said is completely cleaned out twice a year. “Other than that, it’s feed and water,” he said. “You don’t overthink it.” The only real surprise the family has had was finding out one of their hens was actually a rooster. Said rooster was not allowed in the hen house, Kennedy said, but did a good job protecting the flock until he was killed by an animal that had come on the property. Williams said she has found the hens will produce

Joe Kennedy says the chickens his family keeps in the back yard are gentle animals that don’t mind being picked up.


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eggs for up to three years. Since they’ve all got names buggy comes by.” and have become family pets, she said, “The end-of-life Kennedy said he’s found a number of double-yoke cycle is kind of hard. I don’t have the heart to put them eggs, as well as one triple yoke. And when the fresh eggs down. ... I am willing to keep them as long as I have are carried into the house, they remain unwashed and unrefrigerated, as they do in most European and South American households. Kennedy explained that as long as the egg is unwashed, it retains a protective layer that makes refrigeration unnecessary. The family eats eggs that Kennedy knows are only a few days old, as opposed to store-bought eggs that are four to eight weeks old. Eggs from the backyard chickens, Kennedy said, “have a distinct taste. It’s attributed to being fresh. You can tell the difference between a fresh egg and a store-bought egg.” Williams agreed. And she has friends who are looking into following her example. Now, Williams said, her husband has expressed an interest in buying a pig and Kennedy said his wife has Andi Williams said her family’s back yard her sights set on a miniature donkey. chickens have become like family, including So, Williams said, what her boss, Glenda Lehman Ervin, Garnet, the hen Williams is holding. said might be true. “She says, that chickens are a gateway animal.” room.” Her flock shares the backyard with the family Reporter Tami Mosser can be reached at 330-287-1655 dog, who Williams said showed some interest in them in or tmosser@the-daily-record.com. the beginning, but “he’s more interested when an Amish

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Early Growth Could Leave Some Wheat Plants More Vulnerable To Cold Story by | Tracy Turner AG ANSWERS

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wheat crops at Feekes growth stage 6, which is also known as jointing, and some wheat crops in northwest Ohio were already at early green-up in mid-March, she said. UNUSUAL WEATHER PATTERN That early wheat growth could leave some growers facing injured crops from the freezing temperatures that have swept across the state, Lindsey said. “This is a very unusual weather pattern to have a very early spring with temperatures across the state in the low 60s to mid to low 70s throughout much of March followed by this cold snap in April,” she said.

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fter last month’s warmer-than-normal temperatures sped up the growth of wheat crops across Ohio, the following cold snap could result in injury to some of those plants. Just how damaging the colder weather will be depends on how advanced the wheat is in its growth stage, said Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with Ohio State University Extension. Temperatures that reached above 70 degrees across Ohio caused much of the state’s winter wheat crops to progress quickly, Lindsey said, with some areas reporting wheat at Feekes growth stage 5 in March. Early April, some areas in southern Ohio reported

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RESEARCH UNDERWAY Lindsey said while there really isn’t anything growers can do to shield their wheat crops from the cold weather, growers should examine their wheat to identify its growth stage to try to judge the crop’s potential for freeze damage. And about a week after injury, growers need to examine their crops to see how much actual plant death there was.

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Wheat continues on 12

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“The warmer temperatures caused wheat to come out of dormancy quicker,” leading to the potential for coldweather injury. Since April 2, temperatures have reached a low of 29 degrees across parts of Ohio, with the forecast being as low as 20 degrees in many areas statewide, according to AccuWeather.com. “Winter wheat crops typically experience their maximum resistance to cold weather from December to February,” Lindsey said. “But as wheat greens up, the plant becomes less tolerant of freezing temperatures. “At jointing, or Feekes 6 growth stage, wheat crops that experience 24 degrees or lower for longer than two hours can sustain injury or freeze damage.”

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Wheat continued from 11

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our goal is to be able to update our recommendations for farmers based on our research ďŹ ndings,â&#x20AC;? Lindsey said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We really havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seen a year like this in recent times, so our recommendation is for growers to go out and check their wheat plants to judge their growth stages.â&#x20AC;? To determine if wheat is in Feekes growth stage 6, growers can: * Dig up several clusters of tillers with roots and soil from multiple locations in the ďŹ eld. * Identify and select three to four primary tillers from each cluster â&#x20AC;&#x201C; usually the largest tillers with the thickest stem. * Strip away and remove all the lower leaves, which are usually small and yellowish, or dead leaves, exposing the base of the stem. * Look for the ďŹ rst node generally between 1 and 2 inches above the base of the stem. This node is usually seen as a slightly swollen area of a slightly different shade of green than the rest of the stem. GROWTH CHART A video on identifying Feekes growth stage 6 can be The team also plans to test wheat plants in Feekes 6 viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=iukwznx4DPk. growth stage for freeze damage and expects to update its ďŹ ndings soon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once conditions improve, about a week after the crops sustained the freeze injury, growers can go out and examine their wheat ďŹ elds to see what plants have survived,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If the plants are at Feekes 5 growth stage, they shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t experience freeze injury, but if they are at Feekes 6 growth stage, it could be a problem.â&#x20AC;? Lindsey and Pierce Paul, an OSU Extension plant pathologist and a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, are currently conducting research to determine the freeze tolerance of winter wheat grown in Ohio at Feekes 5 growth stage. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college. Preliminary results have shown that wheat at that growth stage sustained very little injury at temperatures as low as 14 degrees, Lindsey said. But temperatures of 5 degrees resulted in wilted leaves with a dark, purplegreen, water-soaked look 24 hours later, she said.

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Grillmasters, Time To Gear Up and season on both sides with sea salt. Place the steak on the cooking grate directly over the coals, cover the grill, and cook, turning once, for about 20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 130° for medium rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the tri tip into thin slices across the grain and arrange on a platter. Serve with aioli. Aioli Makes about 1 cup Grilled Tri Tip With Black Olive Aioli Serves 4 to 6 1 1 2 1 1⁄4 1 1

tri tip steak, 2 1⁄2 pounds tablespoon olive oil tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper cup finely chopped pitted oil-cured black olives cup aioli (see below) tablespoon coarse sea salt Cayenne pepper

Place the steak in a small, nonreactive baking dish. Combine the olive oil, rosemary and black pepper in a small bowl and stir well. Rub the mixture evenly over the tri tip. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Remove the tri tip from the refrigerator 1 1⁄2 hours before cooking. Prepare and light a charcoal grill for direct cooking. Add the olives to the aioli and season with Cayenne. When the grill is at its hottest (when the coals are red and glowing and it’s too hot to hold your hand over the grill for more than a couple of seconds), remove the tri tip from the marinade, wipe off any excess marinade,

1 1⁄2 1 2 2 1

small clove garlic teaspoon kosher salt teaspoon Dijon mustard teaspoons fresh lemon juice egg yolks cup olive oil

To make by hand, chop the garlic and salt together on a cutting board until a paste forms. Transfer to a deep mixing bowl and wrap a damp towel around the base of the bowl to keep it from sliding around the counter as you work. Whisk in the mustard, lemon juice and egg yolks. While whisking continuously and vigorously, add the olive oil in a slow, thin, steady stream until all of it has been incorporated and the mixture is thick and completely emulsified. To make the aioli in a food processor, place the garlic and salt in the work bowl and process to chop as finely as possible. Add the mustard and lemon juice and pulse to combine. Add the egg yolks and, with the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow, thin, steady stream until all of it has been incorporated and the mixture is thick and completely emulsified. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours until needed.

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Rose Hill Willow Farm Providing Strength and Beauty Story by | John Lowe DIX COMMUNICATIONS

Photos by | Mike Neilson DIX COMMUNICATIONS

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WO-10434881

Howard Peller walks his fields, filled with about 50 species of willow.

14 Spring 2016

magine a household item, the utility of which was matched only by its artistry. Envision a rural retreat with a fence, the strength of which was exceeded only by its beauty. Visit Rose Hill Willow Farm and there’s no need to imagine. Howard Peller has made those visions tangible. (See below for details on how to arrange a visit.) Professor, artist, executive, farmer, entrepreneur — were one to label anyone a “renaissance man,” it would be difficult to find a more apt candidate than Peller. Over the course of his working career, he has earned each of those titles. He served for 10 years as vice president of design for Longaberger Baskets. With his wife, Maddy, he founded and operated Fioriware Pottery in Zanesville for 20 years. For now, though, call him basket farmer. (In fact, readers can find his website at www.basketfarmer.com.) At Rose Hill Willow Farm, as its name suggests, Peller grows willow, about 50 species of willow, in fact. “Some of them are good for living structures. Some would be good for fencing,” he said. Of course, many of them are good for Peller’s passion: Weaving baskets. The various species exhibit variations in color and, thus, offer Peller the option of crafting multihued baskets. And what an assortment he has. His weaved creations have varied from birdhouses to laundry baskets. He even makes commissioned items. By way of demonstration, he picks up a basket with a concave curve on one side. “This is an interesting basket that I just made for a baker,” he said. “It’s for collecting mushrooms. It has a little ledge inside for him to put cardboard on so that he can layer the mushrooms. It’s going to Dan Baker in


Columbus. He makes really great bread.” Peller designed the basket with the concave side so the basket would fit snugly against Baker’s side. He makes his baskets item by item; there is nothing industrial scale to his work. “Unfortunately, they take a lot of time,” he said. “There’s no way around it.” A bird feeder would take about a day to craft, but the laundry basket took him three days to finish. What does it take to be a basket weaver? “The whole process is really about the manipulation,” he said. “It’s like the surgeon’s hands; may dad was a surgeon. Knowledge is part of it, but a lot of it is these very simple hand techniques you learn. “It’s feeling and understanding the tension in the material and understanding what it can and can’t do.” Of course, the basket weaving culminates a process that begins with growing and harvesting the willow — a plant Peller regards as almost magical because of its robust growth and durability. (He attributes those qualities to the hormones in willow such as salicin which is used in preparing some pain medications.) The hormones also make willow suitable for regrowth. Willow continues on 16

Peller demonstrates his weaving techniques.

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up shoots that grow to lengths of 4 to 8 feet in a single He has used harvested willow rods to create “living year. fences,” a willow arch and a living willow dome. Peller has found that he enjoys life on the farm, growing He also has plans to sell the plant. and working with the willow at nature’s pace. “That’s part of why I grow so much,” he said, “for “The willow is very good for the environment here,” people interested in this kind of he said. “It’s brought in insects living fencing and these kinds of and birds, so it’s bio-diverse. living structures. I don’t need a lot of tools and “I cut the large rods, store I’m making something that’s them in refrigeration and, then, sustainable. ship them dormant. People can “I’m definitely an advocate of put them in the ground [to take craftsmanship and I appreciate root and grow]. what grows in nature. How you “That’s how the dome balance that carefully is the key was done. It was rods cut in to living with it and making wintertime, stored and, then, it healthy. You don’t abuse it. put back in the ground. And Nature is healthier if you learn they rooted enough and leafed to work with it properly.” enough.” Various samples of Peller’s products. (EDITOR’S NOTE — Rose Peller employs coppicing as a means of harvesting the willow. Many species of trees Hill Willow Farm is at 7680 Rosehill Road, Roseville, OH will regrow from the stump, or, as Peller terms it, the 43777. Peller’s website is www.basketfarmer.com and the telephone number of his studio is 1-740-697-0027. crown of a tree cut near the ground. It is these new shoots that he harvests. Unlike some “Our shop and studio are always open by appointment coppiced trees that regrow slowly, the willow will send and folks should feel free to call us.”)

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he family of Dr. John (Jack) Judy, who died in April 2015, has established a memorial scholarship in his name to be administered through the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation. According to his niece Jennifer Walker, the family has agreed to award one $1,500 scholarship annually to a second-year college student who is either a member, or whose parents are members, of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association. “The student doesn’t have to attend an Ohio school,” Walker said, “but he or she must be a resident of Ohio.” Interested and qualified students can apply online

at ofbf.org/foundation through June 30. Walker said finalists will be interviewed during the Ohio State Fair by a selection committee composed of Walker and members of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association. “Preference is given to (agriculture) majors but it is not a necessity,” Walker said. Judy was a member of the Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences until his retirement in 1984. For 33 years he specialized in the study and teaching of sheep production and management. He had the title of Professor Emeritus when he left Ohio State and was inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame in 1985. Always passionate about his students and their course of study, Judy was a faithful supporter of the Ralph Grimshaw scholarship, awarded through the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association. Grimshaw, who was chairman of the sheep department at the Ohio State Fair, and Judy were close friends, according to Mark Judy, Jack’s brother. For more information about the Dr. Jack Judy Memorial Scholarship, other scholarship offerings and Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, contact 614-246-8904 or visit the website at ofbf.org/foundation.

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Responsible Use of Pesticides Story by | Rory Lewandowski EXTENSION EDUCATOR, WAYNE COUNTY

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recognize that pesticide use is not for everyone. However, looking across agricultural and horticultural production systems, pesticides are widely used to help control weed, insect and disease pests. Without the use of pesticides crop yields would be lower, and production costs would be higher. Pesticides have become a management tool and like any tool they can be used correctly or incorrectly. The goal is to use pesticides correctly, in a responsible manner. What does that involve? Responsible pesticide use involves following the pesticide label, sprayer calibration, accurate mixing/ measuring, and applying the pesticide to the target area

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without movement to off-target sites. The first place to start is with the label. Pesticide applicators need to understand that the label is the law. The applicator is responsible for all of the label information. The label includes not only what is printed on the pesticide container but also any attached material as well. Labels for most pesticide products are available on-line. For example, http://www.greenbook.net/ is one location where free registration is provided to give access to thousands of pesticides labels, or you can simply type the name of the pesticide along with the word “label” into a browser search engine and often find the label on-line. Recently I taught a class on pesticide use for small acreages using hand-held and backpack sprayers. As part of that class we looked at some pesticide labels. The glyphosate label used as an example was 21 pages in length! The applicator is responsible for all of that information. The type of information included on a pesticide label includes: • Brand name, Chemical name, Common name • Type of pesticide (herbicide, insecticide, fungicide) • Formulation: for example, emulsifiable concentrate (EC) wettable powder • (WP) granular (G) or dust (D) • Ingredients, Contents, Manufacturer, Registration/ Establishment numbers

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Signal Word: Caution, Warning, Danger Precautionary statements and PPE (Personal Protective Equip.) • Statement of practical treatment • Environmental hazards • Use classification: general or restricted use • Directions for use: rates, pre-harvest interval (PHI), spray volume in gallons per acre, (GPA), droplet size, crops the pesticide can be applied to, tank mixes, adjuvants, additives, timing, etc. • Agriculture Use Requirements and Worker Protection Standards (WPS) • Re-Entry interval (REI) • Restrictions (grazing, harvest, crop rotation, etc.) • Storage and Disposal • Statement of warranty and liability. The applicator may apply rates and concentrations lower than what the label stipulates and apply less frequently than the label allows, but may NOT apply at higher rates or concentrations or more frequently than what is stipulated on the label. Once the applicator is familiar with the pesticide label the pesticide sprayer should be calibrated to insure that the correct rate of pesticide is applied. Calibration

involves choosing the correct nozzle for the type of application that will be done and making sure that the sprayer is adjusted to apply the pesticide in a uniform and consistent pattern. Choosing the correct nozzle involves using the pesticide label to determine the recommended spray volume output in gallons/acre that is needed to get good product coverage and efficacy, determining a speed in mph that will be used to apply the pesticide in field conditions, determining a required nozzle flow rate in gallons/minute (gpm) and then selecting a nozzle from a manufacturers catalog that will provide the desired gpm flow rate under typical sprayer pump pressure while producing a droplet size recommended by the pesticide label. Dr. Erdal Ozkan, OSU Extension sprayer technology specialist has an excellent fact sheet that walks readers through the nozzle selection process step by step with good examples. It is available on-line at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-528 , or contact the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722 to obtain a copy. After the correct nozzle is selected the sprayer should be calibrated. The objective of sprayer calibration is to calculate how many gallons/acre the sprayer is applying under field conditions and to make sure that each nozzle

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then adjustments need to be made by either changing application speed or selecting different nozzles. The next step in responsible pesticide use is correct mixing and measuring of the pesticide product into the sprayer tank. There are a number of pesticides that have application rates measured in ounces or sometimes a fraction of an ounce per acre. Accurate measurement is a must. Do you, as the applicator, have scales and measuring devices that can assure the correct amount of pesticide is added to the sprayer tank? Be aware that liquid ounces are not the same as dry ounces. A dry ounce is a weight measurement; a liquid ounce is a volume measurement. Always use the measuring container that is provided with the pesticide product, it is calibrated to that product. Measuring containers from other pesticide products will not provide an accurate measurement of a dry product. Purdue Extension has a very good publication entitled “Measuring Pesticides: overlooked steps to getting the correct rate” available on-line as a pdf file. Simply typing in “measuring pesticides, Purdue Extension” into a browser search box will take you to the publication, or if you contact the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722, I can send you a pdf file of the publication. Pesticide drift is defined as the movement of a

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on the boom is delivering a flow rate within 10% of the average of all nozzles on the boom with a uniform and consistent pattern. To do this the applicator needs a measuring tape, a stopwatch, and a measuring container marked in liquid ounces. An easy calibration method is the 1/128th acre procedure. To use this method determine the distance that needs to be driven to cover 1/128th of an acre by one nozzle. The formula for this distance is 4084 divided by the nozzle spacing in inches. For example, if nozzles are spaced 20 inches apart on the boom the distance is: 4084/20 = 204 feet. Record the time it takes to drive that distance under field conditions with a sprayer tank of water at the speed that will be used to make the pesticide application. Do this twice and take the average time. Next, park the sprayer and run it at the same pressure setting that will be used to make the application. Using the ounce container, collect the amount of water coming out of a nozzle for the amount of time it took to drive the measured distance in the field. Since there are 128 ounces per gallon and the time correlates to spraying 1/128th of an acre, the amount of ounces collected is equal to a sprayer output in gallons per acre. If the sprayer is off by more than 5% from the desired rate


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pesticide from the target area to a non-target area. Responsible pesticide use minimizes drift or prevents drift from reaching non-target sensitive areas. Drift is most likely to happen with small droplets, high spray pressure, high boom heights, wind speeds in excess of 10-12 mph, in situations of temperature inversions, or any combination of these factors. Therefore, pesticide applicators should select nozzles that produce at least medium sized droplets and allow for lower boom height operation, use the lowest spray pressure necessary to get good coverage, ideally spray with wind speeds of 3-7 mph and always consider wind direction and what, if any, pesticide sensitive species might be in close proximity to the target spray area. In some cases, it may be the wise and responsible practice to leave a buffer area. The University of Nebraska Extension has a good web page with some links to drift prevention publications at: http:// water.unl.edu/crops/drift. For more information about any of the topics covered in this article contact the Wayne County Extension ofďŹ ce at 330-264-8722.

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More Than 10,000 Ohio Farmers Have Received Extension Water Quality Training Story by | Mauricio Espinozai AG ANSWERS

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n a little over a year, Ohio State University Extension has trained more than 10,000 Ohio farmers on best practices to apply fertilizer for optimum crop yield, reduce the risk of nutrient runoff and improve water quality throughout the state. And more training opportunities are scheduled to reach even more farmers. Known as Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training, this program allows farmers and commercial fertilizer applicators to meet the educational requirements of Ohio’s new agricultural fertilization law. Passed in 2014, the legislation requires individuals who apply fertilizer to more than 50 acres to become certified by Sept. 30,

2017. FACT was developed by researchers and educators with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University and is offered in partnership with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The training provides research-based tactics to keep nutrients in the field and available to crops while increasing stewardship of nearby and downstream water resources. STATEWIDE IMPACT Experts say soluble phosphorus runoff from farms is a

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contributor to the harmful algal blooms plaguing Lake Erie and other bodies of water in recent years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since we started offering this training in the fall of 2014, we have reached more than 10,000 farmers statewide, averaging about two training sessions per county,â&#x20AC;? said Harold Watters, an OSU Extension ďŹ eld specialist for agronomic systems. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I expect we will be at about 11,000 farmers when the winter training season ends this April 1.â&#x20AC;? OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college. According to 2015 U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, the average Ohio farm is 188 acres. Using this ďŹ gure, 11,000 farmers trained would represent a little over 2 million acres of farmland impacted so far by FACT. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to reach a total of approximately 25,000 farm owners that need to be certiďŹ ed,â&#x20AC;? Watters said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are less than halfway there but are planning to offer summer ďŹ eld days and additional training before the fall to capture more farmers before we hit the next winter meeting season, when the bulk of the training takes place.â&#x20AC;? Each three-hour training session focuses on teaching farmers and commercial applicators the methods and management techniques needed to achieve the appropriate rate, timing, placement and source for fertilizer applications. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The main goal of this training is to help farmers continue to achieve high levels of productivity while reducing input usage and cost by keeping more of that fertilizer in the soil where crops can use it,â&#x20AC;? said Greg LaBarge, also a ďŹ eld specialist for agronomic systems with OSU Extension. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These practices will then translate into better water quality because less nutrients will be washed off farmland and end up in water sources.â&#x20AC;?

water quality through the techniques and practices we are teaching them.â&#x20AC;? LaBarge added that FACT has helped farmers and applicators understand the issue of water pollution better and to see the connections between production and environmental stewardship. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Farmers receiving this training see that we are talking about issues of importance to them both in terms of economics and the environment,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All these issues relate to production, as we are trying to help them better match the inputs that go in the soil with the yield that comes out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nutrients lost to runoff impact production and water quality at the same time, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interest to reduce that loss.â&#x20AC;? Watters and LaBarge agree that training and implementation of best management practices represent a long-term process and that it will take years to see quantiďŹ able results. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re early in the process and need to be patient,â&#x20AC;? Watters said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to do more, but we are headed in the right direction.â&#x20AC;?

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The training also provides information on the link between phosphorus, harmful algal blooms and agriculture; best management practices for phosphorus and nitrogen applications; and soil testing as a valuable tool for conďŹ dence and adaptive management. Watters said a big part of the training revolves around awareness of the link between farm fertilizer runoff and water quality issues. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would say about 90 percent of participants have a level of acceptance of the role of agriculture in the current water situation,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We try to explain their role in the problem and how they can help improve

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Challenges Facing Farmers Today and Tomorrow hough farming was once big business in the United States, by 2012 less than 1 percent of Americans were professional farmers. Many challenges face today’s farmers, many of which are largely unknown to the general public. Many people have an outdated view of a farm as a small, family-owned and operated parcel of land where livestock is raised in open pens and crops are handharvested when ripe. The reality is that modern-day farms have had to overhaul operations to meet demand and remain competitively priced while adapting to the ever-changing ways technology infiltrates all parts of life. Each of these factors present obstacles for today’s farmers.

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that has been around for centuries. But such a transition in rural areas, where communications systems may not be as up-to-date as those in urban areas, is not always so easy. According to the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council, a shift from a resource-based to an information-based economy, compounded by the rapid introduction and expansion of new technology in the workplace, has altered farm operation and the skills in demand. Older workers who have been schooled in one way of agriculture may have a significant impact on labor supply and the vitality of farming as a career. Younger adults who are knowledgeable in technology may no longer seek out agricultural careers.

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farming impacts the environment. A growing emphasis on sustainability and conservation has led many people to protest certain farming practices. Protesters claim that certain practices, such as raising livestock, can pollute water, while the use of fertilizers and chemical pesticides is bad for the environment. Many farmers, however, have altered their methods to be more environmentally friendly and self-sustainable in the process. Climate change is another environmental issue farmers must deal with. Strong storms and severe droughts have made farming even more challenging. FINANCIAL FALL-OUT

their principal occupation. As that figure has dwindled, the average age of farmers continues to rise, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that roughly 40 percent of the farmers in this country are 55 years old or older. This has led to concerns about the long-term health of family farms throughout the United States. ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS Many farmers have come under scrutiny for how

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The ongoing recession of the last half-decade has also affected farmers. In November of 2012, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the unemployment rate within the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industries was at 13.6 percent, far higher than the national unemployment rate. As a result, many farm families have found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, as rising costs for equipment and technology are being coupled with decreasing profits and rising unemployment. Further complicating matters is competition from corporations and international food producers who have made it difficult for family farmers to turn a significant profit. Many family farmers rely on loans and lines of credit to survive, but thanks to changes in the financial sector that saw banks become less willing to extend lines of credit, some farmers are facing bankruptcy. Though it can be easy for those who do not work in the agricultural industry to overlook the struggles facing today’s agricultural professionals, a greater understanding of those struggles and the challenges that lay ahead can benefit the industry and its employees down the road.

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Agricultural Community Review

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It is a Muck Shoe Story & Photos by | Paul Locher DIX COMMUNICATIONS

...for a horse, of course. The early farmsteads in the region were invariably wrested from what had previously been wilderness. At the time of early settlement, woods were invariably a very wet place due to a high water table untapped by large-scale development. Permanent wells for homes were dug by hand, typically no more than 25 feet deep. Because of these inherently wet conditions, the site where a cabin or barn was being erected invariably became a muddy mess, the soil churned into a quagmire by man and beast as they handled large foundation stones and imposing wooden beams. To prevent horses from sinking knee-deep in the mud, settlers kept a set of muck shoes on hand to increase the surface area on which the animal stood. Made by a local blacksmith, these shoes had an ingenious iron

cam arrangement that locked the front of the horseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hoof into the shoe. A piece of wood bolted to the board kept the back of the hoof in place. The ends of the bolts protruding through the bottom of the muck shoe also helped provide traction. Because of the hard use they necessarily received, few of these devices have survived.

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Upcoming Events 4 miles 4 water May 7, 2-10 p.m. Cleveland Metroparks’ Edgewater Park For the third year in a row Drink Local. Drink Tap (DLDT) is raising awareness about water issues in Cleveland and around the world. Participants can register to complete a 1 mile walk or a 4 mile race through a unique course symbolizing the average distance many people walk for access to potable water. The festival day will also include a concert featuring Carlos Jones & the PLUS Band, a beer and wine garden, and food trucks featuring water-friendly vegan food choices. http://drinklocaldrinktap.org/activism/join-4m4w/ Ohio Farm Bureau & Friends Days at Bob Evans May 16-17, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. The first annual statewide event. A primary goal of the fundraiser will be to increase awareness of the

importance of agriculture education programs locally offered through Ohio Farm Bureau, 4-H and FFA. To fulfill this goal, Bob Evans will donate 15% of sales (fundraiser flier must be printed and presented, see page 31) to the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, Ohio 4-H and Ohio FFA programs. Carryout and catering orders (placed by May 9) will also count toward the fundraiser. 2016 Annual NCERA 180 Meeting May 17-19 590 Woody Hayes Drive, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Oh 43210 Multi-state research coordinating committee and information exchange group. Multi-disciplinary group with representation from most agricultural states which works on site-specific crop management (SSCM), commonly known as precision agriculture (PA). Contact Kaylee Port, port.17@osu.edu, 614-292-2835.

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Vintage Fabric Arts May 26, 6-8 p.m. Historic Chrisholm Farmstead, 2070 Woodsdale Rd., Trenton, Oh 45067 Learn about the history of quilting, weaving, spinning and other vintage fabric arts. Enjoy demonstrations by local artists, including members of the Butler County Lamb and Wool Association, plus make and take related crafts. $10 for members, $20 for non-members. Register by May 19, with Butler County Farm Bureau at 513-844-8371 or butler@ofbf.org.

Morning at the Daylily Farm June 25, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. The Whitehouse Daylily Farm, 10433 Ramm Rd., Whitehouse, Oh 43571 Owner Wade Smith will present on hydroponics in addition to a water quality speaker and a guest presenter on botanical gardens. Enjoy acres of daylilies and explore a full hydroponic tomato facility. Light snacks will be provided. The event is free. Register by June 16 with the Lucas County Farm Bureau at 419849-2128. YAP Outstanding Young Farmer and Excellence in Ag Contest Applications July 12 Applications for Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals’ Outstanding Young Farmer and Excellence in Agriculture contests are available and due July 12. The Outstanding Young Farmer contest is designed to recognize successful young farmers, age 35 or younger, for achievements. Visit ofbf.org for applications.

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Technology in Agriculture: Out of the Earth June 17, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Malabar Farm State Park, 4050 Bromfield Rd., Lucas, Oh 44843 Agrarian and urban energy are the focus of the conference. Richland County Farm Bureau, Malabar Farm State Park, John Deere and other partners are hosting the second annual Technology in Agriculture conference, focusing on agrarian and urban energy featuring solar panels, wind turbines, compact tractors, oil and gas. Speakers include David Beach, Green City Blue Lake; Dale Arnold, Ohio Farm Bureau and Rick Simmers, ODNR. $5 Farm Bureau members, $10 non-

members. RSVP by June 10 to richland@ofbf.org.

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An Update to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Story By | Thomas Doohan & Dix Communications Staff Writers

U

nman nmanned nned Ae Aerial Vehicles, also known as drones, drone es, open the door to a whole world of new possibilities p possib bilities for fo farmers. John Fulton, associate professor at OSU’s Department of Food Agriculture and Biological Engineering, noted that the information on plant disease, pest damage, and draining issues can all be gathered easily with the use of drones. These details can help farmers adjust their practices to maximize their production. If images reveal that crops are suffering from insect damage, farmers can adjust their pesticide application to increase yields. “It is really just a diagnostic and tactical tool to tell me how well I am managing my crops,” Fulton explained. For Scott Myers of Woodlyn Acres Farm, this potential might mean utilizing the technology on his farm where he grows various types of forage. Back in 2014 he was using a company that takes satellite images of farms to

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maintenance, and data analysts can be obtained for a variety of industries including precision agriculture. get the same information that drones could obtain. According to their website, about 80% of the UAS Myers thought the real advantage to utilizing drones market will be dedicated to precision agriculture over in agriculture could best be applied to planting cover the next decade. crops with larger drones dispersing seeds exactly where he wants. Farmers considering utilizing unmanned aircraft should be aware that the information gathered is most useful when interpreted properly. Far more than buying your own drone and just sending it up to take a look — an expert eye is still required to extrapolate information from images. In 2014, Wayne County OSU Extension Companies in the UAS industry work with farmers educator Rory Lewandowski said “There is no question using detailed software that not only capture various that we can get a lot of information using drones.” images of the crops but also have trained data analysts to But as far as being able to take that information and identify and isolate specific problems. Aaron Lawrence, communicate it to farmers in a meaningful way, he said Woolpert GIS expert and USA technology developer “I don’t know if we are there yet.” said, “Farm equipment is rapidly advancing as onboard Sinclair Community College, which has offered UAS computer systems and sophisticated mapping equipment (Unmanned Aerial Systems) programs since 2008, are being integrated at the helm, which is essentially a provides several educational programs for individuals cockpit, with numerous screens and monitoring devices interested in this technology. Training and certificate allowing the operator to make the decision to fly.” programs for flight operators, visual observers, drone “In the future, I see this equipment working hand in

32 Spring 2016


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Early Season Grazing Management Story by | Rory Lewandowski EXTENSION EDUCATOR, WAYNE COUNTY

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he saying â&#x20AC;&#x153;Well begun is half doneâ&#x20AC;? could be applied to pasture management. How pastures are managed at the beginning of the grazing season can have a big impact on how those pastures perform later in the year. I was recently asked by a livestock owner when the grazing season should begin and how should pastures be managed. Spring management depends upon several factors including: how pastures were managed last fall, the livestock stocking rate, and spring weather. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s look at each of these factors and how they inďŹ&#x201A;uence early season grazing management. Pastures that were provided with a fall recovery period that allowed plants to build up root reserves typically start growth sooner in the spring and have more vigorous growth. Livestock grazing can begin sooner on these pastures. On the other hand, if a pasture went into the winter after being overgrazed during the fall, those plants are stressed and it takes them longer to green up in the spring and they produce fewer tillers with less vigorous growth. These pastures need some spring recovery time and livestock should not be allowed on these pastures too soon in the spring. In general the thumb rule for early season grazing is to do fast pasture paddock rotations that just take the top off the grass plant. Keep livestock moving. Typically in

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grazing schools we talk about a beginning grazing height of 8-10 inches for orchard grass and fescue pastures. That statement applies to late spring through fall. If we wait until grass is 8-10 inches tall to begin grazing at the start of the season, we will not be able to keep up with and use the spring ďŹ&#x201A;ush of growth. Pastures will get mature, there will be lots of seed heads and lots of wasted pasture growth. So, in early spring plan to start grazing when grass is 4-5 inches tall, but again, only allow livestock to just take the top off the plant and keep them moving through the paddocks. Your pasture stocking rate can also be a big factor in how early season pasture growth is managed. Stocking rate is deďŹ ned as the number of grazing animals per acre. If your farm has a stocking rate that is matched to average summer pasture growth then at some point the spring ďŹ&#x201A;ush of growth is going to get ahead of what your livestock can consume and forage will get wasted. In this scenario you may want to start livestock grazing through the pasture paddocks on the lower end of that 4-5 inch starting height. Possibly after a quick ďŹ rst pass through the paddocks you may want to make a decision to set aside some paddocks for hay production and

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up pasture paddocks and trampling them into mud will provide an opportunity for weeds to invade that area. The drop them out of the grazing rotation. However, if your options in this situation are to spread animals out over a stocking rate is matched to the spring flush of growth larger area to minimize damage to the pasture sod and then you need to manage the grass more carefully and again, keep animals moving through the paddocks. The do all you can to prevent any stress that would slow other option is to pull livestock off the pasture paddocks down grass growth. In these situations every paddock and put them on a heavy use pad or in a sacrifice area until must be productive and there is grazing can be done without tearing no forage growth to spare for hay “ In general the thumb up the paddock. The consequence production. In this case you might this last management decision is rule for early season of not start grazing through paddocks that if temperature is favorable the until grass growth is in the 5-6 grazing is to do fast grass will keep growing and you inch range. The goal is still a fast may have to do more mowing and pasture paddock rotation that only takes off the top clipping during the spring season to of the grass plant, but you definitely keep paddocks at acceptable forage rotations...” do not want to overgraze a plant quality. early on. I have seen situations The grazing season has begun. where grass plants have been overgrazed (below 3 inches Good early season grazing management involves in height) early in the grazing season and under high protecting the grass plant and moving animals quickly stocking rates. The result was that those plants never through the pasture paddocks. Watching the grow rate fully recovered and pasture growth lagged throughout and height of the grass in the paddocks that are in line to the entire growing season. be grazed will help to determine the speed of the rotation. Spring weather will also dictate early season grazing When done correctly, spring grazing management sets management. Rainy weather and saturated soils are not the livestock manager up for a successful summer a good combination for early spring grazing. Tearing grazing season. Grazing continued from 35

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Farmers Should Use Caution When Working With Anhydrous Ammonia

Story by | Martha Filipic AG ANSWERS

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t’s easy for farmers to get complacent when working with anhydrous ammonia, said Kent McGuire, safety and health coordinator with The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. But injuries from accidental exposure “could get very serious, very quickly,” McGuire said. Anhydrous ammonia is one of the most widely used sources of nitrogen fertilizer among corn growers. The product is stored in tanks, called nurse tanks, as a liquid

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sensation that the wind has been knocked out of you.” Caustic burns to the skin and severe irritation to the eyes, lungs and respiratory system are all possible, and exposure to high concentrations can cause permanent injury, he said. “Any time you’re working with the nurse tanks or the applicator and there is the potential for an unintentional release, you need to have on your personal protective equipment,” McGuire said. “Most people increase the risk of injury simply because they forgot or didn’t take the time to put on their personal protective equipment first.” McGuire advises farmers to always be aware of their surroundings when working with anhydrous ammonia. “Leave yourself an escape route in case there’s a release,” he said. “You want to avoid being downwind of it. The quicker you can get away from it and get to fresh air, the better.” As farmers start preparing for the 2016 growing season, McGuire suggests reviewing the product safety data sheet themselves and with any family members or employees who will be working with anhydrous ammonia. It explains exposure controls, first aid measures, emergency procedures and specific handling practices you should be following,” he said.

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In addition, he suggests checking with local anhydrous ammonia suppliers for training opportunities. “Many will have customer in-services where they discuss proper handling and safety procedures,” McGuire said. “Take full advantage of that. They are well-versed in safety precautions, and you can learn a lot from your local supplier.” AMONG MCGUIRE’S RECOMMENDATIONS:

* Follow recommended procedures for connecting and disconnecting nurse tanks and applicators. Shortcuts can lead to unintended release or unexpected exposure. * When changing nurse tanks or making field repairs, always work upwind of the applicator and the nurse tank. Applicator knives, flow meters, hose connections, bleeder valves and nurse tank valves can be exposure openings for an unintended release.

* When changing nurse tanks, park the tractor upwind * Always have water readily available, including before opening bleeder valves or disconnecting hoses. a squirt bottle of water to douse the eyes with, and 5 This can minimize the chance of anhydrous ammonia gallons of emergency water mounted on the nurse tank. entering the cab. Stock up Now! Order your furnished beef or hog - cut & packaged specifically for

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For more of McGuire’s tips and other agricultural safety information from OSU Extension, see agsafety. osu.edu. For additional information on anhydrous ammonia safety, see the National Ag Safety Database at nasdonline. org and search for “anhydrous ammonia.”


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Beekeeper continued from 45

to a water source, have easy access and should not be noticeable to neighbors. They should also be protected from predators such as squirrels, skunks, birds, and mice, and of course, bears. An apiary is an area where multiple beehives are placed. An apiary can be very helpful to the crops that surround it, as it encourages bee populations to remain in the area. An apiarist is, of course, a beekeeper. If you are in a neighborhood that does not share your passion for beekeeping, place your hive(s) in a fenced area, face the entrance of the hive toward a tall object such as a fence or the wall of your house. This will force the bees to adjust their trajectory and ďŹ&#x201A;y upward and high above your neighborsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; houses. Equally important is a space that is close to a water source. Bees are highly efďŹ cient insects, they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to ďŹ&#x201A;y 50 yards to your bird bath if your neighborâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pool is closer. Be sure to place a water source with gently sloping sides within 50-100 feet of your hives so that they can access the water for cooling and/or mixing with pollen to create bee bread. Bee bread is honey or pollen

used as food by bees. Honey bees ďŹ&#x201A;y 15 miles per hour and usually travel for honey three miles in every direction from their hives. They use their own language to communicate with each other by dancing and by their scents. When a honeybee ďŹ nds a source of honey anywhere she will inform her fellow workers. Their types of dancing indicates a speciďŹ c message. For example, if she found a honey source her mode of dancing will express that and also show the location by curving her body at a speciďŹ c angle. Having bees buzzing around to act as pollinators brings life to the yard and makes ďŹ&#x201A;owers and other plants lush and abundant. You can attract bees by planting wildďŹ&#x201A;owers, fruits, vegetables and sunďŹ&#x201A;owers. Worker bees gather pollen into the baskets on their back legs to carry pollen back to the hive where it is used for a developing brood. Female honey bees (workers) do most of the jobs. One worker bee produces in average 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her entire life. It is estimated that to produce one pound of honey, all the female bees in the colony must visit two million ďŹ&#x201A;owers and ďŹ&#x201A;y more than 55,000 miles. Male bees are called drones and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do work except

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to mate with the queen. After they mate, they die. The queen lays 600-1500 eggs per day and can live three to four years. Worker bees live about six weeks in summer and four to nine months in winter. Worker bees are smaller in size than male and queen bees. Male bees are medium and queen bees are the largest. Usually a single honey bee will visit 50 to 100 flowers on one trip. Nectar or pollen is carried back to the hive where it is stored in wax cells, the moisture is evaporated and turns into honey. Believe it or not — one ounce of honey is enough fuel for a honey bee to fly around the world. Beekeepers can make up to 400 pounds of honey per year from a typical full size bee hive. Honey has been found in burial crypts in the pyramids in Egypt. Honey

never spoils. Order bees in early spring. The goal is for your bees to be strong in late summer to produce honey and be able to store enough for winter. Purchasing your bees in late May will give them plenty of time for your hive to grow. Learn how to protect our little food producers. We cannot live without them. Our tiny pollinators contribute more than $15 billion in value to the U.S. economy. And, that is nothing to sneeze at. Although there is not a bee inspector in Guernsey County, there is a Guernsey-Noble Beekeepers Association meeting at the MidEast Career and Tech Center, 57090 Vocational Road, Senecaville, the first Monday of the month. Next meeting is May 2 at 6:30 p.m. Roger Seaton is president. Don Crock is the apiary inspector for Noble County, for questions, call Don at (740) 581-1883. jperkowski@daily-jeff.com

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