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Agricultural Community Review

Spring 2017


New Tomato Growing Techniques

Turning Food Waste Into Tires Shearer Expo Returns With Farming, Family & Fun

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Spring 2017, Volume 4, Issue 2


06 14 32

06 14 30 32 36

FARM EXPERIMENTS WITH NEW Tomato Growing Techniques

SHEARER EXPO RETURNS With Farming Family And Fun




05 17 22



On The Cover: Photo by Emily Rumes

© 2017 Spectrum Publications – A Division of GateHouse Media 212 E. Liberty St., Wooster, OH 44691 | 330-264-1125 | 800-686-2958 | Find us on Group Publisher – Bill Albrecht Spectrum Director – Kelly Gearhart | Advertising/Production Coordinator – Amanda Nixon | Content Coordinator – Emily Rumes | Designer – Adam Arditi HARVEST magazine is a quarterly publication centered in some of the most agriculturally rich counties in Ohio. We will bring you the latest in farming technologies, industry practices and hot topics in agriculture from industry experts in our area. If you wish to submit an article or offer a suggestion, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Story by | The Ohio Farm Bureau


To Support 4-H In Ohio

he Ohio 4-H Foundation, Ohio Youth • Twitter: @4H Development Program, the National 4-H • Instagram: @National4H Council and Ohio Farm Bureau are asking • Facebook: @4-H past 4-H members to Raise Your Hand. • #4HGrown The 4-H program believes in the power of America’s youth to succeed in life; however, only one in three Help kids learn responsibility, compassion, respect kids say they have the skills they need to handle what and the value of hard work by supporting 4-H. life throws their way. That’s why 4-H created Raise Go to: Your Hand, a nationwide call to action for alumni to “raise their hands” to empower the nation’s youth with the skills to lead for a lifetime. Ohio Farm Bureau is supporting 4-H in this effort. If you’re a 4-H alum or know someone who is, consider participating in the campaign: Raise Your Hand: Go to the Raise Your Hand page to show your pride as a 4-H alumni. Compete for Ohio: Raising your hand is a vote toward a $20,000, $10,000 or $5,000 award for the states with the most alumni hands raised. Help put Ohio on top. Pay It Forward: Tweet, post and share your #4HGrown experience or support and tag fellow alumni asking them to raise their hands for Ohio.

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4-H, O-H!

Can You Name This

TOOL? Story & Photos by | Paul Locher GATEHOUSE MEDIA

If you don’t know what this very cumbersome pioneer tool found on many early farms in this region is, you’ll just have to get the point by reading the answer. Visit page 23 for the answer and a brief explanation.

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Story & Photos by | Dylan Sams TIMES-GAZETTE STAFF WRITER

New Tomato Growing Techniques


he word technology often conjures images of the newest smartphone, a gadget with the newest processing chip and wow factor. Technology, however, can also be a process, a procedure, some way to make something done to make something more efficient, and in the world of farming, yield more product. Through the information age and the Internet, farmers are able to learn about new and more efficient ways to improve their farming operations. In the case of Honey Haven Farms and owner John Boyer, tomatoes have been the beneficiary of such a process. Stock up Now! Order your furnished beef or hog - cut & packaged specifically for



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Boyer began grafting his tomato plants just over six years ago at his Ashland County farm. Grafting is the process of cutting and taking two tomato plants — it’s root stock and the fruit-bearing stems — and splicing the two together, in effect making a new plant out of two. “I’ve got a favorite kind of tomato, the Carolina Gold,” Boyer said. “They get to a nice 12- to 14-ounce tomato. When I graft them, I’m pulling tomatoes that are 16 (ounces). When I’m sitting in my farm market putting beautiful big tomatoes out and they look like something and taste like something, it’s great.” The advantages to the practice, as Boyer sees them, is that he can begin to get tomatoes harvested in June as opposed to July for a normal tomato plant, he said. The tomatoes also last up until the first frost, Boyer said. Plants are grafted by cutting a notch into the TOP: Honey Haven Farms’ John Boyer in his high tunnel greenhouse where he plants and maintains over 300 tomato plants per year. RIGHT: Honey Haven Farms’ John Boyer checks the soil of his high tunnell greenhouse, where he plants his grafted tomatoes. He anticipated having all 300 to 400 grafted plants in the ground by April 1.

“When I’m sitting in my farm market putting beautiful big tomatoes out and they look like something and taste like something, it’s great.” John Boyer | Owner of Honey Haven Farm to reconnect on that stem,” Boyer said. “This has to be controlled temperaturewise, little-to-no sunlight, humidity has got to be controlled and you can’t water into the top because that introduces diseases into the opening.” The plants are grown in a high tunnel greenhouse behind a barn at Honey Haven Farm. Boyer will tie the top half of the plant up from the ceiling in the greenhouse to ensure they do not fall down. Boyer planned to have all his grafted tomato plants in the ground at the greenhouse by April 1. The greenhouse has a heating unit that can allow Tomatoes continues on pg. 8


rootstock (the bottom half) and a tip into the scion (the top half). The tomato plant is planted a week ahead of the rootstock so they come to be about the same height and same diameter at the stem. That’s when the incisions and the grafting happens, Boyer said. The fruit that will come from the plant will be from the top half of the plant. The rootstock is usually selected for its resistance for diseases. Once the grafted plant is planted, a silicon clip or plastic collar is placed on the new plant to hold the two pieces in place until they grow. “The next five days are the most important. You have to keep this plant alive long enough for the cells


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Tomatoes continued from pg. 7

degrees. There are waterlines placed throughout the greenhouse and the soil is natural Ohio soil, Boyer said. The plants do require frequent maintenance. The plant consistently has to be checked to ensure that the top half of the plant it not putting its own stems into the ground. Boyer said he will water the plants about an hour a day, “just crawling around, tweaking them.” He’ll maintain and water about three or four times in a week. If a plant needs help growing, he will use fertilizers to help, mostly based out of nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium and boron. Honey Haven Farms’ John Boyer describes the planting The grafting and growth is something Boyer said process for his grafted tomatoes, a process where two he plans to experiment with and try new tomato tomato plants are split then spliced into one. combinations. “I’m just an old dairy farmer, and I got new the greenhouse to stay at a minimum of 50 degrees interests,” Boyer said. “You can’t learn enough.” during frost periods. When the season gets warmer, the greenhouse walls can be lifted to prevent the Dylan Sams can be reached at 419-281-0581, ext. tomatoes from getting too hot — in the summer it 240, and Follow him on could otherwise reach temperatures exceeding 100 Twitter @dylan__sams.

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Honey By The Numbers

Story by | Emily Rumes HARVEST WRITER


he honey bees have been eating and working all winter long, preparing for spring, getting ready to take on 2017. According to the 2016 honey report released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service in March, honey production in the U.S. was up 3 percent from the previous year. Producers with five or more colonies totaled 162 million pounds of honey, that’s 81,000 tons. Just to put it in perspective, the RMS Titanic weighed in at 52,310 tons. Maysville Elevator, Inc 10583 Harrison Rd. Apple Creek, OH 44606




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As we imagine a golden ship made of honey sailing across the sea, let’s take a closer look at the facts and figures from the 2016 report. The top producing state was North Dakota, where the climate is ideal for flower nectar production during the summer months. The warm days and cooler temperatures overnight give pollinators the bump in nectar secretion needed to make tons of honey, (almost 19,000 tons in 2016). According to the report, honey prices for operations with five or more colonies were down slightly from the prior year at 207.5 cents per pound instead of 208.3 cents per pound. While the price overall was down, Ohio’s average price per pound actually went up from 2015 to 2016 moving from 360 cents per pound to 384 cents per pound. Ohio had 15,000 honey producing colonies last year, averaging at 79 pounds of honey per colony with just over 592 tons in total for 2016. The report also showed that while Hawaii only has 16,000 honey producing colonies, their yield per colony is the highest on the map at 113 pounds per colony. Putting them comfortably above Louisiana (86 pounds per colony) and Mississippi (85 pounds

per colony). The average number of apiary workers for operations with 5 or more colonies in the U.S. increased from 23,000 to 24,000. These numbers were for operations that qualify as farms, representing the number of paid and unpaid workers that worked with colonies, regardless of whether honey was harvested. To qualify as a farm, the operation must be any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year. Looking back at the report from 40 years ago, the sharpest decrease falls in the state of California where the number of honey producing colonies has gone from 425,000 in 1976 to 310,000 in 2016. This number has gone up since 2015, when the number of colonies had fallen to 275,000. The impact of this decrease in the local bee population was clear, when almond growers in California were paying $180 to rent one hive for a couple of weeks, according to a February 2016 article in the Los Angeles Times. Without the local bees to pollinate the almond blossoms, the almond growers were forced to look elsewhere for hive assistance. While I struggled to find a place in Ohio that rents out hives, one organization based out of Los Gatos, California called The Honey Ladies, offers seasonal beehive rentals to gardeners and local homeowners with small acreage farms. According to their website, the hives are professionally installed in a way that will improve your property and at the same time, protect the hive from family pets, children’s play areas, excess sun, moisture and any other detrimental elements so it may flourish naturally. Maintenance and regular check-ups of the hive are included in the price. The life span of a bee is just 152 days, growing from egg, to larva, to pupa and then adult. Such a

short amount of time and yet they have such a large impact. According to the National Resources Defense Council, pollinators (including honey bees) help at least 30 percent of the world’s crops and 90 percent of our wild plants to thrive. More than $15 billion a year in U.S. crops are pollinated by bees, including apples, berries, cantaloupes, cucumbers alfalfa and almonds. If the last 40 years is any indication, the native bee population may continue to decline, based on a large number of factors and causes, including loss of habitat, pesticides and disease. Our need for foods continues to grow, and one of the ways that farmers and landowners can help is to provide food sources for pollinators. For more information and to download a free Pollinator E-Book go to: Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb1142424.pdf

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esearchers at The Ohio State University have developed a patent-pending technology for incorporating food waste into rubber. In Wooster, Ohio, tomorrow’s tires could come from the farm as much as the factory. Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered that food waste can partially replace the petroleum-based filler that has been used in manufacturing tires for more than a century. In tests, rubber made with the new fillers exceeds industrial standards for performance, which may ultimately open up new applications for rubber. .. As Katrina Cornish explains it, the technology has the potential to solve three problems: It makes the manufacture of rubber products more sustainable, reduces American dependence on foreign oil and keeps waste out of landfills. Cornish, an Ohio Research Scholar and Endowed Chair in Biomaterials at Ohio State, has spent years cultivating new domestic rubber sources, including

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Eggshells, Tomato Peels Add Strength To Sustainable Rubber a rubber-producing dandelion. Now she has a patent-pending method for turning eggshells and tomato peels into viable—and locally sourced— replacements for carbon black, a petroleum-based filler that American companies often purchase from overseas. About 30 percent of a typical automobile tire is carbon black; it’s the reason tires appear black. It makes the rubber durable, and its cost varies with petroleum prices. Carbon black is getting harder to come by, Cornish said. “The tire industry is growing very quickly, and we don’t just need more natural rubber, we need more filler, too,” she explained. “The number of tires being produced worldwide is going up all the time, so countries are using all the carbon black they can make. There’s no longer a surplus, so we can’t just buy some from Russia to make up the difference like we used to. “At the same time,” she added, “we need to have more sustainability.” That’s why she and her team are getting eggshells and other food waste from Ohio food producers. “We’re not suggesting that we collect the eggshells from your breakfast,” Cornish said. “We’re going right to the biggest source.” According to the USDA, Americans consume nearly 100 billion eggs each year. Half are cracked open in commercial food factories, which pay to have the shells hauled to landfills by the ton. There, the mineral-packed shells don’t break down. The second most popular vegetable in the United

“We may find that we can pursue many applications that were not possible before with natural rubber.” – Katrina Cornish | Ohio Research Scholar and Endowed Chair in Biomaterials States—the tomato—also provides a source of filler, the researchers found. Americans eat 13 million tons of tomatoes per year, most of them canned or otherwise processed. Commercial tomatoes have been bred to grow thick, fibrous skins so that they can survive being packed and transported long distances. When food companies want to make a product such as tomato sauce, they peel and discard the skin, which isn’t easily digestible. Cindy Barrera, a postdoctoral researcher in Cornish’s lab, found in tests that eggshells have porous microstructures that provide larger surface area for contact with the rubber, and give rubberbased materials unusual properties. Tomato peels, on

the other hand, are highly stable at high temperatures and can also be used to generate material with good performance. “Fillers generally make rubber stronger, but they also make it less flexible,” Barrera said. “We found that replacing different portions of carbon black with ground eggshells and tomato peels caused synergistic effects—for instance, enabling strong rubber to retain flexibility.” “We may find that we can pursue many applications that were not possible before with natural rubber,” Cornish added. The new rubber doesn’t look black, but rather reddish brown, depending on the amount of eggshell or tomato in it. With doctoral student Tony Ren, Cornish and Barrera are now testing different combinations and looking at ways to add color to the materials. Current Ohio State doctoral student Jessica Slutzky and former master’s student Griffin Michael Bates participated in the research. The university has licensed the patent-pending technology to Cornish’s company, EnergyEne, for further development. AL






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Story & Photo by | Bobby Warren DAILY RECORD STAFF WRITER

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armers. Families. Food. Fun. Facts. Oh, and equipment, lots of equipment on display at the Shearer Equipment Expo at Fisher Auditorium and the Shisler Center. The event took a one-year hiatus, but returned with a vengeance for 2017 as the parking lot on the north side of the facility was nearly full at 9 a.m. Vendors filled the interior halls of Fisher Auditorium, and John Deere equipment was positioned outside, inside and on the auditorium stage. For many people, the event is something they have attended for years. “I come to the show every year, and I like seeing

LEFT: Siblings J.J. and Rozilyn Croskey have some fun with John Deere farm tractors and mowers at the Shearer Equipment 2017 Expo at Fisher Auditorium and Shisler Center. Their grandparents, Shirley and Jim Croskey, brought them to check out the equipment.

the people; that’s the bottom line,” said Mark Payne, who farms along the Wayne County/Ashland County line in the Funk area. Ted Payn, who worked 30 years at Shearer, also likes seeing people, especially the children. “I always felt like the children were our future,” Payn said. “The little kids grew up, and they remembered Shearer Equipment.” The children get a chance to sit on the John Deere tractors and lawn mowers. A couple of those were siblings J.J. and Rozilyn Croskey, who were there with their grandparents, Jim and Shirley Croskey of Shreve. When asked what he liked about the event, J.J. accurately noted he liked the lawn mower he was on. While it looked like a small tractor, Jim Croskey said J.J. grew up around farm equipment — his father, Jimmy Croskey, manages Shearer’s Wooster store — and can correctly identify the different kinds

“I always felt like the children were our future. The little kids grew up, and they remembered Shearer Equipment.” – Ted Payn of tractors and mowers. “I like bringing my grandchildren,” Shirley Croskey said. “They like the tractors. I also like to eat the food, that way I don’t have to cook.” Guests were treated to pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, chips, cookies and beverages. Barry Jolliff, who teaches some classes at the Agricultural Technical Institute, also enjoys seeing people, or, in this case, his students. It is also a chance Shearer Expo continues on pg. 16

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Shearer Expo continued from pg. 15

to catch up with some of his neighbors who farm. Payne also takes advantage of the pesticide recertification class offered during the expo. The pesticide and fertilizer application classes are a small part of the value Shearer Equipment tries to provide to its customers, said Brian Giauque, one of the owners. When the show was on hiatus last year, many people called asking if there would be an expo this year and if the recertification classes would be offered. Jim Croskey, a Farm Bureau Federation of Ohio member, also takes a class that helps him get workers’

When the show was on hiatus last year, many people called asking if there would be an expo this year and if the recertification classes would be offered.

compensation benefits. The day also featured presentations on nutrient management, water quality issues and what is being done about it, Farm Bureau’s policy outlook and health and wellness offerings. Steve and Pat Strnad of Cleartone Hearing Aid Services provided hearing screenings and gave a presentation about hearing loss issues. Farmers are susceptible to hearing loss because they work around loud equipment. Many don’t wear earplugs because they want to hear the gears in their tractors change, Steve Strnad said. Some of the things they can do to protect their hearing is to wear earplugs, have enclosed cabs and limit their exposure to loud equipment by rotating shifts with others, Pat Strnad said. Reporter Bobby Warren can be reached at 330-287-1639 or He is @BobbyWarrenTDR on Twitter.

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WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE FROM THE WOOSTER DAILY RECORD APRIL 17, 1945: “ With the War Food Production Commission urging farmers to keep food production at the highest peak possible, and with the severe farm labor shortage in the state and country, many a farmer has had to put in scores of extra hours of work day and night, to get farm lands in readiness for the spring planting. A typical scene on Wayne County farms during the past week is the one at left showing Wayne Hostetler, of Orrville, as he carries on with the task of plowing far into the night, on one part of over 300 acres farmed by the A.J. Hostetler family. The Hostetlers are also well known in the county as prominent Holstein breeders having one of the county’s good dairy herds.”

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n just a few months, America’s farmers and ranchers will have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Here are the three things you can do now to help in this tremendous endeavor. Only conducted every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census captures a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them. Even small plots of land – whether rural or urban – growing fruit, vegetables or some food animals count if $1,000

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or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year. The census helps tell the whole story of U.S. agriculture. The last Census of Agriculture counted more than 2 million farms and ranches in the U.S. spanning over 914 million acres. Without the Census of Agriculture, we would not know that 3.2 million farmers in the United States – only one percent of our total population – provide food, fuel, and fiber to the nation and others around the world. Producers will receive their Census of Agriculture questionnaires this December. They will have the option to complete their form and return it by mail or use the Online Response to the Census of Agriculture. Improved this year, the online census form is convenient, dynamic and user-friendly. It is accessible on any electronic device, calculates totals automatically, and skips questions that do not pertain to the operation. The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation. Census results are valuable to those who serve farmers and rural

Improved this year, the online census form is convenient, dynamic and user-friendly. It is accessible on any electronic device, calculates totals automatically, and skips questions that do not pertain to the operation. communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves. Answers to the census can help grow a farm’s future, shape farm programs, and boost services for communities and the industry. Today and in the months to follow, we ask you to do three things: 1. Find out more about the Census of Agriculture by visiting; 2. Sign up to be counted in the Census of Agriculture, if you are involved with agriculture and have never participated in the Census before, and 3. Help spread the word so we can get a complete picture of U.S. agriculture.


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Story by | Alayna DeMartini CFAES NEWS


pring arrived early in Ohio this year and then came to a screeching halt, says a scientist in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Despite unseasonably warm days in January and February, March’s cool temperatures put Ohio’s weather back on par with last year’s, said entomologist Dan Herms. “It was like climate whiplash,” Herms said. “Now things are back to — I hate to call it normal — a ‘new normal’ as plants are blooming and insects are now emerging at the same time they did last year.”

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20 | SPRING 2017

Online Phenology Calendar Helps Determine When To Spray However, compared to a couple decades ago, spring is early due to climate warming, Herms pointed out. Along with the early buds and blooms that came this year sooner than usual, in southern Ohio a few early season pests emerged a couple of weeks earlier than they did last year. In southern Ohio, a tiny caterpillar called the larch casebearer, and the exotic ambrosia beetle, have already found their way to trees, and soon to follow is the European pine sawfly, a grayish-green insect that can quickly strip needles from pine trees. With the return of cooler weather, insects that emerge during mid-spring are back on schedule. Gardeners and nursery owners might be left uncertain when to spray for certain pests if it weren’t for a phenology calendar Herms developed that predicts when to expect various insects. Using the calendar, a gardener can type in his or her ZIP code and see when to brace for, say, the emerald ash borer or the ambrosia beetle or more than 50 other pests that typically zero in on Ohio’s greenery every year. “The power is in prediction. We can predict what plants are blooming and what insects are active anywhere in Ohio on any day,’’ Herms said. A nursery grower may plant 50 to 100 different

LEFT: The online phenology calendar tool developed by The Ohio State University entomologist, David Herms.

crops, and each attracts different pests, so it is critical for the grower to know when to spray to fend off each of them. “The challenge of scheduling a pest management program can be fairly daunting,” Herms said. The ambrosia beetle kills redbud, dogwood and maple trees among others, eating away at nursery growers’ profits. Larch casebearers and European pine sawflies hone in on pine trees, turning their needles brown. Spraying these and other bugs at the wrong time could mean missing them entirely. And if a grower sprays multiple times to be sure to attack the insect, that’s an added, unnecessary expense and additional pesticide in the environment. The online phenology calendar uses the amount of heat generated each day to gauge when certain insects will appear. The sequence in which the insects appear does not vary from year to year, but the week — or month — in which they appear could, depending on how warm the weather has been.

“It’s a great tool to have to be able to figure out where you’re at in the growth cycle. At least you can see the light of the oncoming train so you can move over.” – Tom Demaline | Owner of Willoway Nurseries Tom Demaline, owner of Willoway Nurseries in Avon, began using Ohio State’s phenology calendar in 2004 to help determine not only when to spray for pests but also when to propagate various trees as well as cover and uncover plants. “We seem to be in really erratic weather cycles,” Demaline said. “It’s a great tool to have to be able to figure out where you’re at in the growth cycle. At least you can see the light of the oncoming train so you can move over.” The online phenology calendar is available at:



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| 21

Agricultural Community Review

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Continued from pg. 5

STONE CRANDALL Story & Photos by | Paul Locher GATEHOUSE MEDIA

Most of the early barns and farmhouses in this region were built on a foundation of massive squared-up sandstones cut from nearby quarries. Today known generally as “barnstones,” these stones are avidly sought by homeowners and landscapers for the purpose of adding warmth, charm and a sense of heritage to landscaped vignettes. Their appeal seems to lie in their textured surfaces which reflect the light at different angles during the day to create an ever-changing array of shadow effects on their surface. But how were these surfaces created originally? There were no power tools in the 19th century to do such work, so each rough stone had to be squared up and crafted by hand by a stonecutter whose pay was based on piecework. Stones hauled from quarries were roughly squared with a series of heavy chisels, with the final dressing done by this tool – a stone crandall – whose sharp teeth created the

Collection of Paul Locher

texturing in the so-called “picked” surface. Because of the hard work they did, the wrought iron teeth wore down quickly and had to be sharpened frequently. A wedge just above where the handle meets the head was loosened, allowing the teeth to be removed individually, sharpened, and arranged in the manner that allowed the stone mason to create the desired patterns. Since many settlers possessed some basic stoneworking skills, stone crandalls are a tool frequently found in old barns.


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Compiled by: Gary Gao

In The Home Garden



Photos by Gary Gao, The Ohio State University. Grow with Kubota.

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lueberries are a very popular fruit in the United States because of their unique flavor, small soft edible seeds, and easy use in preparation. Blueberries can be eaten fresh or used to make jelly, jam, pies, pastries, or juice. Their fruit has many healthful properties, being low in calories and sodium, with no cholesterol, and they are an excellent source of fiber. A major constituent of the fiber is pectin, renowned for its ability to lower blood cholesterol. Blueberries, like blackberries and strawberries, contain measurable quantities of ellagic acid, which has inhibiting effects on chemically induced cancer in laboratory studies. Blueberry juice also contains a compound that prevents bacteria from anchoring to the bladder, thereby helping to prevent urinary tract infections. Last but not least, blueberries have been shown to reduce the effects of glaucoma and improve memory according to reports by the USDA. More information on this topic is available at the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council’s website:

Should I Grow Blueberries at Home?

Blueberries are a good fruit crop for home gardens since they require little space and have minimal

spray requirements. At present, blueberry plants are not common in home plantings because the plants require very acidic soil conditions in order to grow and thrive. Few backyard soils in Ohio are naturally acidic enough to grow quality blueberries. Therefore, to be a successful grower of blueberries, one must take precautions to check and correct soil acidity before planting. Blueberries grow best in moist, well drained soils with a soil pH between 4.5–5.0 and high organic content. Once the plants are established, the acidity level must be monitored and maintained over the life of the planting. Due to the highly specialized and specific growing conditions, the soil must be amended with organic matter, and the pH must be corrected before proceeding to establish the planting. Bare-rooted blueberry plants begin to produce fruit in the second or third season; however, they do not become fully productive for about six to eight years. Container-grown blueberry plants may be two to three years old and may produce berries during the year of planting. Blueberry plants should not be allowed to bear fruit during the first two years after planting or until the plants reach a height of 2.5 feet.

Any blooms that form should be removed. Allowing the plant to produce fruit will reduce growth, resulting in a small plant. Removal of flowers will allow more shoot growth and increase yields in the future years. Once in production, it will be necessary to protect the fruit from hungry birds before it begins changing color.

Blueberry Types and Cultivars

There are four types of cultivated blueberries: highbush, half-high or highlow, rabbiteye, and southern highbush. Only highbush blueberry is recommended for Ohio. Rabbiteye and southern highbush blueberries are recommended for the southern United States. Half-high blueberries are better suited for extremely cold winter conditions and may not be as productive as highbush blueberries. There are many good blueberry cultivars available. Highbush blueberries do not require two different cultivars for cross pollination purposes. However, bigger berries and higher yields will result from cross pollination, making it desirable to plant at least Blueberries continues on pg. 26

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Blueberries continued from pg. 25

range of 4.5 to 5.0 and have greater than 3% organic matter. two different cultivars. Using multiple cultivars also For soils with high loam, clay loam, or clay content, allows growers to spread the harvest season and it is strongly suggested that plants be grown on raised assure good crops if one cultivar has an “off” year, beds, 4 feet wide and 9 inches high for better water meaning a year with low yields. drainage. Such beds are not needed on sandy soils.

Climate Requirements

In general, the climate throughout Ohio is well suited to the production of blueberries. Northern highbush plants can suffer winter injury to flower buds when temperatures drop below -20°F; however, the half-high blueberries will tolerate -35°F to -45°F. Note that half-high blueberries grow only 3 to 4 feet tall so ideally, most of the fruiting area is protected below the snow line in regions with significant snowfall.

Site and Soil Requirements for Blueberry Production

Blueberries require full sun (six to eight hours of sunlight per day) for optimum yield and quality. They grow best where the soil is very acidic and well supplied with moisture. The soil pH should be in the


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Planting Techniques

Spring is the best time to plant blueberries. Soak the roots of bare-rooted plants in water for an hour before planting. It may be a good idea to prune back the plant by half. This can be accomplished by pruning off smaller shoots and by heading back the main branches. More and more garden centers carry container-grown blueberry plants. These plants have a much bigger root mass, thus have a much better chance of survival and getting established. Be sure to break up the root ball when planting containergrown plants to assure that the plant roots will grow out of the peat medium in the pot and into the soil. Blueberries grow naturally in sandy to loam soil with a pH between 4.5 and 5.2. The soil must be moist yet well-drained throughout the year. Raised beds can be used to provide a well-drained growing site for blueberries. Some growers may choose to tile their garden area to assure proper soil drainage. Blueberries, like other fruit crops, do not like wet feet and must be established in a soil that drains adequately. Blueberries planted on wet sites probably will not survive. For more information about growing blueberries, growers should purchase a copy of the OSU Extension Bulletin 940 “Midwest Home Fruit Production Guide” and Bulletin 780 “Controlling Diseases and Insects in Home Fruit Plantings” from OSU Extension offices across the State of Ohio. Log on to extension.osu. edu for a list of OSU Extension offices and their contact information. OSU Extension bulletins can also be purchased from OSU Extension’s eStore 24/7 at The authors would like to thank Dr. John Strang, Professor and Extension Fruit and Vegetable Specialist with University of Kentucky for reviewing this information and the use of blueberry harvest and storage information. Our sincere appreciation goes to Mr. Mark Longstroth, Area Extension Educator, Michigan State University, for reviewing this information and for the use of a photo, and Dr. Bruce Bordelon, Professor Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University for reviewing this information.



There will be a wool fleece show and sale. Spinners can make entries in the skein competition. Free demonstrations and kids activities will also be going on. Workshops will be presented with pre-registration and fees required. Workshop registration as well as skein and wool fleece competition entry forms are available on the Great Lakes Fibre Show website. The Great Lakes Sheep Show and Sale will be going on during the weekend. Information on the sheep show and sale can be obtained at www. Admission is free and good food will be available on site.

elebrating its 22nd year, the Great Lakes Fiber Show has grown from a one building craft show in the early 1990s to a show with fiber vendors filling four buildings along with outside vendors and additional vendors under the grandstand. Vendor booths will feature raw fiber to finished items; spinning, weaving, needle felting, crochet For more information: and knitting supplies, along with fiber related crafts. 740-686-2172 | This year more than 100 vendors will have things to sell.

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| 27


Press Release from |


Revolutionizing the Future of Agriculture

nmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are quickly moving from the battlefield to the farmer’s field to capture highly accurate images of the fields, covering up to hundreds of hectares/acres in a single flight and saving a lot of money in the process. Agricultural drones are relatively cheap with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities, which provide farmers with new ways to increase their crop yield and reduce crop damage. The increasing adoption of drones by farmers owing to its ease of use and affordability is the major reason behind its high growth. Moreover, many precision farming service providers are offering drones as a part of their services, thereby driving the growth of the market. Weather tracking and forecasting applications are currently witnessing rapid growth. There are various kinds of devices used for these applications which include handheld instruments, on-field weather stations, and so on. Weather tracking helps make decisions before severe and potentially dangerous conditions occur, thereby protecting a farmer’s family or business.

28 | SPRING 2017

The climate information service providers keep the farmers updated. Management of data is a major challenge for the growth of the precision farming market. Precision farming regularly produces a high amount of data of high importance. This data has to be stored and managed in a proper format to make farming-related decisions, such as mapping, variable rate seeding, soil testing, yield monitoring, and historical crop rotation. The data collected is raw data, processed by context, relevance and priority, and presented in a manner that could be used to make decisions. A major challenge faced by farmers is managing this data, which requires expertise and knowledge in order for it to be used in an efficient manner for their day-to-day activities. Precision farming solutions offer increased farm efficiency, better quality production, and improved farm yield. The growth of the precision farming market is majorly driven by the increasing global demand for food and rising need for crop health monitoring to increase yield. Mapping software, variable rate technology (VRT),

yield mapping, and other techniques of precision farming help to increase the fertility, productivity, profitability, and sustainability of crops. Some of the major associations working for the precision farming market are the European GNSS Agency (GSA) (Czech Republic), the International Society for Precision Agriculture (ISPA) (U.S.), Precision AG Institute (U.S.), SPAA Precision Agriculture (Australia), CropLife (CropLife Media Group) (U.S.), the Precision Agriculture Association (New Zealand), and the Agricultural Research Organization (Israel). The global precision farming market is expected to grow from USD 3.69 billion in 2015 to USD 7.87 billion by 2022. Some of the leading players in the precision farming market are Deere & Company (U.S.), Trimble, Inc. (U.S.), AGCO Corporation (U.S.), AgJunction, Inc. (U.S.), and Raven Industries (U.S.). These players have adopted various growth strategies such as new product launches and developments, partnerships, contracts, collaborations, acquisitions, and expansions to widen their global presence and increase their shares in the global precision farming market.

The growth of the precision farming market is majorly driven by the increasing global demand for food and rising need for crop health monitoring to increase yield. Guidance system technology still holds the largest share of the overall market for precision farming; the market for the variable rate technology is expected to grow at the highest rate in the coming years. This technology helps in reducing the input usage, thereby decreasing environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emission, soil erosion and degradation, and genetic erosion. With the increasing demand for food all over the world and increasing focus on farm efficiency, technologies used for precision farming are expected to become more popular solutions in the industry over the coming years.

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Submitted by | Gary Horrisberger HOLMES LABORATORY, INC.


afe and reliable drinking water is very important for humans and animals, and while many of us believe that all water is acceptable and safe to drink, there are numerous private water systems that have been in use for decades which may not be safe. Some examples of these systems include a drilled well that has a capped off casing, a hand dug well or windmill with wood platform and collecting rain water or a spring into a cistern or holding tank When someone in the family becomes ill with stomach related issues, we are quick to blame it on bad food or the “flu bug.� But would it get your attention if a visitor to your home fell ill after drinking your water? Have you ever heard about

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30 | SPRING 2017

wedding guests getting sick? We are quick to blame the potato salad but it is likely that the true culprit could be your drinking water. Thankfully there are more discussions going Total Coliform and E.coli are the bacteria in water that are analyzed to determine if the water source has been contaminated or if it is safe to drink. If the water has been contaminated, serious illness can occur. Total Coliform bacteria are commonly found in soils, vegetation and surface water. If they are detected in the water supply, then there may also be a way for disease causing organisms, or pathogens, to enter the system. It is important to investigate and eliminate the source of contamination to make the water safe to drink again. E.coli bacteria are found in the intestines of people and warm-blooded animals. The presence of E.coli in drinking water almost always indicates recent fecal contamination. This means that there is a greater risk that pathogens are present. E.coli bacteria contamination is considered more serious than Total Coliform bacteria contamination. A majority of water systems that are contaminated do not have a sealed off lid to cover the opening. Wood or concrete are commonly used but are not always capable of preventing things that crawl from entering into the dug well, cistern, or holding tank.

required for the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) if you are washing and selling produce. The result is reported as colony forming units per 100 mL of water (CFU/100 mL). An EPA certified water bacteria test is also needed for Ohio Agriculture Dept. routine inspections, mobile home parks, RV campgrounds, real estate inspections or bank loans, and any other permits issued by the County Health Depts. These would also include food service operations and retail food establishments. It is recommended to test for bacteria at least once per year to monitor if it is still safe to drink. If the water system has been contaminated, the next step is to evaluate the whole system and shock chlorinate to destroy the bacteria. There are instructions on how to do this yourself or you can call a well driller or plumber for assistance. If you are interested in analyzing your drinking water, be sure to read all laboratory detailed instructions on how to sanitize, collect, and submit a sample of your water for bacteria. This information is available at under the resources tab.


How would you like to be the woman that did not have any running water at her kitchen sink one morning to fill her children’s water bottles before going to school? You may call a plumber to investigate and he soon has the water flowing again. Of course, this was only after he removed the black snake that was lodged in the pipe.a If someone told you that after a heavy rain, the spring water at the kitchen sink was cloudy but after two days it was clear again, would you consider it safe to drink? Springs are usually shallow and with heavy rains, the water flows quickly down into the soil and into the cistern. The cloudy appearance is the fine soil sediment that is in the water and after a few days it will settle to the bottom of the cistern. The water may look normal again, but bacteria have already entered into the cistern and could be in your plumbing etc. Keeping animals and manure away from the area of any type of water source is important. Also with cisterns, keep the top and lid above the ground level to prevent surface water from seeping under the lid. The Quantitative test (a count of how many) is important for a private water system. It is also


| 31


o t s i n Ash




Celebrates Fifth Anniversary


ocal Roots was humming with activity as members, friends and customers celebrated its fifth anniversary in Ashland. Local Roots is located on Cleveland Avenue, it’s third location in its five years, but its steadiest. Over that time, one of the original organizers, volunteers and members, Marlene Barkheimer, said the co-op has been growing at a “slow and steady” pace. There are now 306 members for the Ashland store. Some of them came out to hear music, explore the vast selection of goods ranging from leather journals to farm-grown, non-GMO meats and Ohio-based


Ye ar

Co n




l an



5 t i ons on

snacks, chips and coffees. “There was interest in the community, we were close to Wooster and we thought it would work,” Barkheimer said. “We were not an overnight happening in Ashland.” Volunteer and member Nancy Wasen added that during her Tuesday shifts at the store, she notices a lot of new people walking in to explore Local Roots. “When I volunteer, I see the same people,” she said. “I have the regulars but, every Tuesday, I have somebody new come in who has been relocated here from somewhere else where they had places like this in bigger cities, or who found us who didn’t know we were here.” Wasen was an original member with Barkheimer. She said that while she loved the idea of a Local Roots coming into to Ashland — Wooster has had one since 2009 — she was unsure if the concept would work. “I was very skeptical,” Wasen said. “I was excited


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32 | SPRING 2017

TOP & TOP RIGHT: Customers shop at Ashland’s Local Roots Market during its fifth anniversary celebration RIGHT BOTTOM: Lee Wetherbee provides musical entertainment during Ashland’s Local Roots Market’s fifth anniversary celebration.

I like the story behind the food. It’s actually fun when you can get people in. You can say, ‘Hey, that’s the lady who baked those cookies.’ It’s not like going to the grocery store.” – Marlene Barkheimer | Ashland Local Roots Organizer, Volunteer, & Member to have something like that here because I didn’t have to drive to Wooster.” This year shows a lot of potential for growth for the co-op, as the number of producers who have agreed to sell their products at the store has increased. “We don’t have produce yet, but when we do, we’ll be really, really busy,” Wasen said. One of the draws to Local Roots comes from its “I like the story behind the food,” Barkheimer emphasis on local products. Barkheimer said the said. “It’s actually fun when you can get people in. advantage Local Roots has compared to a grocery You can say, ‘Hey, that’s the lady who baked those store is that people can come in and know exactly cookies.’ It’s not like going to the grocery store.” who has produced their product.

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Leading In Conservation And Productivity Individuals have until May 17, 2017 to nominate families

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he Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is accepting nominations to honor Ohio farm families who are leaders in conservation for the 2017 Conservation Farm Family Awards. The Conservation Farm Family Award program has recognized Ohio farm families since 1984 for their efforts in managing natural and human resources while meeting both production and conservation goals. “Conservation practices are paramount to Ohio farmers in preserving our resources for future generations,” said ODA Director David T. Daniels. “With these awards, we are able to recognize farmers who have taken extra steps toward protecting the land using conservation practices they have implemented on their own farms.” Five area finalists will be selected from across the state and will be recognized at the annual Farm Science Review in September. They will also receive a $400 award, courtesy of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and be featured in the September issue of Ohio Farmer Magazine. The following photograph

“Conservation practices are paramount to Ohio farmers in preserving our resources for future generations. With these awards, we are able to recognize farmers who have taken extra steps toward protecting the land using conservation practices they have implemented on their own farms.” – David T. Daniels | Director of Ohio Department of Agriculture is from the 2016 ceremony. Individual farmers, partnerships or family farm corporations are eligible for nomination, provided a substantial portion of their income is derived from farming. The judging is based on the nominee’s use of new and traditional conservation techniques, comprehensive management, individual initiative in applying conservation measures and the nominee’s willingness to share conservation information, experiences and philosophy with others. Nomination forms can be obtained from local county soil and water conservation districts or by visiting ODA’s website at The forms can be submitted by email to or by

mail to Conservation Farm Family Award, C/O Ohio Department of Agriculture 8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43608. The forms must be returned by Wednesday, May 17. The awards program is sponsored by the ODA Division of Soil and Water Conservation, Ohio Farmer magazine, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Media Contact: Brett Gates, (614) 752-9817

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nvariably when I talk about manure spreader calibration there are a few chuckles. The image of a manure spreader doesn’t call to mind a piece of equipment that needs calibration; it is the equivalent of a hammer in a carpenter’s toolbox. No calibration or explanation needed; you just use it. However, as nutrient management and its corresponding linkage to water quality continue to grow in importance, all livestock owners and anyone who hauls and applies manure needs to become more aware of managing manure as a source of nutrients. When nutrients are purchased as commercial or synthetic fertilizer we talk about an application rate;

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pounds of a particular nutrient that should be applied per acre. The desired application rate is achieved by using a calibrated fertilizer spreader. We can do the same with our manure spreaders. The application rate for manure spreaders is generally expressed as tons/acre or gallons/acre. Two common calibration methods to determine manure application rate are the swath or load-area method and the tarp or weight-area method The swath method involves measuring the amount of manure in a typical spreader load and then measuring the land area covered by applying this load. This method is often used to calibrate liquid manure spreaders. The tarp method involves laying out several tarps, running a manure spreader over them and then calculating the amount of manure applied per acre. This method works well for solid manure. Let’s now examine each of these calibration methods in a little more detail. To use the swath or load-area method, for liquid manure spreader calibration, fill the manure spreader to a typical load level. The biggest question that must be answered is; how many gallons of manure are in the spreader? The manufacturer’s capacity rating can be used, but to what fill level does that capacity refer? Often the spreader may be filled to a different level. In other cases the manufacturer’s capacity

rating may not be known. If there is doubt about the spreader capacity it can be calculated by some simple math. The volume for a round tank spreader is determined by the following formula: tank length x tank diameter x tank diameter x 0.8. For a noncircular tank spreader the volume formula is: tank length x width x depth x 0.8. Using these formulas, the volume will be in cubic feet. To convert to gallons multiply the cubic feet figure by 7.48. After the spreader is filled apply the load to a field using a typical tractor and spreader settings. If the area to be covered is not long enough for a single pass make sure to apply with typical overlaps. Next, determine the area covered in square feet by measuring the length and width of the application and multiplying those figures. The square feet covered divided by 43,560 will give you the acres or fraction of an acre covered by the spreader load. The application rate is then the spreader capacity divided by the acres covered, resulting in gallons/ acre. To use the tarp or weight-area method, get 3 to 4 tarps or pieces of plastic of equal size. Plastic that was used to cover the bunker silo can work well for this. I like to use plastic cut to 6 foot by 6 foot, but almost any size can work. Weigh the plastic or tarps and get an average weight. Lay out the plastic or tarps in the field and stake them down so the wind will not blow them around. Load the manure spreader with a typical load of manure and then drive over the plastic at the tractor and spreader settings that are typically used. Gather the tarps and weigh them with the manure. Subtract the empty tarp weight from this value to get the weight of the manure. Divide the manure weight by the tarp area in square feet.  Multiply that value by 21.8 to get a tons/acre figure. The 21.8 figure is the conversion of pounds per square foot to tons/ acre derived from 43,560 square feet/acre divided by 2000 pounds per ton. For example, let’s say I used 6’x6’ pieces of plastic that averaged 3 lbs. The square

foot area of each piece is 36. After laying out the plastic in the field and running the spreader over it, I get an average weight of 28 lbs. Subtracting the empty plastic weight gives me a figure of 25 pounds of manure over 36 square feet or 0.69 pounds per square foot. Multiplying 0.69 x 21.8 gives a result of 15 tons of manure /acre as my application rate. Spreader calibration is an important piece of managing manure as a source of nutrients. It provides the operator with an application rate. The next step is to determine if that spreader application rate is too high, too low or just right. To answer that question depends upon a manure nutrient analysis, current soil test levels and crop nutrient removal rates, each a topic for another column. The following reference is an excellent publication that provides more details about the spreader calibration methods discussed in this article and it contains formulas on how to calculate spreader volumes and then use that information to get gallons or pounds. You can find the publication online at: h t t p s : / / w a y n e. o s u . e d u / s i t e s / w a y n e / f i l e s / i m c e / Manure%20Spreader%20Calibration,%20Penn%20 State.pdf

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SPRING AG EVENTS APRIL 27 PRODUCE SAFETY PRODUCERS MEETING When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Where: Kent State Tuscarawas Branch, Conference Room A & B 330 University Dr. NE, New Philadelphia The Ohio Department of Agriculture is providing the opportunity for Tuscarawas, Holmes, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Carroll and Stark County producers to get a better understanding on the upcoming produce regulations and also answer any questions from growers. Contact: Kelcie. or call (614) 728-6342.

Center for the Arts. Call 330-264-2787 or visit www. for more information.

29 HEALTHY KIDS DAY When: 10 a.m. Where: YMCA of Wooster Race starts at 9:30 a.m. - Event starts at 10 a.m. Free health screening for kids and food demonstrations. Call 330-264-3131 or visit for more information.



When: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Where: Wayne County Fairgrounds Over 150 exhibits for your home and garden. New car display, children’s activities and food concessions. Saturday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Call 330-262-5735 for more information or visit

GUIDED SPRING WALK When: 2 p.m. Where: Seaman Orientation Plaza at Secrest Arboretum Free guided spring walk – Please dress for the weather. More information at



When: 6:30 p.m. Where: Greenbriar Conference & Party Centre Wine makers present their finest creations along with delicious selections from Wooster’s independent restauranteurs to benefit the Wayne

When: Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Where: The Wilderness Center View the plant sale catalog on the website: www. Call 330-359-5235 for more information.


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program. Registration forms can be found online. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. No walk-ins, please! Registration deadline is April 27, 2017 or until class is full.



When: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Where: Wayne County Fairgrounds Large flea market and craft show with over 100 vendors. Call 330-804-7776 or visit www. for more information.

When: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Where: Secrest Arboretum – OARDC In and around Fisher Auditorium, a premier plant and art sale with hard-to-find plants for the home and landscape. Walking tours, auctions, Bug Zoo and food vendors. Auction benefits the Secrest Learning and Resource Center. Call 740-485-0129 or visit for more information.

5-7 COWBOY MOUNTED SHOOTING When: Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. Where: Wayne County Fairgrounds Watch these cowboys compete in timed shooting matches on horseback. Family-oriented club with members in wild west outfits. Call 419-210-0185 or visit for more information.

13 LEHMAN’S ANTIQUE TRACTOR ENGINE SHOW When: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Where: Lehman’s Hardware We’re filling our parking lot with antique tractor engines, a favorite of our founder, Jay Lehman. Call 888-438-5346 or visit

6 LEHMAN’S MAY DAZE CUSTOMER APPRECIATION SALE When: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Where: Lehman’s Hardware Delicious goodies from our pantry department. Our way of saying thank you to our customers. Visit for more information.

7 WAYNE COUNTY TRUCK AND TRACTOR PULLERS SPRING PULL When: 1 p.m. Where: Wayne County Fairgrounds $5 admission to the grounds – Call 330-317-0398 or visit for more information.


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n recent weeks, Joe Cornely has been on the phone with reporters from The New York Times, Politico, MSNBC and other outlets, all asking the same sort of questions. Namely, how’s President Donald Trump going to affect Ohio farmers? As spokesman for Ohio Farm Bureau, Cornely has to be ready to answer such queries, though pinpointing Trump’s ultimate impact is not fully known. Sure, Trump spoke frequently on the campaign trail about clamping down on immigration and renegotiating trade agreements viewed as lopsided in favor of other countries. But it’s pretty early in Trump’s presidential term; he’s still establishing his administration, and major policy and law changes have yet to be enacted. In the meantime, Ohio’s farmers and its farmrelated groups are keeping a close eye on Washington. “I think farmers are pretty practical when it comes to their politics,” Cornely said. “They recognize TOP: Ohio farmers and related groups are keeping a close eye on President Donald Trump, pictured here during a postelection rally in Cincinnati late last year, and policy changes he could implement that would affect agriculture.

“President Trump has made trade a major campaign issue, and most farmers harbor some measure of concern that these crucial ag exports could be caught up in some type of trade war.” Joe Logan | President of the Ohio Farmers Union that there never is going to be a president or elected officials that they agree with 100 percent of the time. When we do have some disagreements, what we welcome is an open door to discuss those disagreements and hopefully have some influence on the outcome.” And on the latter, as it concerns the new president, “The indications are that we will,” he added. “… I think agriculture’s been pleased with the access that they’ve had to the administrators that are in place….” A bottom-line message from farm groups and one ag economist at the moment: don’t start panicking yet. “There are changes coming,” said Zoe Plakias, an assistant professor at Ohio State University’s

Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. “What exactly they are, we don’t know. But I think that there’s little doubt that there will be changes. I think it’s appropriate for people to be watching… If I were a farmer, I think I’d be watching the news pretty closely right now.” Generally speaking, Trump’s approach to governance to date is likely what Ohio’s farming community expected, with a focus on less government and regulatory pressure and more free market, Cornely said. There are concerns about trade and immigration policy, however. Changes in trade policy would impact overseas markets for Ohio crops.


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“The interests of Ohio farmers will no doubt be represented.” Zoe Plakias | Assistant Professor Ohio State University’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics


“Agricultural markets have become increasingly global, with half of our soybean crop destined for China and Japan and a good portion of our corn (between 10 percent and 20 percent) exported too, with Mexico being the largest export market,” Joe Logan, president of the Ohio Farmers Union, said in a released statement. “President Trump has made trade a major campaign issue, and most farmers harbor some measure of concern that these crucial ag exports could be caught up in some type of trade war. China and Mexico are among our most important export markets. Mr. Trump’s threatened 20 percent tariff would be catastrophic to these markets. Most farmers silently hope this is merely economic saber rattling, as even a modest reduction in exports could drive domestic grain surpluses higher and farm prices crashing even further.” On immigration, some segments of Ohio agriculture rely on migrant workers, so policy changes could have a big impact on some farm operations in the state. Add to those areas the federal budget and some early indications of significant cuts to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Those cuts could impact farmers,” Plakias said. “But it’s not clear that those [cuts] will survive the budget process… It’s a proposal. It has to go through a lengthy budget process. The interests of Ohio farmers will no doubt be represented.” For the moment, there haven’t been a lot of final decisions made on those and other policy changes

42 | SPRING 2017

coming out of the Trump White House. Farmers, ag researchers and others are waiting to see what’s going to happen. “Don’t necessarily be swayed by what you read without understanding whether or not the source is credible,” Cornely said. That’s why groups like Farm Bureau exist, he said — “It’s our job to stay on top of this stuff on a daily basis… It’s our job to watch these things on a regular basis. They can count on us when they want some information on where things stand.” Once the policy picture gets clearer, Cornely added that Ohio farmers shouldn’t be afraid to write the White House or their members of Congress. Those contacts can make a difference. “I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ll be in a group with a congressman talking and he’ll cite letters that he’s gotten from farmers or visits he or she have made to their farm,” Cornely said, adding of those lawmakers who don’t listen, “We re-elect congressmen every couple of years.” Besides, there are other concerns for Ohio farmers on the Statehouse front that merit attention. “Farmers shouldn’t be panicking yet over Washington,” Ron Sylvester, a spokesman for the Ohio Farmers Union, said in a released statement. “Ask us in a month or two and if rural America and agriculture are still on the back burner, it’s probably time to worry. Farmers in Ohio should be panicking about the broken promise that is CAUV. Farmland property taxes have risen 300-600 percent in most counties over the past seven years or so. Other people’s tax breaks in the last two budgets have been paid for by farmers, local governments and others. Ohio farmers have been promised this will be fixed in the budget. Every farmer in Ohio should be calling their state representatives and asking them to call Speaker Rosenberger to make this happen.” Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for GateHouse Media. Contact him at mkovac@ or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.


Story by | The United States Department of Agriculture

H7 Avian Influenza In Commercial Flock In Tennessee


he United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI) of North American wild bird lineage in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee. This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in commercial poultry in the United States in 2017. The flock of 73,500 is located within the Mississippi flyway. Samples from the affected flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at Tennessee’s Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. Virus isolation is ongoing, and NVSL expects to


State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system. Avian Influenza continues to 44 HARVEST

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Avian Influenza continued from 43





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The proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F kills bacteria and viruses. markets and in migratory wild bird populations. USDA will be informing the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as well as international trading partners of this finding. USDA also continues to communicate with trading partners to encourage adherence to OIE standards and minimize trade impacts. OIE trade guidelines call on countries to base trade restrictions on sound science and, whenever possible, limit restrictions to those animals and animal products within a defined region that pose a risk of spreading disease of concern. These virus strains can travel in wild birds without • REFRIGERATORS • FREEZERS• • RANGES & MICROWAVES • • WASHERS & DRYERS • • TELEVISION • DEHUMIDIFIERS • • AIR CONDITIONERS • • ECOWASHER LAUNDRY SYSTEMS • • WEBER GRILLS • SPEED QUEEN •


characterize the neuraminidase protein, or “N-type”, of the virus within 48 hours. APHIS is working closely with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions to prevent illness and contain disease spread. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F kills bacteria and viruses. As part of existing avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area. The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, and USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird



These virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/ dead poultry or wildlife. them appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds. Additional precautions may be taken by farmers such as wearing protective equipment whenever they go inside chicken houses. Plastic boots, coveralls and gloves can be worn when entering the facility and then removed or changed whenever the farmer exits the building, along with their footwear. All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through

their state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity for can be found at www.aphis.usda. gov/animalhealth/defendtheflock Additional background Avian influenza (AI) is caused by an influenza type A virus which can infect poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese and guinea fowl) and is carried by free flying waterfowl such as ducks, geese and shorebirds. AI viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: hemagglutinin or “H” proteins, of which there are 16 (H1–H16), and neuraminidase or “N” proteins, of which there are 9 (N1–N9). Many different combinations of “H” and “N” proteins are possible. Each combination is considered a different subtype, and can be further broken down into different strains. AI viruses are further classified by their pathogenicity (low or high)— the ability of a particular virus strain to produce disease in domestic chickens.

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Harvest: Spring 2017  

Harvest, the Agriculture Community Review, is published quarterly by GateHouse Media.

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