Chase W. Fleece
Chase W. Fleece
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AG News Archives for 2017-07

Soil Health and Compaction Event Slated

Crop production success can be highly related to soil health and compaction.  Soil health is a topic of growing concern, which addresses many aspects of modern agricultural systems, from productivity and yield to water quality and build-up of carbon in the soils which improve soil, air, and water quality.  Management practices such as tillage, land-forming, clearing, or drainage influence these factors and processes.  Soil health is the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans increasing production, profit, and protection of natural resources.  Maintaining and building healthy soils is the foundation for developing sustainable farming systems to supply food and fiber to the world.


Soil compaction is becoming a more serious problem for farmers.  Field machines tend to be heavier, and there is motivation for farmers to work the soil when it is too moist.  Because compacted soil has smaller pores and fewer natural channels, water infiltration is drastically reduced.  This causes greater surface wetness, and more runoff, which in turn increases erosion, and longer drying time.  Wet fields delay planting and harvesting along with decreased crop yields.  Plant roots don't grow well in dense soil.  Inadequate moisture and nutrients reach the plant, and yield is reduced.


Dr. Steven Culman, Soil Fertility specialist at The Ohio State University will be the guest speaker at an event being held Tuesday, August 1 at Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative Community Room located at 1210 West Lima Street in Kenton.  The program will begin at 6:30 pm with a catered meal, followed by a presentation by Culman.  Dr. Culman is involved with new research which addresses issues with soil degradation in pipeline installations and approaches you can take to remediate compacted soils.  Numerous natural gas pipelines have been approved across Ohio and neighboring states with installation to continue over the next several years.  These installations will collectively result in a large amount of soil disturbance in the state, but the effect of this disturbance on crop productivity, if any, is largely unknown.  


The Ohio State University is conducting a study to better understand and manage the impacts of pipeline installations across the state with the following objectives: document the effects of pipeline installation on soil properties and crop productivity; and determine how long these effects persist.  The research approach will evaluate crop yields and soil properties over the installed pipeline and in an unaffected adjacent area, using yield maps, aerial imagery, and soil analyses.  The study will focus primarily on grain crops, but will also work with a limited number of hay fields.  After completion of this research, better recommendations will be available to help farmers manage similar issues dealing with soil disturbance and compaction problems.


This event is co-sponsored by the Hardin County Farm Bureau and OSU Extension.  Cost for the meal and program, followed by a Farm Bureau annual meeting will be $10 for Farm Bureau members and $15 for non-members.  Anyone interested in learning more about soil health and compaction issues is encouraged to attend.  Please RSVP by calling 419-447-3091 by July 25 so that an accurate meal count can be assured.  For more information about soil health and compaction issues, contact Mark Badertscher, OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator at the Hardin County Extension office.



Horseflies Moving Into The Region

The past few days horseflies have been a common problem around the region.  They feed on the blood of cattle, horses, mules, hogs, dogs, deer, other warm-blooded animals, and even humans. These flies cut through the skin with their knife-like mouthparts and suck the blood for several minutes. When they fly away, a drop or two of blood usually exudes from the wound, permitting secondary feeding sites for other nuisance insects. So, where do these pesky flies come from, and what can you do to control them?  Joe Boggs, OSU Extension Educator, Commercial Horticulture in Hamilton County wrote the following article which appeared in the July 31 issue of the OSU Extension Buckeye Yard and Garden onLine.


There are several species of horse flies in Ohio ranging in size from 3/8 - 1 1/8" in length.  All are aggressive and vicious biters, but the bigger ones are particularly menacing. Female horse flies require blood meals to be able to produce eggs.  When she finds a host, the female uses her sharp, knife-like mouthparts to slash upon a wound in the skin; the mandibles of large horse flies are powerful enough to cut through tanned leather!  After opening a wound, the female injects saliva that has anticoagulation properties and she then laps up the free flowing blood.  The bite is extremely painful, and blood continues to flow from the wound even after the female finishes feeding.


Horse flies have specialized vision that allows them to see heat; they literally use thermal imaging to locate their hosts.  The flies are also able to track large moving objects, particularly dark colored objects, even while the flies are in fast flight.  Taken together, their visual acuity allows them to effectively zero in on large, savory, warm blooded animals like cows, deer, people, and of course, horses.  Unfortunately for the flies, their visual perception may also cause them to be fooled.  A dark colored moving car that has been warmed by the summer sun looks to a horse fly like a dark, galloping horse!  Horse flies swarming around moving cars can lead to catastrophic consequences ... for the flies ... with the last thing passing through the fly's minds being their rear ends.


There are a number of things you can do to keep yourself off the horse fly menu.  If possible, avoid horse fly habitat.  Their larvae feed on decaying organic matter in moist soil, so horse flies are frequently found in swamps or near streams and ponds.  If you can't avoid their habitat, schedule your activities to avoid the flies.  Horse flies are active during the day; they can't find their hosts at night.  So, evening pool parties will be free of horse flies.  If you must venture into horse fly habitat during the day, remain alert and take precautions.  Most flies are silent flyers while horse flies produce a loud, buzzing sound.  When you hear the buzz, locate the fly because horse flies love to land stealthily for a quick bite.  However, avoid running; remember that horse flies are attracted to moving objects!  Wear light clothing; dark clothing is like wearing an "eat here" sign.  Finally, while insect repellents that contain DEET or picaridin may provide some protection, horse flies are very good at finding unprotected skin.  Long sleeves, long pants, and neckerchiefs can help to thwart the flies.


For more information about OSU Extension, Hardin County, visit the Hardin County OSU Extension web site at www.hardin.osu.edu, the Hardin County OSU Extension Facebook page or contact Mark Badertscher, at 419-674-2297.



Clinton County Fair Hogs Test Positive for Swine Flu, ODA Releases Statement

Two hogs tested positive for Swine Flu at a county fair in Clinton County over the weekend. The Ohio Department of Agriculture releasing a joint statement with the Ohio Department of Health saying


Ohio’s fair season is underway across the state and leaders at the Ohio Departments of Agriculture (ODA) and Health (ODH) are reminding Ohioans to practice good hygiene when visiting livestock exhibits this summer.


“Ohio’s fairs are great places to enjoy some summer fun, but visitors should remember some illnesses can be directly transmitted between animals and humans,” said ODH Director Lance Himes. “Simple steps like good hand-washing can help stop the spread of any illness and make sure your fair visit is a safe one.”


Visitors should always wash their hands with soap and water before and after petting or touching any animal. Never eat, drink or put anything in your mouth in animal areas. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to leave strollers outside the animal exhibits and carry small children. Older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems should consider avoiding animal areas.


“Fairs are the highlight of the summer in many communities for many families across Ohio and we want to ensure they stay that way,” said ODA Director David T. Daniels. “Maintaining healthy people and animals is our top priority, and we encourage all fair guests to follow posted signs and make smart decisions when visiting the fair.


ODA is actively working with fair boards to increase access to hand sanitizers and hand-washing stations. Frequent hand-washing can lower your risk of getting sick from influenza, salmonella, e. Coli and other illnesses. In addition, ODA has provided information and encouraged fair organizers to post reminders about good hygiene in animal areas to help protect the health of fairgoers. Ohio’s fair veterinarians are trained and encouraged to closely monitor fair livestock and poultry for clinical signs of illness.


Exhibitors who believe their animal may be sick should immediately contact their barn manager and fair veterinarian. Fair guests who experience illness should contact a medical professional, and their local health district.


Hardin County Fair Board President Howard Lyle said that a teleconference was being held Monday on the topic.


We will continue to bring you the latest as to what this means for the approaching Hardin County Fair.


Mens Garden Club Sponsors "Evening Garden Affair"

The Hardin County Men’s Garden Club with the assistance of the Hardin County Master Gardeners are sponsoring  “An Evening Garden Affair” on Monday evening July 24 at the Friendship Gardens of Hardin County located at 960 Kohler Street in Kenton.  The event is from 6 to 9 pm and will feature Joe Puperi of Advanced Tree Health with a program about selecting, planting, and managing soil for healthy trees in the landscape.

Joe Puperi is the founder and owner of Advanced Tree Health of Findlay.  He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry from Virginia Tech in 1998.  Puperi has been practicing forestry and arboriculture since then.  Seeing more demand for high quality tree care than was being met in the area, in 2006 he started Advanced Tree Health to help fill that gap.  His love for trees and the outdoors has led him to a career field that he enjoys.  A desire to serve people dictates quality work being offered to each client.  Puperi is an International Society Arboriculture (ISA) Board Certified Master Arborist (a more rigorous recognition than the ISA Certified Arborist) and a Society of American Foresters Certified Forester.  


This event is free and open to the public, rain or shine with the program inside the Harco workshop with seating and air conditioning.  It will then move outside for a demonstration and questions.  Master Gardener Volunteers will be stationed throughout the Friendship Gardens for the evening to answer your gardening questions.  Door prizes and refreshments will be part of the evening festivities.  If you have not visited the Friendship Gardens, this will provide you with an ideal time for your first visit and to come away with good gardening information and advice.


The evening begins at 6 pm with casual browsing in the garden and refreshments.  Joe Puperi will speak at 7 pm and the evening will continue after his presentation with a further chance to explore the Friendship Gardens.  All who have an interest in gardening will not want to miss this event.  Parking is at the garden off Kohler Street or in front of Harco Industries.  For further information contact the OSU Extension office at 419-674-2297.


Extension Rainfall Report Released for June

In the month of June, Extension rainfall reporters recorded an average of 5.15 inches of rain in Hardin County.  Last year, the average rainfall for June was 5.81 inches.  Rainfall for June 2017 was 0.16 inches less than the ten-year average rainfall in the month of June.  

Roundhead Township received 6.95 inches for the month, the most of any of the township sites.  The least rain in June, 2.76 inches was collected in Liberty Township.  For the growing season since April 15, the average precipitation in all the townships was 15.52 inches, with a wide range from 13.32 inches in Dudley Township to 18.89 inches in Jackson Township.  

Rain persisted most of the month of June, with precipitation occurring 2/3 of the days.  Some fields continued to pond and flood in low areas, areas with compaction, and other hard to drain soils.  This constant rain kept farmers busy replanting crops, and delayed nitrogen applications in corn and herbicide applications in soybeans.  Wet weather and later herbicide applications allowed for giant ragweed and marestail weeds to thrive.

Wheat harvest is mostly complete with good yields and good quality grain.  Folllowing wheat harvest, some farmers planted double crop soybeans.  Straw and second cutting of hay has been baled in some area fields as weather permits.  Oats are starting to mature and rye planted for seed will soon be harvested if not already cut.  Corn producers are hoping for a late frost as replanted corn has this crop growing in various stages in the same fields.  Later planted corn could result in higher moisture rates during harvest, a problem that has not been prominent in the past two years.  Earlier planted soybeans are have entered reproductive stages, producing flowers.  Earlier corn will also soon enter reproductive stages, producing tassels and ears with silks.

Hardin County Extension Rainfall Report for June 2017 (recorded in inches)



June 2017

Growing Season (from Apr. 15-2017)

Blanchard Township

Crop Production Services



Buck Township

Heritage Cooperative/Kenton



Cessna Township

Steve Lowery



Dudley Township

Dale Rapp



Goshen Township

Brein Bros. Farm



Hale Township

Travis Ramsey



Jackson Township

Rick Weber



Liberty Township

Phil Epley



Lynn Township

Jan Layman



Marion Township

Mark Lowery



McDonald Township

Jerry Stout     



Pleasant Township

Robert McBride



Roundhead Township

Mike Lautenschlager



Taylor Creek Township

Silver Creek Supply



Washington Township

Randy Preston









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