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AG News Archives for 2018-01

The Hardin County Dairy Banquet Is Set For 2018

The annual Hardin County Dairy Banquet will be held on Saturday, February 24 at 12:00

noon at the Plaza Inn Restaurant, Mt. Victory. Tickets this year are $15.00 for adults and $7.00 for children 12 and under. Junior Fair Dairy Exhibitors from the 2017 Hardin County Fair are eligible for a complimentary ticket by contacting the Extension office.


The Hardin County Dairy Service Unit will be awarding a scholarship at their annual banquet. Funds raised from the association’s semi-annual cheese sale are used to support higher education with this scholarship program. Eligible students must live on a dairy farm, have been raised on a dairy farm, work on a dairy farm, be pursuing a dairy related education, or have shown a dairy heifer or dairy cow project at the Hardin County Fair.


The Dairy Service Unit is also looking for a 2018 Dairy Princess. The Dairy Princess will represent the Hardin County Dairy Service Unit with promotion of the dairy industry at the county fair and other scheduled activities. Contestants must be unmarried, age 15 to 19 inclusive, or freshman in high school as of January 1, 2018. They must live on a dairy farm, must have a dairy project in 4-H or FFA and show at the fair, or work on a dairy farm.


Applications can be picked up at the Extension office for both the scholarship and princess at 1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103 in Kenton or from Hardin County FFA advisors, high school guidance counselors, or download the application from hardin.osu.edu. Both the dairy scholarship application and the dairy princess entry form must be completed and returned to the Extension office by February 16, 2018.



Assistance to Agricultural Producers

Assistance for agricultural producers is available through the Conservation Stewardship program.


Any agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program or CPS. With the use of CPS the USDA plans to help private land owners build their own business while implementing good conservation practices. Having these practices will allow owners to keep the sustainability of their entire operation. CPS hopes to enroll up to 10 million acres into the program in 2018.


While applications for CPS are accepted year round, applications must be received by March 2nd, 2018 to be eligible for this funding project. Any producer who is interested in enrolling in CPS should contact local USDA service center or go to www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.



Classes Offered For Private Pesticide Applicators

A class to help farmers prepare to become private pesticide applicators has been planned for January 31 at the Hardin County Extension office, 1021 West Lima Street, Suite 103, Kenton.  In Ohio, pesticide applicators are required by law to have an Ohio Pesticide Applicators License in order to purchase and apply restricted-use chemicals.  These pesticides include but are not limited to herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides.  This class will begin at 12:30 pm and end at 4:30 pm.  There is a $25 registration fee which covers books and refreshments for those enrolled.


The class will emphasize the two main categories that most Hardin County pesticide applicators need, which are Core (applying pesticides properly and safely), as well as Grain and Cereal Crops.  Resources will be shared for other categories that are available for certification, which include Forage Crops & Livestock, Fruit & Vegetable Crops, Nursery & Forest Crops, Greenhouse Crops, Fumigation, and Specialty Uses.  Once a trainee has properly prepared for their pesticide license, they can schedule to take a test at an Ohio Department of Agriculture testing site.  The closest local testing site is the OSU-Lima campus.  Ohio Pesticide Licenses are good for three years, and then the applicator must recertify by attending a three-hour recertification meeting before license expiration or re-test.


There are several reasons why someone may wish to become a private pesticide applicator.  These reasons may include that they plan to take over the pesticide certification for their farm due to retirement or a change in responsibilities, they plan to use restricted-use chemicals in addition to general-use chemicals to have more options to control problem weeds (dicamba products XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan will become restricted-use chemicals in 2018) or pests, or they are new to spraying pesticides on the farm.  The course is not designed for commercial pesticide applicators, as they must get training directly from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.  Instructors for the class include Extension Educators Dennis Riethman, Mercer County; Jeff Stachler, Auglaize County; and Mark Badertscher, Hardin County.  Those planning to participate in the class can register at go.osu.edu/hardinpatcrashcourse or call the Extension office at 419-674-2297 by January 16.



Fertilizer Recertification Details for NW Ohio Farmers

Northwestern Ohio is now seeing full implementation of Ohio’s Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification regulation.  The regulation was result of Senate Bill 150, which was co-sponsored by former State Senator Cliff Hite (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/905.322 and http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/905.321).  The 2014 regulation required farmers to complete a fertilizer certification program if they applied fertilizer to more than 50 acres of land in agricultural production primarily for sale.  Exemptions included fertilizer applied through a planter, individuals whose crops remained on the farm for their livestock and not sold, or fertilizer applied by a commercial applicator.


Manure was not part of the regulation since it was specifically addressed by other regulations.  However, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) later clarified that if a farmer purchased composted manure, such as poultry, and then applied it themselves; it would be considered a fertilizer and they would have to complete the certification program.


Farmers were given three years to complete the certification training.  Training included a two-hour program if they already had a Private Pesticide Applicator License, otherwise, they had to complete a three-hour program.  Key components of the training were to know the potential causes for algal blooms in Lake Erie and management practices to reduce phosphorus losses from farm fields.  Training was provided primarily by County Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Educators of the Ohio State University.


In three years, 17,493 Ohioans completed the Fertilizer Certification program.  Of this total, 63 fertilizer applicators from Hardin County will require recertification by March 31, 2018.  The three-year window to complete the initial certification program ended September 30, 2017.  Any farmer applying fertilizer that has more than 50 acres of cropland without an Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator certificate after September can be fined and/or charged with a misdemeanor offense.  Farmers that still need certification have two options: complete a three-hour training program or pass a state test.  At this time, Hardin County will not be offering a three-hour program in 2018, but programs will be offered this spring in a few nearby counties.


The ODA has also made other changes to the Fertilizer Certification program starting October 1:


  • Those renewing their fertilizer certificate, which must be done every three years, must either pass a fertilizer exam or take a one-hour class.  Hardin County Extension will be offering recertification classes in Mt. Victory on March 13 and in Kenton on March 30.

  • Two new items were added to the required records that certified fertilizer applicators must keep: Now they must record the number of acres where they applied fertilizer and the total amount of fertilizer applied.

  • Only one person at a farm or business needs to be certified to apply fertilizer.  A family member or employee of the certificate holder can apply fertilizer under their direct supervision, meaning the certificate holder has instructed that person where, when and how to apply fertilizer, and is no farther than 25 miles away or within two hours travel of the applicator working under their direct supervision.  The rule change clarified that provision.

  • Certificate holders who do not also hold a license to apply pesticides will see their fertilizer certificate period change to April 1 to March 31.  Previously, it was June 1 to May 31.  The new cycle is aimed at ensuring that certifications will generally be in place prior to the planting season.

  • A grace period of 180 days is offered to certificate holders who do not send in their application and payment prior to the date their certificate expires.  However, in renewing their certificate, the applicant has to have completed the required training or test before March 31.

The Fertilizer Certification program was a result of a broader initiative developed by a 2012 state task force consisting of several Ohio agencies involved with agricultural, environmental, and natural resources issues.  The task force developed recommendations to improve Ohio’s waterways while maintaining the integrity of the agricultural industry.  The Fertilizer Certification program is one way that the agricultural community is assuring the public that farmers know the best management practices when applying fertilizer.  More information on the Agriculture Fertilizer Applicator Certification program may be found at https://nutrienteducation.osu.edu/


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