Hardin County – Winter is the time that farmers attend meetings to receive the latest information on new products, learn best management practices, renew pesticide and fertilizer licenses, and receive updates on university research. Many of these programs are provided by the local county Extension office. But then, the pandemic has changed everything.
Meetings are not often allowed because of the pandemic health guidelines. The farm population is at risk since the average age of a farmer in Hardin and surrounding counties is in the upper 50s – many of them in the over 65 at risk group.
Farmers need the latest information to be profitable and competitive in today’s markets and know the best management practices. Virtual meetings are one avenue for farmers to receive this information. The advantage of a virtual meeting is that farmers can listen to experts without traveling hundreds of miles.
To meet this information need, the Hardin County Extension office is partnering with the Ohio State University AgCrops Team to provide virtual (online) winter meetings that a farmer or crop consultant can participate at the time of the presentation or later as a recording.
The team will offer both traditional programs, such as the Corn College and Soybean School, as well as focus on some new hot topic areas. New programs will focus on three areas: Investing in Soil Health, Crop Diversity to Improve Your Bottom Line, and Farming in Weather Extremes.
Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) continuing education hours will be offered at each live session but not for recordings. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required for each session to receive log-in information. The schedule with registration information for each program is listed below.
The Dirt on Soil Health: Investing Below the Surface. In this weekly series, farmers, industry, and academic experts will weigh in on practical steps to improve soil health and measure impact on crop yield and farm profitability. Programs are Thursday mornings from 8:00 – 8:30. Programs details are given below. Register for the programs at http://go.osu.edu/soilhealth2020
.January 21 – What Can Soil Health Tests Tell You? Steve Culman
.January 28 – Can Improving Soil Health Improve Yield? Jordon Wade
.February 4 – Cover Crop Management, Hans Kok
.February 18 – Compaction Solutions, Scott Shearer
.February 25 – Soil Health in Ohio, Elizabeth Hawkins and Steve Culman
.March 4 – What’s the Return on Investing in Soil Health? Rick Clark
.March 18 – Programs and Funding to Support Soil Health
Crop Diversity to Improve Your Bottom Line. This series will look at practices and considerations to successfully incorporate alternative grain crops into your rotation to diversify your operation. Programs occur once a month on Thursday morning at 9:00 – 10:30. Register for the following programs at http://go.osu.edu/cropdiversity
.February 4 – Seed Production, Corn and Soybean Seed Production (Fred Pond), Cover Crop Seed Production
.March 4 – Non-GMO Crop Production, Best Practices for High Yielding Non-GMO Soybean Production (Laura Lindsey), Weed Control (Mark Loux), Insect Management: The Forgotten Corn Pests (Chris DiFonzo)
Farming in Weather Extremes. This series will present practices and technology farmers can utilize to adapt to challenging growing seasons with increasing extreme weather events. Programs occur once a month on Thursday morning at 9:00 – 10:30. Register for the following programs at http://go.osu.edu/adapt
.January 21 – Disease Management Options for Today’s Weather, Pierce Paul, and Aaron Wilson
.February 18 – Managing Water in Today’s Wet and Dry Growing Seasons, Aaron Wilson, Eileen Kladivko, Larry Brown, Lyndon Kelley
.March 18 – 2021 Growing Season Weather Outlook and Changing Climate Patterns, Aaron Wilson
Corn College and Soybean School. Presentations will focus on best management practices and important updates for the 2021 growing season. Corn presentations will be in the morning and soybean in the afternoon on February 11. Speakers include Extension State Specialists: Peter Thomison, Steve Culman, Pierce Paul, Laura Lindsey, Mark Loux, Anne Dorrance, Andy Michel, and Kelley Tilmon. Register for these programs at http://go.osu.edu/agronomyschools
The first 300 people from Ohio to sign-up and attend one of these meetings will receive a set of handouts!
Included in the shipment to your door is a copy of the Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Forages Field Guide, a 2020 eFields Report, a digital soil thermometer, and a 2021 Agronomic Crops Team Calendar (with important marketing, crop insurance and USDA report dates identified).
These items were generously funded by the Ohio Soybean Council and the USDA NIFA Integrated Pest Management program.
Contact the Hardin County Extension Office, 419-767-6037 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the meetings, problems with registration or need assistance with Zoom.
Visit https://agnr.osu.edu/programming for a full list of OSU Extension Ag winter programs.