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ODNR awards grants for Lake Erie projects

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has approved more than $437,000 in funding through the Coastal Management Assistance Grant (CMAG) program for five projects in Toledo, Eastlake, Ashtabula County, Lorain, and Bay Village that will improve coastal planning, public access, and water quality.

“For more than 20 years, this grant program has provided a helping hand to Ohio’s communities for protecting and developing valuable resources near Lake Erie,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “These projects upgrade infrastructure, provide better access to natural areas for residents, and reduce erosion while improving water quality.”

ODNR implements the CMAG program through its Office of Coastal Management for eligible entities including local governments, county and regional planning agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and park and conservancy districts for completion of projects that will protect Lake Erie’s coastal resources and support sustainable use.

This year’s projects include installing ADA-accessible parking spaces and walkways, implementing green stormwater infrastructure, enhancing stream and wetland habitats which will help filter and improve water quality, and developing plans and engineering designs needed to improve public access and restore coastal habitat.… Continue reading

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Climate Smart: Farming with weather extremes

On July 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Der Dutchman, 445 S. Jefferson Ave., Plain City this event is free and open to the public, including free lunch for those who RSVP in advance.

Contact Aaron Wilson, 614-292-7930,  wilson.1010@osu.edu to register. Key topics include water management, crop insurance, risk management, conservation and technology. Keynote speaker will be Tyler Williams, a cropping systems extension educator with the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Tyler will discuss lessons from the Spring 2019 Nebraska flood event. RSVP required by July 11 to receive lunch. To RSVP, visit go.osu.edu/ClimateSmart.… Continue reading

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OSU Extension has many resources for farms facing challenging times

By Sarah Noggle, Ohio State University Extension

In trying times, where do you turn?

Farmers are some of the most humble, down to earth people I know and they thrive on being able to feed the country. The stresses these farmers and farm families are enduring and hard on everyone involved. While they know that they work in a business where risks are always present due to weather, they sometimes need support and encouragement to work through their own mental and physical stress and even fatigue during these times. Most of the farmers live on the land they farm and don’t have the chance to get away from these stresses. Most of us that work, work at a place that when it gets stressful, we get to leave for the day. Farmers, on the other hand, don’t usually have this option. They live, sleep and breathe their occupation.

There are so many decisions that farmers are making today into what this generation knows as uncharted territory.… Continue reading

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Prevented planting, idle land and CAUV taxation

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

The decision on whether to take prevented planting can be tough, but concerns about increased property taxes on idle land do not need to enter into the equation. Ohio’s Current Agricultural Use Valuation program allows landowners to retain the benefit of CAUV tax assessment on agricultural land even if the land lies idle or fallow for a period of time.

Ohio’s CAUV program provides differential property tax assessment to parcels of land “devoted exclusively to agricultural use” that are 10 acres or more or, if less than 10 acres, generated an average gross income for the previous three years of $2,500 or more from commercial agricultural production. Timber lands adjacent to CAUV land, land enrolled in federal conservation programs, and land devoted to agritourism or bio-mass and similar types of energy production on a farm also qualify for CAUV.… Continue reading

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NASS releases Census of Agriculture Congressional District profiles and rankings

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the Congressional District Profiles and Rankings from the 2017 Census of Agriculture on the NASS website. This summary presents data by congressional district that includes land, farms, market value of agricultural products sold, rankings, and producer characteristics. These profiles are often used by producers, congressional leaders, and others to support agriculture in their districts.

“The profiles are a quick way to see what’s going on with agriculture in a particular area — to show its value at the local level,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “They provide an easy way to evaluate high-level data, compare characteristics of one district to another, and educate colleagues, policymakers, and non-farming neighbors about farming in that location.”

NASS released the Census of Agriculture State and County profiles on May 30. Still to be released is the Watersheds Report on July 25; the American Indian Reservations Report on Aug.… Continue reading

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth, a dairy farmer and attorney near Celina

He was supposed to bond with me. That was the plan. Over nine years ago, Kent’s dog, Barney, passed and the house and farm were just too quiet. It was the sad time only people who lose beloved pets understand.

Kent left for Chopper School at K & L in Fort Recovery. I headed to the Auglaize County Humane Society. Just that morning, they had posted a new dog available for adoption, Buster, who looked to be part Australian cattle dog and part black labrador. He was a year old and had just been turned in by an older couple who could no longer care for him.

When I first met the dog, all I could think was that he was a black version of Mack, the brown Heeler X Border Collie mix that Kent had when we got married and one of the finest dogs ever.… Continue reading

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Stay healthy while traveling when you can’t drink the water

By Karen Mancl, Professor Food, Agricultural & Biological Engineering

It is a shame to get sick on vacation. Camping and hiking spots in remote areas may have unsanitary water supplies. Most importantly traveling outside the United States poses a risk to travelers, since water treatment is not as reliable in other countries. What can you do to protect yourself and your family from getting sick?

Boil water before drinking is the standard recommendation. Boiling water for just a minute is extremely effective at killing bacteria and parasites that can make people sick. When is doubt – drink boiled water! Any heat source – electric or gas range, camp stove, wood fire and even a microwave oven – heats water to boiling temperatures and kills disease-causing microbes.

What if you can’t boil the water? If boiling water might not be feasible. Other disinfection options are available.

Disinfection tablets containing chlorine or iodine are available for campers and travelers to disinfect a small volume of water.… Continue reading

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Ohio NRCS seeks new proposals for Conservation Innovation Grants

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking new proposals for cutting-edge projects that will provide new conservation opportunities with its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Through the CIG program, Ohio will invest up to $150,000 for new projects in fiscal year 2019. The deadline is July 12.

NRCS uses CIG to work with partners to accelerate the transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches in conjunction with agricultural production that address some of the nation’s most pressing natural resource concerns. Ohio priorities in fiscal year 2019 will be Nutrient Management and Water Quality and Native Warm Season Grasses.

All non-federal entities and individuals are invited to apply, with the sole exception of federal agencies. Projects may be between one and three years in duration and the maximum award amount for a single award in fiscal year 2019 is $75,000.

CIG utilizes Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds and entities and individuals involved in CIG funded projects must be EQIP eligible.… Continue reading

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Hillbilly hot tub update…

By Dan Armitage,  host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

Success! Stretching out in an 180-gallon stock tank, my bride and I (finally) soaked in 104 degree water watching the sun set over the Kokosing River last weekend in our homemade hot tub. To boost the DIY rig’s heating capacity, I wrapped the propane heater’s “chimney” with a piece of sheet metal to partially block the vents in order to better contain and concentrate the heat on the copper tubing I coiled within. Then I added a small 12-volt pump to the cool-water outflow from the tub to help circulate the water through the super-heated piping and Voila! Inside an hour we had 104 degree temps and actually had to turn off the heater when the water got too hot.

No, it’s not totally off the grid, thanks to the tiny 12-volt pump ($12 on eBay) that we hooked up via its transformer plug to a ground fault interrupter-wired receptacle.… Continue reading

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Understanding important solar lease terms

By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program

With all the rain and delayed planting that Ohio farmers have experienced this spring, signing a solar lease has been a very appealing prospect for many farmland owners. While this may be the right decision for a farm, it is very important that the farmland owner understand exactly what he or she is signing. Once an energy developer offers to pay you to enter into an agreement, and you sign that agreement, its terms will be legally binding.

We wanted to highlight some of the important provisions of a solar lease that you as a farmland owner should look for in your solar lease, and understand what they mean. A good solar lease will be very thorough, and include a lot of legalese. It would be a wise decision to consult with an attorney to ensure that your understanding of your solar lease reflects what the documents say.… Continue reading

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Hands-on opportunities to learn the art of perfect grilling

The next summer get-together is just around the corner.

Family, friends, or old classmates will be in town.

It’s the perfect time for inviting them over to grill out for dinner . . . or is it?

Few things can satisfy or impress family and friends like the aroma, tenderness, juiciness, and deep rich flavor of a steak or chop grilled to perfection. However, there may not be anything that strikes as much apprehension and fear into the hearts of a dinner host, as that of failing to correctly select, prepare and grill the perfect steak. If you’ve ever struggled with the angst of whether you can pull off that perfect meal and eating experience of dinner originating from your grill, then the Grill Smart class is designed for you.

Grill Smart is a program adapted by Henry County OSU Extension Educator, Garth Ruff from the Barbecue Science class that is taught annually on campus at The Ohio State University.… Continue reading

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Ohio case law update

By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Here’s our latest gathering of Ohio agricultural case law news that you may want to know.

Plaintiff must prove that a defendant wedding barn operator’s breach of a duty caused her harm

Conrad Botzum Farmstead is a privately operated wedding and event barn located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area and on lease from the National Park Service. The plaintiff in the case was attending a wedding at the barn, where she broke her ankle while dancing on a wooden deck. The jury trial found that the barn operator was 51% at fault for her injuries, and awarded the plaintiff compensation. However, the barn operator appealed the decision and won. The Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals found that the plaintiff did not introduce sufficient evidence to prove that any act or breach of duty by the barn operator actually or proximately caused the plaintiff to fall and break her ankle.… Continue reading

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Governor DeWine requests USDA disaster designation for farmers impacted by heavy rains

Last week Ohio Governor Mike DeWine sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting a USDA Secretarial disaster designation for Ohio amid heavy rainfall impacting Ohio farmers.

In his letter, Governor DeWine notes that record rainfall through the spring planting season has been devastating to Ohio farmers, with flooding and saturated fields preventing them from planting crops. Only 50% of Ohio’s corn crop and 32% of Ohio’s soybean crop have been planted as of June 10, 2019.

“The harsh reality for Ohio farmers is that many acres will remain unplanted,” Governor DeWine said. “Our dairy and livestock sectors also face serious forage and feed shortages. We recognize the tremendous challenges facing our agricultural community, and we are working to identify any and all sources of possible relief.”

The letter is a formal request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a USDA disaster declaration for Ohio so that assistance can be made available to Ohio farmers.… Continue reading

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Crop progress report shows corn leveling off, beans still going

Much of the State received higher than normal amounts of rain last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 2.5 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending June 16. Temperatures slumped nearly 6 degrees below normal. Corn and soybean planted progress increased but were still well behind their 5-year averages. Wheat began to mature and was rated 65 percent fair to good condition. There were reports of hay fields and pastures that were difficult or impossible to mow due to increased soil moisture levels. Operators making haylage found it easier to stay on schedule than those making dry hay. First cutting progress for alfalfa and other hay also lagged behind their 5-year averages. Oats planted progress crept to 91 percent while oats reached the headed stage slower than the 5-year average. From the national scene, USDA reports that 100% of corn is planted, likely indicating that no more planting will take place.… Continue reading

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Second sign-up period announced for Western Lake Erie Basin

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is announcing the second sign-up period for programs in the Western Lake Erie Basin funded by the passage of Ohio Senate Bill 299. Signed in 2018, Ohio Senate Bill 299 provided $23.5 million for soil and water conservation districts (SWCD) located in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) for nutrient management programs.

ODA says that two programs have been a success so far this year, the Ohio Working Lands Hay Buffer Program and the Ohio Working Lands Small Grains Program. ODA Director Dorothy Pelanda announced that there are funds remaining for a second round of program sign-ups.

The Ohio Working Lands Hay Buffer Program encourages producers in the WLEB to establish year-round vegetative cover on eligible cropland. The program promotes the conversion, establishment, and maintenance of forage/hay land on certain cropland acres. These buffers act as another line of defense to filter surface water while allowing participants to harvest forage from the established areas.… Continue reading

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Weather, tariffs, lack of planting yields increasing farm stress

By Kolt Buchenroth

The stagnant commodity prices, an ongoing trade war, and the uncertainty of tariffs impacting the farm economy are reason enough to induce plenty of stress in a farmer’s life. Add in the unprecedented rainfall most of the Buckeye State has seen this spring, rising input costs, and market volatility and Ohio’s agriculture community is facing a perfect storm for developing high levels of farm stress.

Ohio State University Family and Consumer Science Extension Educator Jami Delllifield is advocating around the state and the country for the mental health of the agriculture community. She has taken note of the heightened farm stress situation this growing season.

“We can’t control this. There is absolutely nothing right now that is within anyone’s control. Everything is just coming at us and it just seems to keep building. Plus, farmers are at an increased risk because their profession is isolated. They spend all day and night alone in a tractor with their thoughts,” Delliefield said.… Continue reading

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Senate subcommittee taking a look at water rule

The EPA’s latest proposal to define which waters can be regulated by the federal government and which by state and local authorities is a vast improvement over previous efforts, Wyoming Farm Bureau President Todd Fornstrom told the Senate subcommittee on Fisheries, Waters, and Wildlife in June.

Expensive professional services needed to comply with the Clean Water Act, he said, too often make it impossible for farmers to use their own land to its fullest.

“Farm Bureau cannot overstate the importance of a rule that draws clear lines of jurisdiction that farmers and ranchers can understand without needing to hire armies of consultants and lawyers,” Fornstrom told the subcommittee. “The (Clean Water Act) carries significant fines and penalties for persons who violate the Act’s prohibitions. Historically, farmers and ranchers have chosen to forfeit full use and enjoyment of their land rather than go down the onerous and expensive path of seeking CWA 404 permits.… Continue reading

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Feeding Farmers Week One | Jeff Puthoff

The Ohio Ag Net crew team traveled to West Central Ohio for the first of the Feeding Farmers events in 2019. Dale visited with Jeff Puthoff and his family who farms corn, soybeans, wheat, and runs a holstein feedlot operation.

A notable crowd of about 40 turned out to the celebration where the group talked about their wet growing season and crops that are behind what’s been seen just south of the area.

You can nominate yourself or a neighbor at agrigoldohio.com.

 … Continue reading

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