Monday, May 2, 2016

Researching the economics of cover crops

Researching the economics of cover crops

cover crops-cereal rye-plantcovercropsA Purdue University agricultural economics professor is taking a closer look at the economics of planting cover cropping systems.
Wally Tyner says farmers tell him one of the biggest reasons they don’t adopt conservation practices is the lack of information about the return on investment.
Through a Conservation Innovation Grant from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Purdue University along with Farm Foundation, NFP are launching a three-year research program that compares farms that utilize cover crops and those that don’t.  “We think we’ll be able to see if there is differences in yields,” he says.  “See if there is differences in a dry year......(To continue reading and hear audio clip, click the link below): 

Amphibians!

With the warm moist conditions this weekend it was a great time to be out and find some amphibians! Our wildlife specialist Levi found this Marbled Salamander in his backyard. Have you found anything cool this spring? Let us know!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Local area teams flocked to Dillon lake on April 27th to compete in the area envirothon


Local area teams flocked to Dillon lake on April 27th to compete in the area envirothon. Pictured here are Buckeye trail's team #1 and team #2 as well as Meadowbrook's team #1 and team #2. Each year the competition has a theme, this years theme was invasive species.

The ENVIROTHON is designed to stimulate, reinforce and enhance interest in the environment and natural resources among high school students.
The Envirothon tests students' knowledge of soils, forestry, wildlife, aquatic ecology and current environmental issues. In addition, the Envirothon encourages cooperative decision-making and team building. While each student on an Envirothon team is challenged to contribute his or her personal best, the score that counts at the end of an Envirothon is the team score.
A team consists of five students, all from the same high school. An adult advisor (or advisors) must accompany the team, but is not permitted to assist the team during the competition.
Five "Area Envirothons" are conducted around Ohio late each spring. The top four teams from each of these Area competitions progress to the Ohio Envirothon in June. In 1996 the Ohio Envirothon was expanded to a 2-day event, incorporating a team presentation requirement that further challenges all participating students. The state level Ohio Envirothon is held in a different part of Ohio each year. The top-scoring team in the Ohio Envirothon is eligible to compete in the North American Envirothon, hosted by a different state or Canadian province every year.
In Ohio, the Envirothon is sponsored by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD) in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Natural resource and environmental specialists from many agencies, organizations, colleges, universities, park districts and businesses devise the Envirothon questions and staff the various test stations.
The Ohio Envirothon is financed by grants, donations from businesses and through contributions to the Don Rehl Memorial Envirothon Fund. Many local businesses also provide services and products in support of Area and Ohio Envirothons.

Ohio Now Accepting Applications for the Monarch Butterfly Development Project

Ohio Now Accepting Applications for the Monarch Butterfly Development Project

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new conservation effort to help agricultural producers provide food and habitat for monarch butterflies.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Ohio has $100,000 to help producers and conservation partners purchase nectar-rich plants like milkweed for creating monarch-friendly habitat along field borders, waterways and wetlands, and in pastures.  The funding and technical assistance to create the best habitat on a farm is part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). 
Monarch populations have decreased significantly over the past two decades, in part because of the decrease in native plants like milkweed – the sole source of food for monarch caterpillars.  These once-common butterflies are growing less familiar, and we know private lands will continue to play a crucial role in aiding the recovery of this species.
These conservation improvements not only benefit butterflies, they also strengthen agricultural operations, support other beneficial insects and wildlife, and improve other natural resources.  Appropriate buffer habitats and better pasture management practices reduce erosion, increase soil health, inhibit the expansion of invasive species, and provide food and habitat for insects and wildlife.
Individuals interested in applying for the Monarch Butterfly EQIP project should make an appointment with the local NRCS conservationist to start the application and conservation planning process.   Call Kim Ray at 740-432-5621or stop in at 1300 Clark Street, Unit 10 in Cambridge.  Additional information is available on the Ohio NRCS website at www.oh.nrcs.usda.gov.
To receive consideration for funding this year, apply by May 20, 2016.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Early May planting dates better for soybeans

Early May planting dates better for soybeans

Ohio soybeans planted from May 1 through mid-May resulted in better yields, according to a study by researchers from Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
In the study of 2013 and 2014 planting trials at OARDC’s Western Agricultural Research Station near South Charleston, Ohio, soybean yields decreased by 0.6 bushels per acre per day when planted after mid-May, according to Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with OSU Extension.
Those yield results held true if the soil temperatures were 50 degrees or warmer, Lindsey said. However, soybeans planted too early when soil conditions were not adequate resulted in bean leaf beetle defoliation and frost damage.
Canopy closure beneficial
“There are some exceptions to a yield advantage when planting early, such as if the soils aren’t warm enough or if the fields are too wet,” she said. “In those cases, early planting can be.... (To read more, click the link below): 

Wait for warmer weather before terminating cover crops

Wait for warmer weather before terminating cover crops


Monday, April 18, 2016

Pasture Walk, May 19th @ 5:30


Tom Bechman





Use common sense on early planting this year!

Crop Watch 2016: With Mother Nature in need of Prozac, this is a year to be cautious on early planting.

Published on: Apr 18, 2016
Dave Nanda is a firm believer in early planting. The crops consultant for Seed Consultants, Inc., and author of Breeder’s Journal and Corn Illustrated in Indiana Prairie Farmer can point to lots of data that supports the fact that corn planted early for the area ends to yield more than corn planted in mid-to-late season, averaged over several years. There is data from seed corn companies that also backs up that conclusion. However, this might not be the year to get impatient about planting.
PLANTING DATE PRESSURE: Farmers are already feeling the pressure to plant as those in Iowa, Illinois and other warm states get going.
PLANTING DATE PRESSURE: Farmers are already feeling the pressure to plant as those in Iowa, Illinois and other warm states get going.
The weather turned from warm enough to cause someone in central Indiana to mow their yard twice in later March to freezing with up to an inch of snow on the ground as late as April 9. The yard didn’t need mowing that week! It may need mowing again now, but even if Mother Nature has settled down, there is no guarantee the cold outbreaks are over.
The average date of the last spring frost at Indianapolis is April 17. A frost or light freeze is....... (To Read More, Click the Link Below):

Seed treatments can be important in a productive soybean crop

Seed treatments can be important in a productive soybean crop


Last year was more proof for Andy Rodefer of the value in placing a high priority on getting soybeans off to a good start.
“We think you should be getting beans out there just as early as corn, if not earlier. On most occasions beans can take a lot of stress. Sometimes they don’t always look good but they can still come back after a lot of cold, tough weather and yield really well,” said Rodefer, who farms in Preble County. “In a lot of years planting early helps, but you have to protect the seed and roots as the plant comes out of the ground. In our area we hope we don’t have the rainfall like we did last year and that we get a good start for 2016.”
And Rodefer hopes that is the case not only for his farm, but also the numerous area farms he works with as a Syngenta seed dealer and a soybean seed treatment facility owner.
“We have been involved in the seed business for a number of years and now seed companies have a lot more to offer in seed treatments than what they used to. We had an opportunity to put our own treater set up in here at the farm to give farmers more choice in treatments and offer options that some of the seed companies don’t offer. By adding these treatments it can take good genetics and really get them to perform by protecting that yield,” Rodefer said. “We do some custom treating, but mostly we do true bulk and we usually run three to four main varieties. We normally start treating around the first of March all the way through......(To Read More, Click the Link Below):

Friday, April 15, 2016

ECOFA May Newsletter

ECOFA was founded to provide information to the members and the general public about multiple use management of forestland



The Annual meeting and Banquet was held at St. John’s Church, Dover.  The banquet was brought to order by President Kathy Myers.  The meal blessing was given by Glen Groh before the 67 attendees.  The wonderful meal of swiss steak and baked chicken breast, with all the trimmings, and delicious pie, was prepared by the volunteers of St. John’s Church.
Keith Dasher, forest technician of Clum Forestry Consultants, gave an overview of an app they use to assist in finding boundary lines.  The onXmaps app was designed for hunters to find public and private boundary lines.  There are various “layers” available with this app, including landowner names and addresses, topography, roads and trails, and lakes and streams, just to name a few.  Keith said it is very easy to use, and can be used on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or home/business based computer.  It is available for about $30.  They find it extremely helpful in their applications.  When in the woods, a little blue dot indicates your location on the map.  Never get lost again! As landowners, you can mark certain areas and save them for future use in planning your woodland.  It is even possible to save maps, so when in areas that are offline, you still have the map and the layers, and your location.  Thank you, Keith, for informing us of this very valuable tool!
Jeremy announced, and congratulated, Alan Walter as one of the two finalists in the American Tree Farm System’s Regional Forester of the Year.  Alan received the Ohio Tree Farmer of the Year for 2015. 
 There were 51 silent auction items and 32 items in the live auction.  Many of the items were handcrafted by ECOFA members, friends and family.  Jeremy Scherf did a fantastic job, as always, as auctioneer.  The lively, fun-filled auctions brought in over $2600 for the education fund, which mainly goes for Ohio Forestry Camp sponsorships.  Auction items included a Poplar bench, an ECOFA themed wood-burned artwork centerpiece, tree-quilted wallhanging, star-quilted center pieces, home-brewed honey wine, a jar of Ohio honey, 2-time international  winning maple syrup, a gorgeous picture frame, chestnut picture frames, chestnut wood, a wooden basket filled with home baked goodies, wood-duck nesting box, and that is just an overview.  So many wonderful items made generously and will be enjoyed by many.  The most fun item was the “Pig in the Poke”, a wrapped mysterious item, that ended up just that….a pig, made out of wood by our own Glen Hoerger!  And, we cannot forget the wonderful homemade delights made by Ellen and Janet.  A huge “Thank You!” to all who provided auction items.  It wouldn’t be possible without you!  “Thank You!” also to Alan Walter and Brian Werner for doing an onsite data entry, thus enabling a quick exit for all after the auction.

   At the May 4, 2016, 7:00 PM meeting of the East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA) John Quimby, past director of the Forest Health Program for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and ECOFA Member, will talk about "Biological Control and Patience".  His goal is to encourage us to use bio control to deal with pest (insects, plant diseases, and invasive "weeds") problems with alternatives to pesticides.  In many cases bio control can actually be less expensive, and more effective than spraying a pesticide.  One of costs, however, is that one must study the options through resources other than the local hardware store.  One also has to be patient. During John’s 30 year career, biological control was the primary focus of every pest problem he dealt with. Sometimes the best plan of action is to do nothing. What a wonderful resource, to have someone with so much experience help us solve our pest issues!

Belmont, Guernsey, Harrison, and Jefferson, Counties
    Jeremy Scherf
   2050 East Wheeling Ave.
   Cambridge, OH 43725-2159
   Phone 740-439-9079
   Toll free 1-866-274-0102
   Fax 740-432-7711
   Office day is Wednesday
Erie, Lorain, Huron, Medina, Ashland, Richland, Wayne, and Holmes counties  John Jolliff
    950 ODNR Mohican Rd. 60
    Perrysville, OH  44864
        Phone   419-938-6222
Carroll, Columbiana, Mahoning, Stark and Tuscarawas Counties
    Dan Bartlett
    3601 New Garden Road
    Salem, OH  44460-9571
    330-222-1486
    Office day is Wednesday
Coshocton, Muskingum, Noble and Monroe Counties
    Adam Komar
    6665 Cutler Lake Rd.
    Blue Rock, OH 43720-9740
    740-961-0194
    office day Wednesday
Knox, Morrow, Licking, & Perry Counties
    Andy Sabula
     8995 E. Main St
   - Plant Industry Building
     Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
     614-425-7767


Upcoming Seminars and classes
There are some listed in the meeting notes on previous pages
Capturing Nature’s Wonders
Saturday, May 7, 2016    Workshop:9:00am – 5:30pm  Field Trip: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
A full day class plus evening field trip on how to take outdoor photography to the next level. Intensive classroom preparation and ‘real time’ instruction in the field is planned to learn simple steps that make the difference between ordinary snapshots and extraordinary photos.  Please see attached brochure for details of how to prepare and what to bring to the class as well as what you will learn.  Class includes both lunch and dinner.  Go to jimdoty.com for more photographs of the instructor.  This workshop is being held at the OSU Mansfield campus and the cost is $90. Please call Call 614-688-3421 for questions
Second Friday Series
Spring Edible Plant-
When Fri, May 13, 9am – 6pm
Where Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest, Township Hwy 6, McArthur, OH 45651, United States (

Also noted on this page and since some of our members also are active with this organization:

Ohio Chapter of NWTF Awards $1000 to Support A DAY in the WOODS!

Lee Crocker and the National Wild Turkey Federation have been a huge part of A DAY in the WOODS since it launched in 2012.   The Ohio Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation just announced that they will support A DAY in the WOODS and the 2nd Friday Series with $1,000 in funding through their 2016 Super Fund Project .   This funding will allow us to continue to offer quality, innovative programming for woodland owners and enthusiasts in Southeastern Ohio at an affordable price! Thanks to  Lee and the Ohio Chapter of NWTF!
Wild Wednesday at Deerassic Park
April 27th 6 to 7 pm…Trophy Catfishing It’s time to kick off the fishing season! Mark Meeker and Chris Dyer will teach you everything you need to know on how to successfully land the big one! No fishing tales during this presentation. Learn the different types of fishing, where and when to fish, what type of equipment to use, and tips and techniques to catch the biggest catfish in the state!To register, please call 740-435-3335 or
email brooke@deerassic.com
2016 Forestry & Wildlife Conservation Camp - June 12-17, 2016

When to Prune

This depends to a large extent on why you prune. Light pruning and the removal of dead wood can be done anytime. Otherwise, here are some guidelines, but recognizing that individual species may differ is important to remember.

Winter Pruning

Pruning during dormancy is the most common practice. It results in a vigorous burst of new growth in the spring and should be used if that is the desired effect. It is usually best to wait until the coldest part of winter has passed. Some species, such as maple, walnuts and birches, may “bleed”—when the sap begins to flow. This is not harmful and will cease when the tree leafs out.

Summer Pruning

To direct the growth by slowing the branches you don’t want; or to slow “dwarf” the development of a tree or branch, pruning should be done soon after seasonal growth is complete. The reason for the slowing effect is that you reduce the total leaf surface, thereby reducing the amount of food manufactured and sent to the roots. Another reason to prune in the summer is for corrective purposes. Defective limbs can be seen more easily, or limbs that hang down too far under the weight of the leaves.

Pruning Flowering Trees to Enhance Flowering

If your purpose for pruning is to enhance flowering:

    For trees that bloom in spring, prune when their flowers fade.
    Trees and shrubs that flower in mid- to late summer should be pruned in winter or early spring.
When Not To Prune: Fall
Because decay fungi spread their spores profusely in the fall and healing of wounds seems to be slower on fall on cuts, this is a good time to leave your pruning tools in storage.

Keys to Good Pruning

Begin visual inspection at the top of the tree and work downward. Use The ⅓ and ¼ Rules of Pruning. Never remove more than ¼ of a tree’s crown in a season. Ideally, main side branches should be at least ⅓ smaller than the diameter of the trunk. For most deciduous (broadleaf) trees, don’t prune up from the bottom any more than ⅓ of the tree’s total height. Where possible, try to encourage side branches that form angles that are ⅓ off vertical that form “10 o’clock” or “2 o’clock” angles with the trunk. For most species, the tree should have a single trunk. Identify the best leader and later branches before you begin pruning and remove defective parts before pruning for form.
   Don’t worry about protecting pruning cuts. For aesthetics, you may feel better painting large wounds but it doesn’t prevent or reduce decay. Keep tools sharp. One-hand pruning shears with curved blades work best on young trees. For high branches use a pole pruner. A major job on a big tree should be done by a professional arborist.   For larger branches, cut outside the branch bark and ridge collar (swollen area). Do not leave a protruding stub. If the limb is too small to have formed a collar cut close. When simply shortening a small branch, make the cut at a lateral bud or another lateral branch. Favor a bud that will produce a branch that will grow in desired direction (usually outward). The cut should be sharp and clean and made at a slight angle about ¼ inch beyond the bud.

Annual Tree Pruning Steps from Planting to Maturity

Tree pruning, trimming, or cutting is an ongoing process throughout the life of your tree. After selecting the right tree and carefully planting it, early pruning is the most important thing you can do for a young tree. Proper pruning will save you money and give you a safer more beautiful, healthier, and easier-to-maintain tree. Remember what you do to your tree in its first few years of life will affect its shape, strength, and even its life span.

Tree Pruning Steps at Planting. Leave as much of the entire leaf surface as possible to manufacture food that will build a larger root system. Roots will be larger after one year if left unpruned. Do prune the following and trim close to the trunkbroken branches, branches competing with the leader, swollen branches from insect eggs or stings, and remove tree tags.

Note: This article was from Arborday.org





ECOFA
PO Box 486
Carrollton, OH  44615


Friday, April 8, 2016

TREE SALE UPDATE!!!

TREE SALE UPDATE!!! If you have not picked up your prepaid order please pick them up ASAP. We do have several species in extra quantities left over for sale. If you or know of anyone who is interested in buying some seedlings and wants to know more about availability and pricing please contact the district at 740-489-5276. This is a first come first serve basis. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tree Sale Pick Up

Thanks to the help of the Meadowbrook High School Agricultural and sciences classes our trees are bagged and ready for pick up! Every year the school, it's staff, and students help us separate, bag, and label our trees for the annual tree sale. Don't forget, pick up for tree sale orders are 4/6/16 and 4/7/16 between 8am-4:30pm. For any questions call 740-488-5276.