335C Old National Rd
P.O.Box 310
Old Washington, OH 43768
740-489-5276
Fax: 489-5278

Our Mission

Promote through education and technical assistance, the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.


Monday, August 31, 2015

ODNR Releases New Oil, Gas Numbers

 The Ohio Department of Natural Resources this week released the second quarter 2015 results for oil and gas production.  During Q2, Ohio's horizontal shale wells produced 5,578,255 barrels of oil and 221,860,169 Mcf (or 221 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, the ODNR reported.  "These numbers break all previous production reporting records for the last 100 years," ODNR said in a release.  The numbers mark an increase over the 3.1 million barrels of oil and 133 billion cubic feet of gas produced in Q2 2014.  Year-to-date, 2015 has seen the production of more than 10 million barrels of oil and 400 million Mcf of gas - a 126% and 160% increase respectively from the first half of 2014  ODNR's report lists 1,020 wells with 978 of them reporting production. Forty-two wells, meanwhile, reported no production as they were waiting for pipeline infrastructure.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative

DOVER, OHIO - At the September 2, 7:00 PM meeting of the East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA), Amanda Duren with the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative will speak to us.  Amanda started with OBCI in Sept. of 2011.  She received a B.S.in Environmental Resource Management from Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Delaware.  She has worked with a number of public and private organizations in areas including avian conservation and biogeochemistry.
ECOFA is an organization of persons interested in improving their woodlands and in forestry-related topics.  The public is cordially invited to attend the free meetings which are held monthly at the Dover Library, 525  North Walnut St. Dover, Ohio

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

State House Panel Examines Agriculture Technology Advancements; Witnesses Call for Enhanced Internet Access


Agriculture groups and broadband advocates urged a House panel Monday to help improve Internet access in rural parts of the state, saying it would allow more farmers to utilize technology to enhance their operations.
The push for improved Internet access came as the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee examined new agriculture technology developments during a hearing at Ohio State University - the first of its five late summer road stops.
Derik Geitgey, of Mt. Vernon-based Ag Info Tech, LLC, briefed the committee on five technologies growers are using to become more efficient, profitable and environmentally responsible.
They include: auto steer, which utilizes GPS signals to guide tractors, sprayers or combines through a field; auto swath, which uses GPS to record where applications have been made; GIS-based "Smart Soil Sampling and Variable Rate Application," which allows field and soil samples to be taken as if there were several small fields; on-the-go crop health sensors, which measure crop health; and unmanned aerial vehicles, which would allow for a real-time geo referenced image of crop health if approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Many of these technologies rely heavily on the Internet, Mr. Geitgey said, adding that GPS corrections can be delivered via the Internet from the Department of Transportation. Images and flight plans for the UAV rely on 4G data availability - something that's not available in many rural areas, he said.

Lawmakers, the witness said, could help secure reliable 4G speed Internet for the entire state.
Connect Ohio Executive Director Lindsay Shanahan also called for enhanced Internet access, saying how her organization, a subsidiary of Connected Nation, has seen how it could benefit several sectors of Ohio's economy, like agriculture.
"Enhanced service coverage can reduce costs and increase farming yields," she told the committee. "Not only does broadband access allow Ohio farmers to sell to a larger market, but technology also enables more precise and targeted production methods."
Access, Ms. Shanahan said, represents a major challenge to broadband use in Ohio agriculture.
According to the witness, surveys Connect Ohio has conducted of local businesses found that those using broadband have 60% higher revenues than their counterparts. A U.S. Department of Agriculture survey released last week, she added, showed a broadband gap in Ohio's agricultural sector, with just under a third of farms not using the Internet.

"This issue is not unique to the Ohio agricultural sector - nationwide 30% of farms do not use the Internet," Ms. Shanahan said. "While the number of Ohio farms offline has decreased from 45% in 2009, this number is still too high. One in three Ohio farms are missing opportunities for higher sales and greater production that broadband technology offers."
Connect Ohio, she said, will work with Deere & Company later this year to map wireless broadband and cell coverage in rural Ohio counties.
Additionally, AT&T, Cincinnati Bell, CenturyLink, FairPoint Communications, Frontier Communications and Windstream have been offered nearly $59 million per year in subsidies through the Federal Communications Commission's Connect America Fund to support broadband networks in Ohio, Ms. Shanahan said. Frontier, Windstream and FairPoint Communications have accepted funding and the remaining companies have until this week to do so.

Chairman Rep. Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) said connecting more Ohioans and farmers with adequate Internet remains a priority for his panel.
"The rural development side of the committee is trying to look at where we can help with that, especially when you get to southeast Ohio and the hills involved it's more of a challenge," he said in an interview. "(There are) not as many users, so it's hard to make the economic case. We're trying to find ways we can enhance and give those people the same opportunities the rest of Ohio has."
The most recent biennial budget (HB 64*), the chairman said, set the groundwork for these issues, by allowing companies to use new technologies to provide services in rural areas.

Other Testimony: Aaron Arnett, a member of the board of directors for the Ohio Cattlemen's Association, told the panel that while cattlemen's adoption of reproductive technology is largely slow and underutilized, new technologies could enhance herd reproductive efficiency and overall profitability.
Briefing members on artificial insemination, estrus synchronization, sexed semen, early pregnancy detection, cloning and embryo transfer and in vitro fertilization, he acknowledged that some of technologies face public perception issues among consumers.
Despite this challenge, Mr. Arnett said development and application of advanced reproductive technologies have increased the rate of genetic progress and increased beef industry production efficiency.
He told Rep. Burkley that it's important as the population grows that the industry embrace technology and not push back against it.

Matt Whitehead, who spoke on behalf of Green Climber NA Owner Marty Halm, meanwhile, promoted remote controlled slope mowers, saying the new technology allows operators to stand up to 1,000 feet away and safely maintain steep hillsides, embankments and slopes.
Investment in these mowers, he told the panel, would save the state in terms of possible injuries and result in improved work efficiency, adding that they have been demonstrated to the Department of Natural Resources and Ohio Turnpike & Infrastructure Commission.
Mr. Whitehead added that the company is seeking clarification from the Bureau of Workers' Compensation on whether state and local governments can use funds from the Safety Intervention Grant Program to purchase these units.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Federal, State Lawmakers Back Kasich's Call For Buckeye Lake Disaster Relief

A quartet of U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday seconded Gov. John Kasich's request for federal disaster relief funds to be released to support Buckeye Lake businesses.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, and U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi issued a letter addressed to U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, urging a federal disaster declaration for Fairfield, Licking and Perry counties.  "We believe federal assistance is necessary to help the Ohioans in these counties," the lawmakers wrote. "We fully support Gov. Kasich's request for a federal disaster declaration, and urge your office to provide full and fair consideration to this disaster declaration request."  The letter follows a similar letter sent Monday to SBA Director Frank Skaggs by Gov. Kasich.  "By keeping this already shallow lake at an even lower water level, recreational opportunities have diminished dramatically and have posed an immediate and potentially long-term financial hardship for area businesses," Gov. Kasich wrote.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers classified the dam as being in imminent danger of catastrophic failure. In response, officials lowered the lake's water level on April 20 to alleviate pressure on the dam.  Since then, the lake's water level has remained close to 888.75 feet above sea level - below its summer average in recent years of 891.75 feet above sea level. The water level drop has crippled the tourism economy and local businesses, lawmakers said.  "While plans are in place to construct a new dam, the lower lake level has dramatically decreased tourism activity in the area, costing small businesses throughout the Buckeye Lake region," the federal lawmakers wrote. "SBA disaster resources would provide much-needed relief in the form of low-interest loans that can be used to pay fixed debts, make payroll, and take care of other bills during the dam construction process."

Supplementary material included with Gov. Kasich's letter spell out the extent of the damage, showing that the lake has sustained:


  • A 90% decrease in boater activity - translating to a loss of an estimated 200,000 visitors.
  • A nearly 100% drop in the number of visitors using day-use facilities including beaches, picnic areas and playgrounds.
  • An 80% decline in land-based fishing
  • A 99% drop in special activity permits
  • The cancellation of all of the approximately 80 to 100 fishing tournaments that take place on the lake each year


A survey by the Development Services Agency found that 12 businesses have lost between 33% and 100% of their revenue between April 20 and July 10 compared to that same time period last year. Among the most severe: A 100% drop in revenue - from $5,000 to $0 - for Patrick and Lindsey Brighton; a 96% drop - from $21,564 to $850 this year - for the Greater Buckeye Lake Historical Society; an 89% drop - from $30,700 last year to $3,500 this year - for the Buckeye Lake Barge.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ohio Wildlife Council Approves 2015-2016 Waterfowl Regulations and Hears New Proposal on CWD Surveillance

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio’s waterfowl season dates and bag limits were approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council at its meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 19, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). In addition, the council was presented a new proposal to strengthen the state’s ability to address chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Ohio. 

The proposed rule would allow the Chief of the ODNR Division of Wildlife to establish a “disease surveillance area” when chronic wasting disease has been detected in a wild or captive deer. This proposed rule would not automatically make an area with a CWD positive sample a “disease surveillance area,” but would allow the division to consider the situation and establish the area as needed. 

A “disease surveillance area” designation would include all areas within a minimum of six miles surrounding any location where the disease has been detected. If an area would be designated as a “disease surveillance area,” the designation would remain in effect for a minimum of three years. The area would be mapped and posted on the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s website at wildohio.gov and would be available at any of the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District offices. 

The following regulations would apply within a “disease surveillance area” if it is established:
• Required submission of harvested deer carcasses to Division of Wildlife inspection stations for inspection and sampling during the deer gun and deer muzzleloading seasons;
• Prohibit the placement of or use of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed to attract or feed deer;
• Prohibit the hunting of deer by the aid of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed;
• Prohibit the removal of a deer carcass killed by a motor vehicle unless the carcass complies with the deer carcass regulations.

Normal agricultural activities including feeding of domestic animals as well as hunting deer over food plots, natural occurring or cultivated plants and agriculture crops would not be prohibited. 

The proposed rule change is open to public comment and subject to a vote by the Wildlife Council at its regularly scheduled meeting in October. People interested in submitting comments about the proposed rule change are encouraged to visit wildohio.gov. 

The Wildlife Council also approved the 2015-2016 following waterfowl season regulations and bag limits. The South Zone, North Zone and Lake Erie Marsh Zones will remain the same for waterfowl hunting this year. New this year, the canvasback daily bag limit was increased to two. Opening day for duck and goose hunting is Saturday, Oct. 17, in the Lake Erie Marsh Zone and Saturday, Oct. 24, in the North and South zones. See the 2015-2016 Waterfowl Hunting Seasons for more waterfowl hunting information, including zone maps. 

Hunters 15 years of age and younger will have the opportunity to enjoy a statewide special youth waterfowl season Oct. 3-4. Bag limits established during the regular season apply. Ohio is divided into three zones for duck, coot and merganser hunting. The seasons are split in each zone during the following dates: 
• Duck hunting season in the Lake Erie Marsh Zone is Oct. 17-Nov. 1 and Nov. 14-Dec. 27.
• Duck hunting season in the North Zone is Oct. 24-Nov. 8 and Nov. 21-Jan. 3, 2016.
• Duck hunting season in the South Zone is Oct. 24-Nov. 8 and Dec. 19-Jan. 31, 2016.

The daily bag limit for ducks is six, which may not include more than four mallards (no more than one may be female), three wood ducks, one black duck, two redheads, three scaup, two canvasbacks, two pintails and one mottled duck. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which no more than two may be hooded mergansers. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. Possession limits after the second day are three times the daily bag limit. 

Ohio is also divided into three zones for goose and brant hunting. The seasons are split in each zone during the following dates: 
• Goose hunting in the Lake Erie Marsh Zone is Oct. 17-Nov. 1, Nov. 14-Dec. 27 and Jan. 14-31, 2016.
• Goose hunting in the North Zone is Oct. 24-Nov. 8, Nov. 21-Jan. 3, 2015 and Jan. 14-31, 2016.
• Goose hunting in the South Zone is Oct. 24-Nov. 8 and Dec. 1-Jan. 31, 2016.

The daily bag limit for Canada geese is three. Light geese (snows, Ross’s and blues) have a daily bag limit of 10, white-fronted geese have a daily bag limit of one and brant have a daily bag limit of one. The possession limit for brant and geese is three times the daily bag limit after the second day. 

Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification is required of all migratory bird hunters prior to hunting. Migratory game bird hunters must call 877-HIPOHIO (447-6446) and answer a few survey questions to complete the HIP certification requirement. Once the survey has been completed, hunters will be provided a certification number to write on their Ohio hunting license. 

Waterfowl hunters age 18 and older must also purchase an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, available at any hunting license agent or wildohio.gov. In addition, all waterfowl hunters age 16 and older must possess a signed federal duck stamp, which can be purchased at duckstamp.com, usps.com and most post offices. 

Copies of this season's waterfowl hunting regulations, which include maps of the zones, are available at wildohio.gov or available at all license agent outlets by late September. ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov. 

Retrieved from: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/wildlife-home/post/ohio-wildlife-council-approves-2015-2016-waterfowl-regulations-and-hears-new-proposal-on-cwd-surveillance on 8/21/15 

How America’s Most Useless Crop Also Became Its Most Commonly Grown One

Contrary to what you may think (and what your food labels may suggest) corn is not the most grown crop in America. The most grown crop is something no one is eating, no one is asking for, and no one is quite sure what to do with. 

The U.S. devotes a full one-fifth of its land to agriculture (408 million acres, or 637,500 square miles) for farmers to grow on, of which corn is the largest food crop. However, there are almost 50,000 square miles of this crop growing in the U.S.—almost three times as much as corn.

Curious yet?  Find out what it is by reading the rest of article  HERE

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cover crops may be a biological 'bug' killer

By Dave Nanda

Cover crops may be a biological 'bug' killer
Northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot damage and insects may be reduced by cover crops, even in corn-soybean rotations.
Published on: Aug 18, 2015


While scouting corn fields in southeastern Indiana during the last three years, I've noticed fewer disease lesions of northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot in fields following cover crops. That could prove to be a major, underemphasized benefit. Disease lesions were more prevalent even on fields where corn was grown two years ago in a corn-soybean rotation when no cover crop was used.
I scouted corn fields with NCLB and GLS where cover crops weren't used. Less than 20 miles away, I had a hard time finding disease lesions on hybrids with exactly the same genetics – where cover crops were used.
These fungal disease spores remain viable for years. Cover crop residue seems to............
To Read More, Follow the link below:
Sustainable ag cover crops may be biological bug killer


A little chuckle


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

10 best ways to get more cattle on the same pasture

The market may be telling beef producers that it's time to amp up the herd. But pastureland resources are a limiting factor for many, says Warren Rusche, South Dakota State University Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

This challenge requires new or different ways of thinking. Rusche shares 10 options to consider for increasing the amount of forage for a beef herd, or feeding more cattle on the same amount of land.

Read rest of article  HERE

Monday, August 17, 2015

Talk of the Town interview


Our Wildlife/Forestry Specialist, Levi Arnold, spoke to Perry this week on "Talk of the Town" the local TV station. His interview starts at 21:20 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1641&v=8dL5pZgONng

Friday, August 14, 2015

30 Years of Conservation Day Camp Recognized!

What a nice gesture! A letter of commendation to the district for its 30 years of work with Guernsey County youth during our annual Conservation Day Camp. Thank you Senator Balderson and Senator Faber.

Soil Pit clinic well attended.


Photos from the Soil Pit program at the Hodges' farm north of Cambridge, held on Thursday evening. ODNR Soil Scientist Steve Probonick talked about soil health,
OSU Extension Educator Clif Little explained how to read a soil test and forage test,
and our own Jason Tyrell, Ag Resources Specialist showed how to take soil samples and to submit them for testing.  24 people attended the clinic.