Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Teens Invited to Attend Ohio Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp Campers can explore the outdoors, compete for college scholarships

CARROLLTON, OH – Students who are interested in learning more about the outdoors and spending a week outside are invited to attend the Ohio Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), the camp will be held June 12-17. The camp is open to all students who have completed the eighth grade through high school seniors graduating the year of camp, which is held at FFA Camp Muskingum on beautiful Leesville Lake in Carroll County.
“The best way to learn is to be outside with experts who can demonstrate and teach in a hands-on environment,” said Robert Boyles, Ohio’s state forester. “Many kids develop the fundamental skills needed to begin careers in conservation at camps just like this one.”
The Ohio Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp is a weeklong resident camp with the goal of educating the next generation of caretakers of Ohio’s valuable natural resources. Programs at this year’s camp include tree identification, ecology, forest industries, wildlife management, forest management, songbird identification as well as wildfire and prescribed fire. New this year will be the opportunity for the students to observe and learn from an active timber harvest at the camp.
The camp is sponsored by the Ohio Forestry Association Foundation, a private, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the wise management of Ohio’s forests and natural resources. The camp is supported by the ODNR divisions of Wildlife and Forestry, Ohio State University (OSU) Extension and the county Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs).
Campers spend the week making new friends, participating in fun camp activities and learning about the environment around them. Camp culminates with a comprehensive exam, including a tree identification section. The highest scoring students compete for college scholarships to Hocking College, The Ohio State University and Ohio University.
Camp costs $400, with sponsorships available to assist interested students who need help covering the fee. Sponsorships are offered through local SWCD offices, sportsmen’s clubs, forestry groups and many private forestry-sector businesses. Students should register by Friday, June 10, to participate.
For more information and registration, contact the Ohio Forestry Association at 888-38-TREES, or visit the OFA website at
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at
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For more information, contact:
Stephen Rist, ODNR Division of Forestry
Stephanie Leis, ODNR Office of Communications

Monday, May 23, 2016

GSWCD Pasture Walk Results

 Guernsey SWCD in conjunction with Guernsey OSU Extension hosted a spring pasture walk at board member Ken Ford's farm on May 19th. We had 40 people in attendance and went over a variety of topics including species identification, paddock lay out and design, watering systems, fencing and a demonstration of our new Grass Works weed wiper. Also, Randy Raber let us come over and take a quick tour of his new feed lot and set up. Thank you to all who came out and attended this great event and especially to Ken and Randy for opening up their farms for us.

If you would like to know about future GSWCD programs, contact our office at 740-489-5276, or stop by our office at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds. 

Ohio farmers falling behind on planting season

Ohio farmers falling behind on planting season

By The Columbus Dispatch  •  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ohio Hunters Checked more than 17,700 Wild Turkeys during Spring Season

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio hunters checked 17,793 wild turkeys during the combined 2016 spring wild turkey hunting season and youth wild turkey hunting season, April 16-May 15, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Hunters checked 16,229 birds during the four weeks of the 2016 wild turkey season compared to 16,049 birds in 2015. Young hunters checked 1,564 birds during the 2016 youth season compared to 1,589 in 2015.
Ohio’s 2016 spring wild turkey season was open April 18 through May 15. Youth season was April 16-17. Find more information about wild turkey hunting
Wild turkeys were extirpated in Ohio by 1904 and were reintroduced in the 1950s by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s first modern day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The wild turkey harvest topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Spring turkey hunting opened statewide in 2000, and Ohio hunters checked more than 20,000 wild turkeys for the first time that year.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at
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Editor’s Note: A list of all wild turkeys checked during the 2016 combined spring turkey hunting seasons is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2016, and the 2015 numbers are in parentheses.
Adams: 432 (413); Allen: 89 (78); Ashland: 202 (208); Ashtabula: 569 (557); Athens: 363 (323); Auglaize: 50 (50); Belmont: 491 (520); Brown: 347 (327); Butler: 166 (200); Carroll: 322 (330); Champaign: 95 (102); Clark: 15 (19); Clermont: 396 (347); Clinton: 40 (60); Columbiana: 361 (385); Coshocton: 418 (458); Crawford: 74 (63); Cuyahoga: 12 (10); Darke: 40 (55); Defiance: 324 (298); Delaware: 111 (107); Erie: 55 (49); Fairfield: 102 (108); Fayette: 26 (14); Franklin: 21 (11); Fulton: 120 (117); Gallia: 418 (393); Geauga: 264 (269); Greene: 16 (23); Guernsey: 428 (484); Hamilton: 117 (116); Hancock: 53 (60); Hardin: 87 (101); Harrison: 425 (430); Henry: 72 (58); Highland: 387 (357); Hocking: 309 (268); Holmes: 217 (252); Huron: 113 (155); Jackson: 347 (320); Jefferson: 410 (373); Knox: 285 (354); Lake: 54 (68); Lawrence: 274 (222); Licking: 281 (370); Logan: 141 (117); Lorain: 141 (139); Lucas: 60 (45); Madison: 13 (6); Mahoning: 228 (213); Marion: 35 (31); Medina: 138 (145); Meigs: 419 (450); Mercer: 21 (23); Miami: 20 (17); Monroe: 508 (481); Montgomery: 18 (25); Morgan: 308 (325); Morrow: 174 (170); Muskingum: 462 (478); Noble: 349 (335); Ottawa: 3 (0); Paulding: 126 (145); Perry: 260 (260); Pickaway: 26 (24); Pike: 278 (246); Portage: 205 (236); Preble: 114 (108); Putnam: 87 (89); Richland: 280 (277); Ross: 350 (330); Sandusky: 25 (22); Scioto: 270 (236); Seneca: 141 (162); Shelby: 50 (42); Stark: 281 (223); Summit: 65 (54); Trumbull: 464 (435); Tuscarawas: 429 (426); Union: 48 (32); Van Wert: 27 (17); Vinton: 306 (329); Warren: 101 (67); Washington: 466 (466); Wayne: 106 (100); Williams: 313 (296); Wood: 36 (30); Wyandot: 103 (104). Totals: 17,793 (17,638).
For more information, contact:
John Windau, ODNR Division of Wildlife
Matt Eiselstein, ODNR Office of Communications

Talk of the Town Interview with Jason Tyrell

Interview with Jason Tyrell (Guernsey SWCD Ag Resource Specalist) starts at 10:40 on the video.
Guernsey SWCD is hosting a Pasture Walk on May 19th at 5:30pm
as well as a Cover Crop Program on June 1st at 6:00pm
Call the GSWCD office at 740-489-5276 to RSVP for either event or any other information.

Click the link below, or copy and paste into address bar, to watch the video.
 (Interview with Jason Tyrell starts at 10:40 on the video).

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): 


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
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