Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Smartphone App Provides New Way to Access Soil Survey Information

A new smartphone application, or “app,” is available as a free download for both iPhone and Android users to access soil survey information. The app, SoilWeb, combines online soil survey information with the GPS capabilities of smartphones.

The SoilWeb app is a portable version of the UC Davis California Soil Resource Lab’s Web-based interface to digital soil survey data from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Because the app provides soil survey information in a mobile form, it is particularly useful for those working in the field.

NRCS introduced the Web Soil Survey (WSS), an online tool for accessing soils information, a few years ago. This was a wonderful development for users of soils information—engineers, developers, farmers and many others—because WSS provides quick access to the most current data produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

Read rest of article  HERE

Senate Panel Cultivates Invasive Plant Species Regulations

An industry-backed proposal to consolidate invasive plant regulation under the Ohio Department of Agriculture cleared a Senate committee Wednesday.  During the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation endorsed Sen. Gayle Manning’s legislation to grant the director of Agriculture exclusive authority to regulate invasive plant species (SB 192).  The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association has also pushed for the measure out of concern that numerous entities, including local governments, park districts and garden clubs, can currently define certain plants as invasive.  Some states have pursued regulations to ban invasive plants, according to the sponsor, who has said that efforts to limit the nursery industry to native species could increase the potential for monocultures that may be more susceptible to pests or diseases.

Prior to voting unanimously to pass the bill out of committee, members approved an amendment that clarifies cultivated plants grown for food or livestock feed could not be defined as invasive.  Sen. Manning said another successful amendment would preserve the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's authority to consider invasive plant species when evaluating permits to impact wetlands.
Brandon Kern, director of state policy for the Ohio Farm Bureau, said the organization has long urged coordination among state and federal agencies and private landowners to help combat invasive species.  "Senate Bill 192 is a practical approach to accomplishing a portion of this goal at the state level. The first step to preventing the negative impacts of introducing invasive species in our state is to have a clear understanding of those species which truly present a threat," he said.  "It is also vitally important the term 'invasive species' is not considered synonymous with 'non-native species,'" Mr. Kern said, noting the bill would set clear standards that require a species cause economic damage or harm to environmental or human health to be defined as invasive.

Kevin Thompson, executive director of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association, said in written testimony that ODA was the logical choice to regulate invasive plant species since the agency already oversees nurseries, nursery stock and the noxious weed list.

Chairman Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) said after the hearing the bill would likely come to a full Senate vote next week.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bobcat, bear sightings rising in Ohio

Earlier this month the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife proposed to the Ohio Wildlife Council removing the bobcat from the state’s threatened species list. The feline predator, which can weigh up to 40 pounds, has slowly been returning to Ohio and other Midwestern states since the 1970s.

Read rest of article   HERE

Monday, January 27, 2014

4th in a series: 2014 Tree Seedling Sale - Sawtooth Oak (Quercus acutissima)

A deciduous tree from the Beech Family (Fagaceae)
Sawtooth Oak, native to Japan, China, and Korea, is a species introduced because of its rapid establishment and heavy fruit production at an early age, serving as an important source of food in late summer and throughout autumn for wildlife. If kept fertilized and free of competing weeds, these trees begin to produce acorns when they are 6-8 years old, and maturing trees are capable of producing over 1000 pounds of nuts each year. The “Gobbler” variety yields about 150 acorns per pound.  Large birds (crows, bluejays, turkeys), squirrels, deer, raccoons, opossums, and other mammals love the large, abundant crops of acorns, which are borne heavily every other year, if not every year. This Oak is easy to identify by its pyramidal shape in youth, striated young bark, retained winter foliage, acorns with frilled caps, and finely serrated leaves (from which it gets its common name). It is planted throughout most of Ohio, and may reach 60 feet tall by 60 feet wide at maturity, when found in the open. As a member of the Red Oak group and the Beech Family, it is related to the Beeches, Chestnuts, and other Oaks.
Planting Requirements - Sawtooth Oak prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soils of moderate fertility, but adapts well to relatively poor, dry soils of neutral or slightly alkaline pH. It thrives in full sun to partial sun (but is shade tolerant in youth) and is grown in zones 5 to 9.
Potential Problems - Sawtooth Oak is basically disease and pest free, which is somewhat remarkable for an introduced species. In very high pH soils, it develops chlorotic leaves. This oak tends to retain its spreading lower branches more so as compared to other Oaks, so limbing up in urban situations will be necessary at a fairly young age.

The Sawtooth Oak is one of 8 tree seedlings which will be offered in the 2014 Tree Sale held by the Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District.  Other seedlings include White Pine, Douglas Fir, American chestnut, Butternut, Red Maple, Tulip Poplar, and Black Alder. Also available this year are 2 varieties of apples; Nova Spy and Goldrush. The district will also offer 2 varieties of blueberry; Aurora, and Blue Ray.  New this year is a cover crop mix for gardeners.  And as usual, the district has high quality all cedar birdfeeders and houses for sale.  For more information and to receive an order blank, please call 740-432-5624.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Local Officials Seek Share Of Fracking Tax Proposal

Local governments in Ohio's shale drilling region asked the House Ways & Means Committee Wednesday to give them a cut of the revenue from a plan to overhaul the oil and gas severance tax.  Meanwhile, an industry group that supports the bill (HB 375) sought to allay concerns about how the proposed severance tax was structured and doubts about revenue estimates.  Sponsored by Rep. Matt Huffman, the measure would create a new severance tax on horizontal wells. The administration has said the net proceeds tax structure, along with a state income tax credit and Commercial Activities Tax exemption make it difficult to estimate how much revenue it would generate.

Greg DiDonato, executive director of the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association, detailed a variety of extensive local infrastructure needs in the 10-county development district that includes much of the Utica Shale play.  "We are fortunate to have these natural resources in our area, but the development of these resources is placing a burden on our local governments," he said, citing truck traffic, strains on the water supply and wastewater facilities, and other infrastructure needs.  Mr. DiDonato, a former state lawmaker, encouraged members to recognize the cost of building out the infrastructure necessary for the region to serve the new oil and gas development.  "In order for the region to be supportive of HB375 moving forward, an equitable portion of funds generated by any severance tax needs to be returned for investment in the areas most directly impacted by the shale development," he said.

Misty Casto, executive director of the Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District, recommended several changes to the bill, saying the original version "significantly undervalues a non-renewable natural resource of our region."  She urged members to earmark a portion of the revenue to help Appalachian oil-and-gas producing communities to "establish a sustainable glide-path in transitioning away from the industry's boom phase, rather than repeating the devastating effects on communities of abrupt boom-to-bust cycles of the past."  Ms. Casto also asked the committee to raise the proposed rate and base the tax on gross value instead of net proceeds.  "The language in HB375 defines 'net proceeds' in terms of allowing for the exclusion of 'any' post-production costs. This permits excessive deductions in a way that 'gross value' does not," she said. "I encourage Ohio to keep the tax rate simple and equitable by employing a gross calculation."

Aaron Dodds, regional planning and economic development director for Carroll County, said his area, at the heart of the fracking boom, was already experiencing both positive and negative effects.  "If House Bill 375 is to be enacted this money needs to come back to the counties that it came from because we are the ones feeling the burden," he said.

Cambridge Mayor Tom Orr underscored his city's need to develop infrastructure before the fracking boom subsides.  "In order for the greatest and most diverse economic growth to be realized, we will need to improve and maintain our regional infrastructure," he said.

At least one major fracking operator, Gulfport Energy Corporation, has responded to the local governments' pleas.  Gulfport President and CFO Michael Moore acknowledged that southeastern Ohio has experienced boom and bust cycles over the past two centuries because of its reliance on natural resources like lumber, coal, oil and natural gas.  "This is why Gulfport is joining with a number of our local partners in support of returning a portion of the new HB 375 revenues to southeast Ohio. Regarding the severance tax rate, we are hopeful that an earmark for SE Ohio can be secured under HB375 as introduced," he said in written testimony.  "That said, Gulfport Energy wants to insure that the rate is appropriate to provide for the local earmark. We also believe our local partners should have access to resources, now and long-term, for infrastructure improvements and conservation efforts," Mr. Moore said.

John Molinaro, CEO of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth in southeast Ohio where much of the shale plays are located, said the group supports the tax plan "so long as a significant portion of the revenues derived are dedicated to mitigating short and long term impacts of the extraction and to building a better economic future for the region."  The funds are necessary because of "economic displacement," which he said has occurred in every area that's experienced an extraction-related boom.  "This happens when the companies that come in to do the extraction bid up the cost of labor, land, facilities and services," Mr. Molinaro said in testimony.   "This bidding-up process squeezes out local activities that are the underpinnings of the economy. Firms that cannot raise their prices enough to pay these increased costs close or move. When the extraction ends, the local economy finds itself with fewer jobs to support its people and less tax revenue to support critical government services."

Harrison County Commissioner Don Bethel said in testimony that he thinks counties should benefit from the severance tax, but some more than others - especially those counties that have been and will be impacted most by oil booms, such as his county.

Rich Milleson, Chief Financial Officer of Milleson Insurance, Agency LLC in Harrison County, said he "supports the current regulatory scheme that is in place where a severance tax supports the Oil and Gas and Geological Survey divisions within DNR."  He suggested that if a surplus occurs, the money should be given to the region where it was generated.

In regards to revenue estimates, Ohio Oil & Gas Association President Dave Hill defended the organization's estimates that the bill would generate $2.07 billion over 10 years. The projection is based on the assumption of 1,000 wells being drilled on average each year over the next decade, which is consistent with other significant shale plays around the country, he said.  "Clearly the evidence shows that the assumptions of future well activity and pricing are conservative. We believe the revenue model is the best available to provide a reasonable projection of future well growth and thus severance receipts looking forward ten years," he said.  The witness also dismissed concerns about the proposal to create a new horizontal severance tax based on net proceeds, saying it would impose a gross receipts tax on the total gross value, while recognizing producers' costs to add value to the product through processing.  "HB375 does not allow a producer to deduct costs for drilling or equipping a well or for costs in the production of a well. Also, oil and gas produced from a well is the first point of production, nothing else precedes it," he said.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Up Against Blend Wall, Ethanol's at a Crossroads

A steady stream of semi-trailers rolls across the scales at the E Energy ethanol plant near the town of Adams in southeast Nebraska. The smokestack behind the scale house sends up a tall plume of white steam. The sweet smell of fermenting corn is in the air.

Read rest of story  HERE

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Healthy Water, Healthy People

An innovative water quality education program sponsored by Project WET and the Hach Scientific Foundation, offering hands-on activity guides, testing kits, training, and much more. 

GOAL: The goal of Healthy Water, Healthy People is to facilitate and promote the awareness, appreciation, knowledge, stewardship, and understanding of water quality topics and issues and to make evident the interdependence between science education and the public.  Workshop participants learn to assess physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of local streams in order to understand how water quality is affected by human activity.

AUDIENCE: Healthy Water, Healthy People is for anyone interested in learning and teaching about contemporary water quality education topics.

* Upper Elementary through Secondary School Teachers

* Science Methods, Science Education and Environmental Science Professors

* River and Lake Monitoring Program Leaders, Drinking Water and Wastewater Plant Operators and Educators, Land and Water Managers, Conservation District and Extension Agents, Urban Program Members, Health Care Educators and Providers, Scientists, and Policy Makers

* Citizens – Anyone interested in Water Quality

For information about the Healthy Water, Healthy People program in Ohio contact:

Dennis Clement,Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Education                                                 P.O. Box 1049,  Columbus, OH 43216-104     Phone (614) 644-2048   E-mail

Web: and

Monday, January 20, 2014

3rd in a Series: 2014 Tree Seedling Sale - Douglas Fir ( Pseudotsuga menziesii )

Douglas Fir is not native to Ohio, but it is planted as Christmas trees and also as an ornamental in lawns that can accommodate its large size. The lumber is used for structural applications that are required to withstand high loads. It is used extensively in the construction industry.  It is also prized as a Christmas tree that holds its bluegreen needles especially well after cutting.

Douglas Fir is native to much of Canada, and the Pacific northwest and the Rockies. Mature specimens found in the open may grow to 100 feet tall or more. The bark on young trees is thin, smooth, gray, and covered with resin blisters. On mature trees, it is moderately thick, furrowed and corky.  A tree will begin to produce cones at 12-15 years of age.  The seeds in the cones are eaten by squirrels and many species of birds.  As a member of the Pine Family, it is related to other Firs, as well as to the Larches, Spruces, Pines, and Hemlocks.

Planting Requirements- Although not native to Ohio, Douglas Fir achieves reasonable growth in sites that assist its summer survival, as does general shelter from the drying winds of summer. As with any evergreen, it may be used as a screen or windbreak. It grows in full sun to partial sun, and strongly prefers areas with cool summers and cold winters.

Potential Problems- Firs are generally disease- and pest-free once established, as long as they are sited in relatively cool summer climates.

The Douglas Fir is one of 8 tree seedlings which will be offered in the 2014 Tree Sale held by the district.  Other seedlings include White Pine, Sawtooth oak, American chestnut, Butternut, Red Maple, Tulip Poplar, and Black Alder. Also available this year are 2 varieties of apples; Nova Spy and Goldrush. The district will also offer 2 varieties of blueberry; Aurora, and Blue Ray.  New this year is a cover crop mix for gardeners.  And as usual, the district has high quality all cedar birdfeeders and houses for sale.  For more information and to receive an order blank, please call 740-432-5624.

Friday, January 17, 2014

10 Ag-Related Items to Watch in 2014

With 2013  in the books and the holiday season  behind us, its time to prepare for the challenges that face us in the coming year. 

Read list  HERE

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Soil Regions of Ohio

Click on photo to enlarge to view

Soil is one of our most basic natural resources, but we rarely see more than its surface - and even that is usually hidden by pavement, crops, or trees.

To most people, the soils of Ohio all look and feel pretty much the same. However, farmers and builders know that soils differ within most fields and city blocks. Soils are also different from region to region across the state.

The vast majority of soils are composed mostly of mineral material - small bits of decomposed rock. But soil is more than a collection of mineral particles. Pore spaces between these particles contain air and water required by the plants and animals living in the soil.
Most soils also contain organic matter (from plants and animals), which darkens the uppermost layer of soil and affects the way in which soil particles hold together.

While many people think of soil as "dead", soil literally teems with life, from roots, insects and worms to molds, fungi and bacteria that number in the billions. Soils form slowly over time as the mineral particles from geologic or "parent" materials are changed by the effects of weather, plants, and animals in a landscape setting. Soils vary between regions largely because there are so many different landscapes and types of parent material across the state.
Over the past century, soil scientists have identified more than 400 different kinds of soils, called series, in Ohio.

What Are Soil Series?
Scientists have classified the world's soils according to a six-level system, much like plants and animals are classified. The system follows a "most general to most specific" arrangement: order-suborder-great group-subgroup-family-series. Soil "series" are at the most specific level in the system. A soil series corresponds to the "species" level in the classification system for plants and animals. Soil series are commonly named for cities or towns near where the soils were first studied. Soils classified in the same series have horizons (or layers) that are similar in composition, thickness, and arrangement.

Soils in the Miamian series, for example, are well drained. They typically have a very dark grayish brown to brown silt loam or loam topsoil layer ("A horizon") 5 to 10 inches thick. They commonly have a brown or yellowish brown subsoil layer ("B horizon"), 8 to 35 inches thick, with a higher clay content than the A horizon. Below the subsoil, soils in the Miamian series have a brown to light olive brown substratum ("C horizon") that is slightly or moderately alkaline and has a lower clay content than the B horizon.

How Were the Soils Identified?
Soil surveys in Ohio have been conducted on a county by county basis by soil scientists with shovels, augers, and other tools since 1899. The Soil Survey of Montgomery County, Ohio, published in 1900, recognized only one soil series (Miami). A statewide soil survey was conducted in 1912, and 24 different soil series were recognized.
By 1992, soil surveys had been completed in every county in the state. Modern soil surveys must be much more detailed than the early surveys in order to provide the information needed to manage Ohio's soil resources. Today, soil maps for Montgomery County show 38 different soil series, delineated in areas as small as five acres. More than one hundred soil series are recognized on detailed soil maps in the area identified as Miami in the 1912 survey. (The most common soil series in this part of the state, corresponding to Soil Regions 3 and 4, are Miamian and Blount.)

How Was The Map Prepared?
In the late 1980s, information on thousands of detailed Ohio soil maps was analyzed for the Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop a statewide geographic soil data base known as STATSGO. This data base identified 166 different groupings, or "associations," of soil series that are common in areas that could be mapped at a scale of 1:250,000. The Soil Regions of Ohio map was prepared in 1996 by combining these associations into twelve regions at a scale of 1:2,500,000, with the assistance of ODNR's Division of Real Estate and Land Management's geographic information system (GIS).

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Frost Seeding Seminar Planned

The Guernsey County Soil and Water Conservation District is teaming up with OSU Extension of Guernsey County to present to all a free frost seeding seminar. On January 30th at 6 o’clock PM at the Guernsey SWCD office, Jason Tyrell, District Technician of Guernsey SWCD and Clif Little, Extension Educator for OSU Extension will be speaking on the topic of frost seeding and how it is beneficial to pasture land not only for forage health, but to provide a better variety of forage for livestock. Frost seeding can be an effective economical means of introducing a new forage species to an existing forage stand or to maintain the current composition of a stand.
Whether you are experienced at frost seeding, or just starting out, this free frost seeding seminar will be beneficial. To attend this free seminar, please contact Guernsey County SWCD at 740-432-5624 by January 27th. Hope to see you there.

Monday, January 13, 2014

2nd in a series: 2014 Tree Seedling Sale - Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Tuliptree, found throughout all of Ohio, is named for the appearance of its showy flowers and the silhouette of its large leaves, both of which resemble tulips. It is also known as Tulip Poplar and Yellow Poplar, in reference to the fluttering of its leaves like those of the Poplars, and for the yellow colors of both its flowers and fall foliage.

Tuliptree is the tallest tree of eastern forests with the straightest trunks, achieving heights of well over 100 feet with 4 foot diameters, when not prematurely harvested. It frequents moist woodlands and edges of fields, especially on downslopes where water drains. Its lightweight wood, often used as a base for veneer, is straight-grained, relatively soft for a hardwood, and has a faded olive-green color.

Native throughout most of the Eastern United States, it quickly reaches a height of 80 feet and a breadth of 40 feet, but it can grow much taller. As a member of the Magnolia Family, it is related to the Magnolias (including Cucumbertree) and the only other Tuliptree (Chinese Tuliptree).

Planting Requirements - Tuliptree prefers moist but well-drained, slightly acidic, deep, rich soils, but adapts to average, drier soils of neutral to alkaline pH. It is one of the fastest growing shade trees, achieving leaps of two to three feet per year in youth, when it has a symmetrical, pyramidal outline. As with all members of the Magnolia Family, it is fleshy-rooted without many root hairs, and prefers being transplanted in early spring, rather than autumn. It grows in full sun to partial sun, and is found in zones 4 to 9.

Potential Problems - Tuliptree has one significant pest (aphids), which chew on new growth and secrete a sticky substance (known as honeydew) on the leaves, which serves as food for a sooty mold, rendering the leaves blackened with fungus and unattractive, but not harmed.
Diseases that afflict Tuliptree include Verticillium wilt, root rot, and trunk canker. Tuliptree is one of the most common trees (the Birches as a group are another) that serve as "drought indicators" by dropping their yellowing interior leaves when their soil becomes too dry during summer drought. This is simply how they cope with drought, by cutting down on the number of transpiring "water leaks".

The Tulip Poplar is one of 8 tree seedlings which will be offered in the 2014 Tree Sale held by the district.  Other seedlings include Douglas fir, Sawtooth oak, American chestnut, Butternut, Red Maple, White Pine, and Black Alder. Also available this year are 2 varieties of apples; Nova Spy and Goldrush. The district will also offer 2 varieties of blueberry; Aurora, and Blue Ray.  New this year is a cover crop mix for gardeners.  And as usual, the district has high quality all cedar birdfeeders and houses for sale.  For more information and to receive an order blank, please call 740-432-5624.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bird conservation groups move to block Lake Erie wind turbine project at Camp Perry

PORT CLINTON, Ohio -- Conservation groups say a proposed wind turbine to be erected at the Ohio National Guard facility at Camp Perry would threaten American bald eagles and several endangered species, and they have sent notice of their intention to sue to stop the project.

Read rest of article HERE

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Good Advice before planning a timber harvest

Guest blogger Dave Schott has been employed with the SWCD since March of 1998 and is currently the Technician and Forest/Wildlife Specialist for the Monroe SWCD in Woodsfield, Ohio.  He served the Guernsey SWCD in the past.
WOODSFIELD, Ohio — A few months ago I wrote an article about timber sale contracts. Since then I have had a few people call and stop me on the street and say how much they enjoyed the article and how it helped them to prepare for future timber sales on their property, or they wished they would have seen my article before they had their timber cut.
A few of the people have asked me, “Is there anybody out there available to help them make sure everything goes right on my next timber sale?”
There are many types of foresters available out there for landowners to use. Basically, you have foresters that work for the ODNR Division of Forestry. They are referred to as “service foresters.”  You also have some county Soil and Water Conservation Districts that employ “forest technicians or forestry specialists.” You have industry foresters, who are employed by larger, forest-based industries/companies that are privately owned.
Then you have “consulting foresters.” These guys and gals are professional foresters who are self employed or work for a private consulting companies.
Service Foresters  ODNR service foresters and SWCD forest technicians/specialist can be very helpful with providing technical assistance on instructing you with your long-term forestry management goals, tree plantings, woodland improvements, timber marketing assistance, and the needs for the overall health of your forest.
Service foresters and SWCD forest technicians/specialist can schedule an appointment with you to walk your woods and give you an idea on what some of the things that can be done on your property to help improve your forest.They can also point out your invasive species you may have on the property that need controlled. Their services are free of charge.
These two types of foresters do not monitor timber sales because of the amount of time they are allotted to spend with landowners. These two types of foresters are the only two professional forester contacts for many woodland owners to go to.And in most cases the service forester is the only contact for people because not all county Soil and Water Conservation Districts have a forest technician/specialist on staff.
Industry foresters are the other type of foresters available to landowners. They are employed by either a logging company, paper mill, or sawmill. They are mainly responsible for procuring wood fiber for their employer and/or managing company owned lands.Some may provide forestry services to landowners like forest resource management recommendations, timber harvest planning, and tree planting advice.
Consulting forester  The last type of forester available out there are referred to as consulting foresters. Consulting foresters provide basically the same assistance as an ODNR Division of Forestry service forester or Soil and Water Conservation District forest technician/specialist can. The only thing different is they charge a fee for their services. They can also mark timber and sell timber for landowners.
When marking timber for a landowner they will charge an hourly fee. If they mark and sell the timber along with advertising the timber and managing the actual sale from start to finish they will charge a percentage. This is usually 10 percent of the gross sale.Some consulting foresters will actually cut grapevines, cut invasive species, do crop tree release, and even cull tree removal.
Self management  Some of you may be thinking that you don’t need a forester and that you can sell or manage your timber yourself. Some of you probably can. However, for the landowner that has no experience in timber management or timber sales, a good starting point for them would be to contact a forester.
By contacting that forester you don’t necessarily need to hire them for their services right off the bat. You might just need to pick their brains for a few questions you might have concerning your woodlot.You can contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District to locate your service forester for that area. Visit or ask the district if they have a forestry specialist or forest technician on staff.You can also get on the Ohio Society of American Foresters website at

Monday, January 6, 2014

A focus on urban farms

If you’re interested in urban or small farms, Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences is looking for you.  The college is offering a new program, the Ohio Master Urban Farmer Workshop Series, designed to help urban farmers become food and crop producers within city limits.
Mike Hogan, an OSU Extension educator says the course will be held over a series of seven workshops designed to offer participants knowledge on how to produce and market foods in urban settings.  “Economic enterprise is one of the many goals of the program,” he said. “The workshops can help those who want to learn how to grow crops to sell at farmers markets or develop their own agriculture business – anyone who wants to learn how to capitalize on the increasing demand for locally grown foods.”

Workshop topics include:
* Basic Plant Science
* Soil quality and soil health
* Insects and diseases
* Integrated pest management
* Bees and native pollinators
* Season extension techniques
* Business planning for gardens and agriculture projects
* How to market your products in any setting
* Vegetable production
* Tomato production
* Food safety
* Harvest timing
* Tools and storage
* Keeping it legal

Registration is $75 and includes a course notebook, several books on urban agriculture, light refreshments and a soil test. Deadline to register is Jan. 23. More details and online registration are available by contacting Hogan at 740-653-5419 or by email at

Friday, January 3, 2014

OSU expert: Extreme winter weather could mean extra feed for livestock

WOOSTER, Ohio - Colder, icy, harsh winter weather means producers need to be aware of increased livestock energy requirements to ensure their animals are able to withstand the extreme outdoor conditions, according to a forage expert from Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Read rest of article   HERE

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sara Brink, steward of the Foxfield Preserve in Wilmot, speaks

A view of Foxfield
NEW PHILADELPHIA, OHIO – Sara Brink, steward of the Foxfield Preserve in Wilmot, will be featured as the speaker at the January 8 7:30 PM meeting of the East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA).  Foxfield Preserve is Ohio's only nature preserve cemetery.

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 McDonald-Marlite Lewis Conference Center, 143 McDonald Drive NW in New Philadelphia.