VW independent/submitted information
Pollinator species are experiencing population declines across the United States. In particular, the monarch butterfly has drastically declined here in Ohio and in the wintering grounds of Mexico. In response to this decline, the Ohio Division of Wildlife and other partners have created the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) to educate the public and help create beneficial habitat to pollinators such as the monarch butterfly. OPHI formed after the 2014 petition to list the monarch as federally endangered or threatened. The group’s primary focus is to find opportunities and other partners to assist in the efforts to create habitat.
To help foster creation of habitat for the monarch butterfly, OPHI, in cooperation with Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, is organizing a statewide milkweed pod collection this year, starting September 1 and ending October 30. Milkweed is essential to the survival of monarch butterflies in Ohio and Ohio is a priority area for monarchs.
Monarch butterflies that hatch here in the summer migrate to Mexico for the winter and are responsible for starting the life cycle all over again in the spring. During September and October, everyone is encouraged to collect milkweed pods from established plants and drop them off at the nearest pod collection station located at the Van Wert SWCD office, 1185 Professional Drive in Van Wert. Any questions about the collection can directed to the SWCD at 419.238.9591.
To collect the seedpods from a milkweed plant it is best to pick them when the seed inside is brown. Do not collect pods when seeds are white or cream colored. If the center seam of the pods pop with gentle pressure, they can be picked.
It is best to collect pods in paper bags or paper grocery sacks. Avoid using plastic bags because they attract moisture. Store seeds in a cool, dry area until they can be delivered to the closest pod collection area. Harvesting pods from milkweed plants does not have any effect on the population of milkweed in established areas. All milkweed pods collected during this time will be processed by OPHI partners and all of the seed collected will be used to establish new plantings and create additional habitat for the monarch butterfly throughout Ohio.
LONDON — The Farm Science Review is September 20-22 this year and will offer farmers and other visitors to the annual farm show the opportunity to learn the latest agricultural innovations from experts from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.
That includes offering some 180 educational presentations and opportunities presented by educators, specialists and faculty from Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, which are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.
Purdue University educators will also present, said Matt Sullivan, assistant manager of the Farm Science Review, which is located at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London.
“Visitors to FSR will be able to learn new techniques and strategies to improve their farming operations’ bottom line,” Sullivan said. “Right now is a challenging time in agriculture with low commodity prices, so farmers and producers of all sizes will be able to come and learn about new programs and ideas to improve their farming operations.
Advance sale tickets for the 2016 Farm Science Review can be purchased at the Ohio State University Extension-Paulding County office at 503 Fairground Drive in Paulding. All advance sale tickets are $7 each; ages 5 and under are free. Gate tickets will be $10. The Extension office also has information for special needs vehicles.
“Topics will include several issues including the agriculture economy, grain markets, land values and cash rents.”
Following the theme “My FSR,” visitors will be able to experience the show with a more personalized perspective, Sullivan said.
“The goal this year it to invite people to see the Farm Science Review through new innovations and take part in educational programing that offers information on what they are looking for,” he said. “This event is now in its 54th year. It has become a place that people want to be a part of because we offer ideas from farming to conservation and everything in between, and people can experience it in their own way.
“Some people come for the exhibitors, others for field demonstrations or the Extension programing — that’s what makes it a truly unique event.”
This is just a sampling of what participants can expect to see during the three-day farm trade show, which is nationally recognized as a premier agricultural event. FSR annually draws between 110,000 and 130,000 farmers, growers, producers and agricultural enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to more than 4,000 product lines from 630 commercial exhibitors and educational opportunities from Ohio State and Purdue specialists, other Review events will include:
Field to Faucet water and nutrient research tours. Participants can learn more about the joint projects between Ohio State and Beck’s Hybrids, featuring research on water quality and nutrients, nutrient use efficiency for nitrogen and phosphorus, precision agriculture and compaction, and high yield factors.
Plot demonstrations by members of the OSU Extension Agronomic Crops Team on corn, soybean, cover crops and bio-energy crops established at the eastern edge of the Review exhibit area. The plots are just outside Gate C near the main entrance gate.
Daily field demonstrations in the fields north of Interstate 70. The demonstrations will include corn harvesting, soybean harvesting, tillage, nutrient application, planters and field drainage installation.
Live streaming of an unmanned aerial system for real-time crop surveillance. Used as another tool in the farmer’s precision agriculture toolbox, the drones can be used to provide useful local site-specific data including crop scouting and geo-referencing. This allows growers to monitor pesticide dispersion, fertilizer usage and crop health parameters.
A building at the corner of Kottman Street and Land Avenue that features 40 new booths with a wide variety of agriculture industry exhibitors, including 20 new exhibitors to the Farm Science Review this year. They include seed, insurance and other agriculture companies. Adding these exhibitors will broaden the show’s breadth of exhibitors, Sullivan said.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 20-21 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. September 22.
For more detailed information, visit the Paulding County OSU Extension website at www.paulding.osu.edu, the OSU Extension Paulding County Facebook page, Twitter account @PauldingOSUAg, or contact Sarah Noggle at 419.399.8225.
For additional information on the Zika virus contact Noggle, Paulding County Extension educator-Agriculture and Natural Resources, at firstname.lastname@example.org. One can also walk in the OSU Extension Office at the above address or call 419.399.8225, extension 28.
COLUMBUS — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Ohio has announced that dairy producers can enroll for 2017 coverage in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) starting July 1.
The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy producers when the margin — the difference between the price of milk and feed costs — falls below the coverage level selected by the producer.
The Margin Protection Program gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. Enrollment begins July 1 and ends on September 30 for coverage in calendar year 2017. Participating farmers will remain in the program through 2018 and pay a minimum $100 administrative fee each year. Producers have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year.
USDA has a web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the Margin Protection Program that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage needs, based on data projections. The secure site can be accessed via computer, Smartphone or tablet 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To complete enrollment, producers must make coverage elections during the enrollment period and pay the annual $100 administrative fee that provides basic catastrophic protection that covers 90 percent of milk production at a $4 margin coverage level.
For additional premiums, operations can protect 25 to 90 percent of production history with margin coverage levels from $4.50 to $8, in 50-cent increments. Once enrolled, dairy operations are required to participate through 2018 by making coverage elections each year. Producers can mail the appropriate form to the producer’s administrative county FSA office, along with applicable fees without necessitating a trip to the local FSA office. If electing higher coverage for 2017, dairy producers can either pay the premium in full at the time of enrollment or pay 100 percent of the premium by September 1, 2017. Premium fees may be paid directly to FSA or producers can work with their milk handlers to remit premiums on their behalf.
Also beginning July 1, FSA will begin accepting applications for intergenerational transfers, allowing program participants who added an adult child, grandchild or spouse to the operation during calendar year 2014 or 2015, or between January 1 and June 30, to increase production history by the new cows bought into the operation by the new family members. For intergenerational transfers occurring on or after July 1 notification to FSA must be made within 60 days of purchasing the additional cows.
Dairy operations enrolling in the new program must meet conservation compliance provisions and cannot participate in the Livestock Gross Margin Dairy Insurance Program.
For more information, visit FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy or stop by a local FSA office to learn more about the Margin Protection Program. To find a local FSA office in the Van Wert County area, visit http://offices.usda.gov.
VW independent/submitted information
COLUMBUS — This past Saturday, The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences celebrated the achievements of those who have enhanced student education and enriched the animal sciences industry through the annual Evening of Excellence program at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.
This year, the Department inducted Terry Wehrkamp, director of live production for Cooper Farms and an industry leader, into the Animal Science Hall of Fame. Recipients of the Animal Science Hall of Fame recognition are not only honored for their individual success but also their commitment to their family, local community, and the broader realm of the animal industries.
Wehrkamp earned his induction into the Hall of Fame through his continued leadership in the agricultural community and support of the next generation of animal scientists.
“Terry is very deserving of this honor,” said Dr. Henry Zerby, chair of the OSU Department of Animal Sciences. “His actions and contributions in supporting the continued development of Cooper Farms and the agricultural industry in general make him a role model and a leader for many of us to follow.”
Wehrkamp grew up in Smithville and went on to graduate from OSU in 1982. In 1985, he joined the team at Cooper Farms after working for Foster Farms in California.
Wehrkamp has been a leader in the industry and at Cooper Farms as the director of live production for the company’s turkeys, hogs and chickens, where he manages the teams caring for all three species and the feed production. In his time at Cooper Farms, the company has seen tremendous growth in all areas, has evolved into one of the largest vertically integrated turkey, swine and egg producing companies in the U.S.
VW independent/submitted information
Wortman Family Farm is donating one healthy, high quality market hog to one Van Wert County Junior Fair member.
The selected recipient will be required to raise the market hog and exhibit it at the Van Wert County Fair. Wortman Family Farm representatives will be available for help and guidance throughout the summer, but not financially responsible for the care of the animal. This program is designed to let interested youths learn and grow through raising a quality market livestock project.
Those interested should fill out an application and turn it in to the Ohio State University Extension-Van Wert County Office no later than Friday, April 8.
Go to the Extension-Van Wert website at http://go.osu.edu/vwfair and scroll to the bottom for an application and full rules of the program. Applications are also available at the OSU Extension Office, 1055 S. Washington St. in Van Wert. The program is open to both FFA and 4-H members.