Recent Blog Posts
We are less than a month away from the Ohio State Organic Grains Conference in Archbold, Ohio. This 2-day conference (January 4-5) is a great opportunity to learn from experienced organic farmers and educators. Programming is intended for current, transitioning, and new-to organic grain farmers, as well as crop consultants, agency personnel, input suppliers, and grain buyers. Featured speakers include Léa Vereecke from Rodale Institute, Dr. Joel Gruver from Western Illinois Univeristy, and numerous experienced Ohio organic grain growers. One and two-day registration, student rates are available. Discounted rates for extension educators and early registrations end this Friday, December 9! Register or see more details at www.go.osu.edu/organicgrainsreg.
Other opportunities to connect for collaborative learning are on their way this winter. See below!
Having trouble viewing this email? View the blogpost on the OFFER website at https://offer.osu.edu/blog/december-8-2022-1026am/opportunities-collaborative-learning-winter.
Monthly Farmer Researcher Network Meetings
Join our group of farmers, researchers, and educators from across Ohio as we discuss recent, on-going or future research pertinent to Ohio organic production. We meet online at noon the first Thursday of each month. For upcoming topics, reminders, and questions, contact Cassy Brown. Recordings of recent meetings are available on You Tube @OSU-organic.
Ohio State Winter Soil Health Webinars
The popular soil health webinar series is back again for 2023, featuring sepakers on precipitation, management, and soil health (January 5); biological products (February 2); intercropping and soil health (March 2); and soil health and water quality (March 30). Watch on line on Thursday mornings 8-9 am and be part of the discussion, or catch the recordings on your own time. Registration is required and can be completed at go.osu.edu/soilhealthweb.
Develop Your On-Farm Research Ideas Workshop – February 16, 2023
On February 16, as part of the 44th Annual OEFFA Conference Food and Farm School, OFFER will co-host an all-day workshop on crafting research partnerships and projects. More details are coming soon or contact Cassy Brown at Ohio State, Julia Barton at OEFFA, or Denise Natoli-Brooks at Central State. This is a great opportunity to form ideas and partnerships for on-farm research. To learn more about the OEFFA conference, go to https://conference.oeffa.org/.
Ohio State Research & Resources
FREE soilborne disease testing for high tunnel soils
Soilborne pathogens nibble away at plant roots and your profits. Follow this link to learn more about identifying soilborne diseases in tomato and this link for a soil health and root rot checkup. These pathogens are particularly bad in high tunnel vegetable production with limited crop rotation. The Ohio State Vegetable Pathology Lab along with USDA-ARS in Wooster, OH are offering free soilborne disease testing for high tunnel soils. The submission form can be found here: https://u.osu.edu/growingfranklin/2022/10/07/high-tunnel-soil-borne-disease-testing/
Effects of Pipeline Installation on Ohio Soils and Crops
Results from a 2-year study on the impacts of underground natural gas pipeline installation on Ohio cropland. Master’s student Theresa Brehm looked at 29 Ohio fields impacted by pipeline installation in the past 4-5 years, along with a survey of farmer experience with the installation process. The study noted undesirable changes in soil compaction, soil texture, soil moisture, aggregate stability, and number of rocks, chemical properties, and crop yields. Written summaries and a 22-minute video overview of results are available at https://soilfertility.osu.edu/research/pipelines-and-crop-productivity.
Organic Corn Production Budget
Click here to download the tool directly as an Excel file.
Downy Mildew Control Trials for Organic Cucurbits
2022 National Organic Research Agenda
List of research priorities: offer.osu.edu/sites/offer/files/imce/Files/NORA22%20recs.pdf
For more organic news and resources from Ohio State, visit us online at offer.osu.edu.
National Organic Research Agenda Set
Last month the Organic Farming Research Foundation released the National Organic Research Agenda (NORA) which is published once every five years. The report is based on a nationwide survey of organic producers and provide key information about these farmers’ concerns, needs, and current practices.
The NORA report showed that organic producers:
- Continue to lead the nation in adopting soil health management and climate-friendly practices.
- Are concerned with the integrity of the organic sector, including organic fraud, industrial organic operations, and crop contamination from GMOs and pesticide drift.
- Have unmet needs for technical assistance regarding pest management; soil health and fertility; and securing sales channels.
Top research needs included:
- Developing regional integrated weed management strategies
- Creating tools to assess and manage production costs
- Soil health strategies and assessment tools
- Organic pest and disease control techniques
- On-farm seed production and cultivar development
- Organic dairy and livestock health
- Assessing the impact of integrated systems on overall farm health
Read the summary:
Read a list of research priorities:
Download the NORA report:
Ohio State Research & Resources
Fungicide Trials for Powdery Mildew Management in Organic Cucurbits
In 2021, OMRI-approved fungicides were reviewed for efficacy against powdery mildew. Pumpkin plants were sprayed with 6 OMRI-approved products and then placed in a field infected with powdery mildew. After 7 days, all products showed a variety of control against powdery mildew vs untreated control plants. The best control was achieved by Regalia and Microthiol Disperss which both showed 98-100% control after 10 days.
Best results are obtained when these products are used preventatively or at the very first signs of powdery mildew (see photo above), usually in mid-July in Ohio.
Read more on OSU’s VegNet newsletter: https://u.osu.edu/vegnetnews/2022/07/01/fungicide-options-for-powdery-mildew-management-in-organic-cucurbits/
West Badger Work
Ohio State’s Wooster campus is home to West Badger, a 57-acre certified organic research space. This year, we are trialing oilseed sunflowers (above) and experimenting with organic soybeans with and without spring-planted rye. Read more at the OFFER website.
Organic Corn Production Budget
A corn production budget for organic growers is now available online thanks to OSU Extension's Eric Richer and Barry Ward. Read more at the Read more at the OFFER website or click here to download the tool directly as an Excel file.
OEFFA Sustainable Farm Tour Series
From June 26 to November 6, the 2022 OEFFA (Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association) Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series features nearly 20 organic and ecological farms and businesses in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. See this year’s tours and workshop topics, and sign up at https://www.oeffa.org/news/farm-tours-2022/.
OSU Manure Science Review – July 26, 2022
Join Glen Arnold and other speakers from around the state for presentations, demonstrations, discussions and more at the 2022 Manure Science Review on Tuesday, July 26 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the OSU Northwest Agricultural Research Station. CEU credit is available. Registration is $25 through July 15 and $30 afterwards and includes lunch. Registration details are available at https://agcrops.osu.edu/events/manure-science-review-ohio or call 330-202-3533.
Hirzel Farms Cover Crop Trial – August 4, 2022, 12 noon
When faced with a bare piece of cropland, our friends at Hirzel Farms in Luckey, Ohio, set up a cover crop trial using a custom mix. Bridget Burgess and Lou Kozma will walk us through what they chose and why. Come join in conversation about what we might learn from this trial and how it might be replicated at other farms. This online event is part of the monthly Organic Farmer-Research Network group. Register or learn more at: https://forms.gle/Y4qXCX1EJKf4zZEU8
Heritage Grain School – August 12-14, 2022
A three-day Heritage Grain School is being offered August 12-14, 2022 in partnership with Agraria, Antioch College, Tecumseh Land Trust, the Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative, Rural Action, and Cornville Seed. Attendees will explore the history, culture, cultivation and culinary uses of ancient and heritage grains. Day one highlights farmers, day two brewing, malting and milling, and day three baking, marketing, policy and a field trip to heritage grain farmer Jon Branstrator’s farm. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grain-school-tickets-272126456557?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Save the Date:
OSU Organic Grains Workshop - January 4-5, 2023
Event will be held in Archbold, Ohio, and will feature Joel Gruver from Western Illinois University and Leá Vereeck from Rodale Institute. Day 1 caters to experienced organic producers, while Day 2 is meant for beginning organic growers, and those who are transitioning or considering going organic. Contact Eric Richer for more information.
Grants & Opportunities
Apply to lead a workshop at OEFFA’s 44th Annual Conference
OEFFA is accepting workshop proposals for our 44th annual conference, Germinate, Regenerate, Agitate, February 16-18, 2023, in Newark, Ohio.The conference covers many topics of interest to organic and sustainable agriculture including soil health, commercial production, business and management, gardening, food policy, and more. Visit the OEFFA speaker application page for more information at https://conference.oeffa.org/2023-conference-rfp/. Applications are due August 8, 2022.
Call for several SARE Grants Open in August|
North Central Region SARE administers several grant programs, each with specific priorities, audiences, and timelines. Several calls for proposals open soon. You can read more about the North Central SARE grant programs at https://northcentral.sare.org/grants/.
- Research and Education grants – Call opens in early August, with preproposals due in October
- Partnership grants – Call opens in early August, with proposals due in October
- Farmer Rancher grants – Call opens in mid-August with proposals due in December
- Youth Educator grants – Call opens in mid-August with proposals due in early November
For more organic news and resources from Ohio State, visit us online at offer.osu.edu.
I’m fascinated by research, but frequently frustrated by how long it takes to reach end-users. Farming moves at a speed infinitely faster than research, but for good reason. Research helps us sort through casual observations and one-time coincidences for deeper truths and connections. Because we give more weight to research than observation, it requires more accuracy, rigor, and time.
But it all starts with good observations and questions. Which is why I’m so excited to attend the OEFFA Conference this month! It’s a great opportunity for disciplines to cross paths – farmers, growers, suppliers, researchers, program administrators—and share information.
At the OEFFA conference or otherwise, please feel free to be in touch. I’d love to talk about some of the research topics you’re interested in. We’re working with OEFFA and Central State on ways to promote organic research collaboration between farmers and scientists in Ohio. One opportunity listed below is the Warner Grant program (a long-time project of OSU's Agroecosystem Management Program), which is taking proposals until March 1. Also below are a few recent research updates, along with other resources and events coming up in the next month.
-Cassy Brown, OFFER program manager
Organic Dairy Herd Health Management in Ohio.
According to the most recent USDA survey, Ohio ranks 4th in the number of certified organic dairies and 14th in production. Organic dairy producers have distinct perspectives, approaches, challenges, and experiences when managing herd health, but few studies have documented these. Ohio State researchers used semi-structured interviews to examine herd health management for the organic dairy industry in and around Ohio. Interviews examined decision factors relating to disease prevention and treating infectious diseases, along with organic dairy - veterinarian relationships. Read more: https://go.osu.edu/orgdairy19.
Organic Corn Trial Results Available
The Ohio Organic Corn Performance Test evaluates certified organic corn hybrids for grain yield and other important agronomic characteristics. The tests were conducted on certified organic fields at Apple Creek (West Badger Farm) and Wooster (Fry Farm) in Wayne County and were intensively managed for nutrients and weed control using organic practices. See results at https://ohiocroptest.cfaes.osu.edu/organiccorntrials/.
Vegetable Pathology Lab 2021 Trials
The OSU Vegetable Pathology Lab carried out an active field research program in 2021, with full field trials spread across three Ohio research sites in Wooster, Celeryville, and Fremont and three bioassays for downy and powdery mildew management. As part of their 2021 trials, the lab tested biological control products, and disease-resistant varieties to manage diseases of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, cabbage and collards. You can read the research trial results at Plant Pathology Series 2022_Veg Pathology Research Rpts 2021_final. (These trials were not conducted on organic certified plots. Always refer to your certification agency’s approved list of products.)
43rd Annual OEFFA conference Feb 12, 17-19
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Conference is February 17 to 19 in Dayton, Ohio, and February 12 online. More than 1,200 folks from throughout the state attend this conference. Funds are available through SARE to cover Ohio State educators’ registrations. Contact Mike Hogan or Suzanne Mills Wasniak if interested in attending or displaying materials. Registration closes February 10. Learn more at https://conference.oeffa.org/
Ray Archuleta "Soil Health and Regenerative Ag - Feb 24 in West Liberty, Ohio
Missouri farmer, retired soil health researcher Ray Archuleta will discuss soil health and regenerative agriculture at the West Liberary Salm High School. This event includes a dinner at 5:30, with presentation at 6:30. The event costs $20 and includes CCA credits. Deadline to register is February 21, but space is limited. Read more at http://go.osu.edu/archuleta
Field Futures—Ohio – Workshop Event on Feb 22
Curious how climate change connects to your farm? Consider attending the inaugural Field Futures-Ohio workshop planned for Tuesday, February 22nd from 10-6PM at the Lodge at Scioto Grove. This unique event will use participatory design exercises to explore alternative climate futures for Ohio. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited and registration is required. Food and supplies provided. Register at go.osu.edu/fieldfutures by Tuesday, February 15 or contact Forbes Lipschitz for details (603 738 2144 or email).
Soil Health webinar series – March 3
The OSUE 2022 soil health series concludes with “Hot Topics-What's the Future of Soil Health?” on March 3, 8-9 a.m. A variety of soil health researchers will briefly discuss their current and ongoing work. Come with your questions and ideas! Register at go.osu.edu/soilhealth2022. Recordings of previous webinars are available at https://agcrops.osu.edu/events/webinar-recordings/dirt-soil-health-investing-below-surface-0
Test Drive New Organic Seed Varieties
Are you a farmer or gardener in the Upper Midwest? Are you interested in contributing to the development of new tomato and pepper varieties for organic farmers in our region? Consider joining the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative and SeedLinked plant breeding network. Read more at https://seedtokitchen.horticulture.wisc.edu/
Warner grant proposals for Sustainable Agriculture Research – due March 1
The OSU Sustainable Agriculture Team and Agroecosystems Management Program (AMP) is accepting proposals for on-farm research projects on sustainable agriculture topics. Research is intended to identify and publicize sustainable agricultural practices and systems that are profitable, socially responsible, energy efficient, and improve water quality and other environmental concerns relevant to Ohio farmers. Farmers are invited to partner with OSU scientists and extension educators to carry out these on-farm projects. Read the Request for Proposals at go.osu.edu/2022-warner-grants or contact Doug Jackson-Smith if you have questions. Proposals are due March 1, 2022.
Organic Grain Training
The Organic Agronomy Training Service (OATS), the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s OGRAIN, and the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) have launched a video series, call series, and listserv for organic advisors and ag professionals to connect and learn from each other. Read more at https://www.organicagronomy.org/organic-advisor-call-series.
The OFFER program cooperates with Ohio State Agricultural Operations to maintain organic production space for field research. Most of the land is located at the West Badger Farm in Wooster and is managed organically when not active in research projects. Facilities include dedicated organic equipment, grain storage, and staff to assist with farm and certification management. Researchers or cooperators interested in reserving organic research land or cooperating for trials or demonstrations should contact Brian Gwin, OFFER coordinator. Multiple small and large grants are available for this work. Find more resources around this topic at https://offer.osu.edu/resources/resources-researchers.
This summer, West Badger is home to organic variety trials for corn and oats, year 2 of a perennial wheatgrass trial, and cultivation equipment trials in partnership with Tilmor. Plans for additional variety trials are underway.
|Cultivation Equipment Trials|
OFFER is pleased to partner with Tilmor for equipment trials on our West Badger research station. Based in Orrville, Ohio, Tilmor specializes in affordable tools and equipment for smaller farms. Read more about Tilmor at tilmor.com/en-us
|Organic Variety Trials|
Oats were planted in early spring along with organic corn variety trials.
|Variety trial results are archived at u.osu.edu/perf/. Results from 2021 oats should be added soon.|
|Perennial Wheatgrass Trials|
Kernza seed and forage was harvested in late July at the Wooster (above) and Fremont (below) sites. Kernza is a potential dual purpose crop for grain and forage. This work is part of a multistate project to track productivity, quality, and soil health under various fertilization and harvest timing treatments
|Weed pressure remains high at the Wooster site, but the Fremont trial was virtually weed free this second year. Leader researcher Steve Culman will continue to monitor this potential crop's competition with weeds to see if this crop might be useful duing organic transition or as an effective weed management tool with soil health benefits.|
Ohio State soil researchers Steve Culman and Christine Sprunger have analyzed soil health and management data from around 900 Ohio farm soil samples. The samples were collected during various on-farm research projects in the last few years, including about 200 from organic operations.
The Culman and Sprunger labs have looked for relationships between soil health metrics and the corresponding soil type, sampling depth, and management practices. Below are a few quick highlights and opportunities to learn more.
Management Impacts on Soil Health
The study suggests that the most effective way to increase microbial activity and other soil health indicators was to include perennials in the crop rotation, especially for multiple years.
Organic growers will be happy to hear that, so far, cover crops appear to be a better soil health building strategy than no-till. That’s not to say that tillage is good for soil health. More complex crop rotations and increased tillage showed a negative effect on organic matter and microbial activity.
Culman cautions that this is “noisy” data based on observation, not a side-by-side controlled study, nor is it a comprehensive sampling of soils. More work is definitely needed. Some of this future work will look at aggregate stability (a measure of soil physical health), compare the soil health impact from different types of tillage, and compare organic vs. conventional practices (for example, the effect of organic vs. synthetic fertilizers). The researchers are also interested in ways to decrease tillage passes in an organic system.
Emerging Tests for Soil Health
As farmers and consumers focus increasingly on soil health, there is a growing need for better soil health measurements. Data from these on-farm soil surveys is helping to further this goal as well.
Standard soil tests include a total organic content measure, but most organic matter in the soil is not available to plants. Recent research also suggests that total organic matter changes very slowly over time and is probably not the best tool if you want to track how new management practices are impacting soil health.
Ohio State’s soil labs have been evaluating soil health tests for accuracy, for their value in management decision-making, and for cost and turn-around time. The goal is to recommend useful tests to commercial labs so that these can be offered directly to farmers, along with information about state averages, ranges, and how the test values vary with soil type.
It's important that organically managed soils continue to be part of this sampling project. Ohio State will collect soil samples again in 2021 as part of eFields – an agronomic crops program to conduct and share on-farm research. Contact your local extension educator or email email@example.com for more details on getting your soil sampled for this statewide study. Individual soil test results will be shared with participating growers.
- Management Practices That Impact Soil Health and Organic Matter
March 17 Sprunger presentation (45 minutes) - part of Ohio State's 2021 Winter Organic Webinar Series
- Using Research and Data to Improve Soil Health
February 25 presentation, Steve Culman & Elizabeth Hawkins - part of Ohio State's 2021 Soil Health Webinar Series
- eFields report 2020 - see page 224 for Soil Health Survey report.
- eFields program
As many producers look to diversify their farms and find opportunities to increase on-farm revenues, one potential avenue to consider is organic grain production. A Transition to Organic Grains workshop offered through Ohio State University Extension in Putnam County will take place in Ottawa, Ohio, at the Putnam County Educational Services Center on March 30, 2021 from 9 am to 2 pm.
The workshop is designed to answer producers’ common questions when considering a move from conventional to organic production. What do I need to know and what steps do I need to take to transition my fields to organic production? How long will the process take? What markets are available for my grain? How do I approach fertilization, weed management, and pest control? These and many more questions will be answered by industry and extension experts – as well as first-hand experiences of organic farmers.
The Transition to Organic Grains workshop is offered at no cost, but registration is required. Registration includes all handouts and a boxed lunch. To register, please call the Putnam County Extension office at 419-523-6294, register online, or email Scheckelhoff.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Beth Scheckelhoff for penning and sharing this article (originally published in the C.O.R.N. Newsletter).
New topics have been added to our winter webinar series lineup. On February 24, we will host Kate Hansen, author of the recently released guide from the Center for Rural Affairs “Conversations from the Field: Crop Insurance for Organic Operations.” She will be joined by Megan Vaith from Northbourne Organic Crop Insurance in South Dakota. Together our speakers will provide tips and insights into crop insurance options for organic growers.
Crop insurance is an important risk management tool for many farmers, and organic operations come with their own unique set of risks to consider. While crop insurance options for organic have expanded considerably in the past decade, a sizable percentage of organic crops still go uninsured, and beneficial options underused.
“Conversations from the Field: Crop Insurance for Organic Operations,” a new educational guide released early this month by the Center for Rural Affairs, sheds light on the crop insurance process and options available for organic production.
“Today, more than 80 certified organic crops can be insured, and there are a number of unique options and considerations for organic policies,” said Kate Hansen, a Center policy assistant. “We believe this resource will provide the information farmers need as they consider their insurance options for the coming crop year.”
The guide features interviews with seven crop insurance agents who have experience with organic operations, and seven organic farmers from across the Midwest. Topics covered include insuring the higher value of organic crops using contract prices, the claims process, prevented planting, the crop insurance timeline over a given year, and advice for finding an agent.
“This guide would be a valuable read for many,” Hansen said. “From beginning organic farmers, to experienced organic producers looking to purchase crop insurance, to agents trying to better understand the perspective of their organic customers.”
Click here to view “Conversations from the Field.” Important deadlines for crop insurance are coming up and now is a great time to learn about recent changes and start thinking about coverage options. Please join us on February 24 and bring your questions.
This February 24 session is part of our Organic Winter Webinar series, which features a variety of topics on Wednesdays from 11 to 11:45 a.m. You can see our full lineup, view log-in details, watch past presentations, or sign up for email reminders at go.osu.edu/organic-series. Also new to the lineup is a March 10 session on cultural control of ragweed and other annual weeds. We are developing sessions on grazing and marketing as well. The session originally scheduled for February 24 on organic dairy herd health management has been moved to April 21 due to unforseen circumstances. If you have questions, please contact program manager Cassandra Brown at email@example.com.
Learn more about the perennial grain kernza and see the trial plot in this brief video: https://youtu.be/epJaE5ihiVE (3:17)
Only a few days are left to reserve your spot at Ohio’s largest sustainable food and farming conference. Registration ends on Monday, February 8 for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 42nd annual conference, which will be held online February 10-15.
Among the speakers from Ohio State this year, extension soil specialist Steve Culman will be sharing information on his USDA perennial grain trials. This is Culman’s second research project on the perennial wheatgrass known as kernza. He is testing an organic variety of kernza for suitability in Ohio as a dual-purpose crop (forage and grain production). This summer his lab will begin on-farm trials and is looking for additional participants.
Kernza is used mainly for forage and grazing in the western U.S. While the grain has end uses and nutritional values similar to wheat, Culman admits the grain production is not very good and that markets and facilities for kernza are only just developing. While it has potential for dual purpose production, more research and development will be needed.
So why would a farmer consider kernza? Because it has a third purpose of great importance: Soil health.
“Organic systems go through this dichotomous cycle of growing cash crops, and then growing a crop for conservation or soil development," Culman notes. "With kernza you could do both.”
Recent Ohio State research reviewed hundreds of regional soil tests results, comparing management practices with various soil health measurements linked to yield, biological activity, and fertilizer efficiency. The most effective management practice for improving soil health was the use of perennials. Perennial crops reduce traffic and tillage, but they also leave roots in the ground year-round to contribute to biological activity, provide below-ground biomass, and crowd out weed growth. Kernza really shines in root development, with roots that reach 10 feet down or deeper and spread horizontally to outcompete weeds.
“Kernza stays pretty green through harvest,” says Culman. “It’s not like wheat. You harvest the grain in late July/early August. So you could harvest the grain, then chop or hay the remaining biomass. Then you can let it regrow. This is not enough time to develop seed heads, but the regrowth should get knee high or so in the fall. Then it can be grazed."
Based on his previous trials, Culman feels kernza has great potential for organic transition, weed control, riparian zones, forage, fall grazing, and even grain production, all while improving soil quality.
The OEFFA conference kernza presentation will be Friday, February 12 at 10 a.m., but conference attendees will also be able to watch recorded presentations through March. Dr. Culman will also be available in the OFFER virtual conference booth on Friday, February 12 from 2-3 p.m. for anyone who would like to know more about the on-farm kernza trials or to chat about soil health and fertility.
See the full line up of OFFER booth events at offer.osu.edu/booth. We will also host Glen Arnold, extension field specialist in manure management; Erin Silva from University of Wisconsin and OGRAIN; and Rich Minyo, organic corn variety trial researcher.
For more information on the OEFFA conference, visit https://conference.oeffa.org/.
To learn more about the soil health and management study findings, join us for "Management Practices That Impact Soil Health and Organic Matter with Christine Sprunger, March 17 at 11 a.m., part of the OFFER 2021 Organic Winter Webinar series.
This year between January and March in 2021, the Pastures for Profit curriculum will be offered as a virtual course.
The Pastures for Profit program is a collaboration between Ohio State University Extension, Central State University, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council. One live webinar will be offered per month along with “work at your own pace” videos and exercises that accompany each webinar.
Event organizer, Christine Gelley, Ohio State extension educator in Noble County, welcomes organic participants. She sees pasture management as a naturally low-input farming system if it’s done right, relying on holistic thinking and species diversity.
Each webinar will be offered live on Zoom at 7 P.M. and feature three presentations in a 90-minute span. Attendees will be able to interact with the speakers and ask questions in real time. Once registered, attendees will be granted access to the online course including the webinars and complementary resources. Participants that attend all three webinars will have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion. Registered participants will also receive their choice of a curriculum binder or USB drive of the traditional course by mail.
The webinar schedule and topics are as follows.
Webinar One- Core Grazing Education: Wed., January 13th at 7 p.m.
- Evaluating Resources and Goal Setting
- Getting Started Grazing
- Soil Fertility
Webinar Two- The Science of Grazing: Wed., February 3rd at 7 p.m.
- Understanding Plant Growth
- Fencing and Water Systems
- Meeting Animal Requirements on Pasture
Webinar Three- Meeting Grazing Goals: Wed., March 3rd at 7 p.m.
- Pasture Weed Control
- Economics of Grazing
- Creating and Implementing Grazing Plans
A series of additional videos that complement each webinar will be accessible to registered participants that include topics such as:
- Soil Health & Fertility
- Species Specific Tips
- Stocking Densities
- Forage Sampling and Analysis
- Winter Feeding Strategies
- Conservation Practices
- Genetic Traits of Forages
- Pasture Layouts
- Farm Economics
- Pasture Walks/Virtual Tours
These videos will focus on more specific pasture management topics at the beginner and experienced manager levels.
The Pastures for Profit course utilizes Scarlet Canvas. For best performance, Canvas should be used on the current or first previous major release of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari. Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser.
Cost of the course is $50, which includes the Pastures for Profit manual. Current and new members of the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council are eligible for a $10 discount on registration. Register for the course by visiting https://afgc.org/ofgcwebinar.
Trends and Highlights of Ohio Farmers: Organic Sector Implications
December 2, 2020, 11-11:45 a.m.
The recent USDA Certified Organic Survey provided an overview of continued growth in organic agricultural production in Ohio and nationwide. Organic farmers were also an area of focus for the 2020 Ohio Farm Poll Study conducted this past year at Ohio State.
On December 2, 2020, farm poll study leaders Douglas Jackson-Smith, Shoshanah Inwood, and Andrea Rissing will focus in on survey results for organic growers.
Find out what this survey, and other available data, tell us about Ohio’s organic farming community. We’ll cover commodities, marketing strategies, and attitudes of this industry sector and see how they compare, in general, with Ohio’s conventional farm community on a variety of trends and characteristics.
This presentation is the first in a series of organic-themed webinars being hosted this winter by OFFER (Ohio State’s Organic Food & Farming Education and Research program). The series will provide opportunities for Ohio’s organic community and those who work with them, to learn about Ohio State resources and to provide feedback, experience, and ideas for new research and program directions. Farmers considering organic certification or seeking ways to lower their farm inputs will also benefit from the presentations.
The webinar series is scheduled for Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Sessions will be short, focused, practical, and will invite participant feedback.
Additional winter programming from Ohio State extension can be viewed at https://agnr.osu.edu/programming/farm-direct-markets. Series on farm management, agricultural safety, soil health, and more are listed and/or under development.
Did you miss this presentation or want to watch it again? You can view it here: https://youtu.be/aeakxcQHfxQ
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