Jun 6, 2019
Extension educators who would like to learn more about organic agriculture can participate in a Train the Trainer workshop in Indiana. The OSU Sustainable Ag Team has SARE funding to cover registration and travel costs. According to the most recent 2017 Census of Agriculture, Ohio conintues to rank in the top ten states for number of certified organic farms. Read more.
May 30, 2019
Organic farms are excellent hosts for pollinators because of the reduced danger of pesticides, but also because of the greater diversity that organic operations often support, says Ohio State Bee lab director Denise Ellsworth. With over 450 different species of bees in Ohio, a variety of plants and habitats is important. Ohio State’s Bee Lab is dedicated to research and outreach on topics related to honey bees, wild bees, and other pollinators. Ellsworth has partnered with others to develop numerous factsheets and resources on Ohio-specific bee and pollinator topics, including id guides to common Ohio bees, and tips for creating pollinator habitats with specific tree and plant suggestions. Read more.
May 3, 2019
The 2019 Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA) Farm Tour series guide is now available. This year's series offers an up-close look at 30 organic and ecological farms and businesses in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. The tour series combines efforts and resources from OEFFA, OSU Extension, and other organizations. Read more.
Apr 22, 2019
New varieties of disease-resistant cucurbits are commercially available as a result of Cornell University's Eastern Sustainable Organic Cucurbit Project.
Through participatory efforts with farmers and regional seed companies, Extension researchers developed new varieties with organic producers in mind, focusing on resistance to common diseases and pests, but also on production and culinary characteristics important to organic farmers. New varieties include DMR 401 and DMR 264 cucumbers and 'Trifecta' muskmelon. Read more.
Apr 1, 2019
Recordings are available from the 27th Annual Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference, held in Ada, Ohio, in March 2019. This two-day event brought together speakers in a variety of subject areas including cover crops, practices that effect soil health, soil balancing, beneficial insects, and more. Read more.
Mar 22, 2019
Minimize your risk of spray drift this coming year by registering with The Ohio Specialty Crop Registry. The Ohio Department of Agriculture recently began partnering with FieldWatch, Inc. to operate the Ohio Specialty Crop Registry. Producers of specialty crops and beekeepers may voluntarily report the boundaries of their specialty crops and beehives. The registry then compiles this information in a mapping tool that also provides the contact information of the registrant. In doing so, pesticide applicators are better able to avoid these areas and minimize spray drift. Read more.
Mar 20, 2019
To help farmers consider different approaches to ecological weed management, The Ohio State University and Michigan State University has developed an online tool. The tool is available at organicweedmanager.com, and takes about 20 minutes to complete. It collects information about the users’ farm conditions, crops, and priorities. The tool then combines this specific data with historic production data to predict short-term and long-term performance of various weed management strategies. Read more.
Feb 20, 2019
Organic growers know the importance of quality compost for improving farm yields and soil health. But compost might also boost farm income as a product offered for sale. For those interested in starting or expanding a composting business, Ohio State will offer a two-day educational course on commercial composting, March 27 and 28 at the Wooster campus. Read more.
Jan 10, 2019
Use of compost and a mixed species hay crop are recommended.
For farmers transitioning from a conventional to an organic farming system, decisions made during the three-year transition period can influence important factors of future production, such as soil-borne pathogens, soil fertility, and soil structure. In this study, compost incorporation strongly affected physical, chemical, and biological soil health factors and, overall, the soil food web. Using a mix of perennial hay during the transition was most successful in reducing disease-causing pathogens in the soil. Highest available N and yields occurred in the plots using high tunnel vegetable production. Read more.
Dec 17, 2018
For organic growers, there is much good news in the new farm bill. Read highlights and reactions from key organic farming organizations here.