Another fair has come to an end


Well, the county fair’s over for another year. As of this writing, things had gone OK, except for the heat! Tuesday and Wednesday were “nasty!” But, that didn’t stop people from comin’, lookin’ around, eatin’ some g-o-o-d food! I like to help out with the Cattlemen’s Ribeye Steak sandwich days on Tuesday and Saturday, the Dairy Booster’s Ice Cream trailer on Sunday evening, and the Pork Producers Sausage and/or Pork Loin sandwiches. What better way to promote “farming” than being there preparing and serving the food we raise!

Shelby County’s a pretty good “Agricultural Producer.” According to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture, Shelby County Ohio saw a total crop and livestock income of $207, 856, 000.00. (Of course, this was “before” expenses! Seed, feed, fertilizer, shipping, storage and all those other costs add up a lot!) We’ve got a good livestock base: third in the state in hogs, eighth in beef, and 14th in dairy sales. In addition, we’re ranked 21st in Ohio for corn production and 22nd for both soybean and wheat production. That’s pretty impressive!

Now, more “ag” things: There is a Pumpkin Field Day being held on Aug. 20 for both novice and experienced pumpkin growers. The core focus of this event will be on managing pests and diseases.

This Field Day will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Western Agricultural Research Station, 7721 S. Charleston Pike (Ohio 41), north of South Charleston. The event will focus on multiple topics including current and unregistered fungicides used to control powdery mildew and offer a first-hand view of their efficacy in demonstration trials. Participants will also see a demonstration of how aerial imagery is being used to advance early and late season pest management in cucumbers and pumpkin.

There will be the opportunity to visit the downy mildew sentinel trial to see what this disease looks like on the different species of cucurbits: cucumber, squash, cantaloupe, and watermelon. There will also be a discussion on the impact of insecticides and fungicides on bee populations. The deadline to register is Aug. 13. For more information or to register, contact Jim Jasinski at 937-484-1526 or [email protected].

Another Field Day being held on August 20th is the “Super Berry School.” This program will be held 6 to 9 p.m. at the OSU South Centers’ Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Road, in Piketon. (Yes, a bit further away!) Based on research trials being done with elderberry, aronia berry and Chinese goji berry plants, these berries are a viable option for Ohio growers. Goji berries are high in antioxidants and vitamin C; Aronia, also called black chokeberry, is said to have more antioxidants than blueberries; and Elderberry contains more phosphorus and potassium than any other temperate fruit crop and is also rich in vitamin C: Thus the nickname “Super Berries!”

The workshop topics include Elderberry, Aronia Berry, and Goji Berry Production and Marketing; Blueberry Cultivars and Production Techniques; Summer and Fall Vineyard Management Practices; Blackberry and Raspberry Production Systems; and a tour of the plant trials. Leading the workshop will be researchers and educators with OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).

Registration for the workshop is $25 and includes the program, handouts, a light dinner and refreshments. Contact Charissa McGlothin at 740-289-2071, ext. 132, to register or for more information. The deadline to register is Aug. 17.

So, there ya have it!! Not only are we fortunate to be in the midst of great crops and livestock, there’s always the possibility for more! When you’re eatin’ that pork sandwich, cutting into a steak, or enjoying that ice cream cone, be sure to Thank a Farmer!

By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at [email protected].

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