December green shows up in cover crops

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

We’ve raised cover crops for a number of years. It’s so neat to look out across the fields in December/January and see “green”! (Of course, that’s if there’s no snow!) Some of the benefits we’re seeing include less water runoff, improved soil structure, and reduced soil compaction. The increase in soil organic matter is a much slower process, but we know that’s happening, too. This year these crops have been especially helpful in stretching our grazing season!

There will be “Cover Crop and Soil Health Workshops” held at various locations this winter. Workshops in this area of the state will focus on cover crops after row crops, how using cover crops leads to healthy soil microbes and improved soil health. Topics for the daylong workshop include the following: ECO Farming – Ecological Farming Practices, Soil Ecology and Nutrient Recycling, Biology of Soil Compaction, Soil Demonstrations, Keeping Nutrients Out of Surface Water, the Economics of Cover Crops, Using the Cover Crop Selector Tool, Managing Grasses and Brassicas in Your Crop Rotation, and an Open Discussion on Using Cover Crops in Your Farming Operation.

The registration cost for the workshop is $35 and includes lunch, handouts, fact sheets, and the new Midwest Cover Crop Field Guide. All workshops start with registration at 8 a.m. and last no longer than 4 p.m. Your choices of locations within this area of the state include the following:

• Jan. 14 at the Plaza Inn Restaurant in Mt. Victory, registration deadline of Jan. 7, at 419-674-2297;

• Jan. 20 at the Wood County Fairgrounds in Bowling Green, registration deadline of Jan. 13 at 419-354-9050;

• March 21 in Montgomery County (location to be decided), registration deadline of March 14 at 937-224-9654, ext. 109.

Reservations for West Ohio Agronomy Day, both the Jan. 11 daytime session in Fort Loramie and the Jan. 19 evening program in Sidney, are coming in! Yes, we’ll be doing the Private Pesticide Recertification credits for Core and Categories 1, 2 and 6 as well as Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training for those of you who already hold a Pesticide Applicator’s License. We’ll also have Certified Crop Advisor CEUs.

Additional Sponsors for this program of Food, Fun, Fellowship and Lots of Information include Paradise Energy Solutions from Sugarcreek, OH; Lena Ag Center Co-op; and Farm Credit, Mid-America. And, there are other “(the) check’s in the mail”!!

If you’re interested in taking the exam to become a Certified Crop Adviser, there is a training session being held locally to help you prepare. This CCA Exam Training session will be offered at the Shelby County Extension Office, 810 Fair Road, Sidney, Ohio on Jan. 13-14, beginning each day at 9 a.m.

The following materials will be provided: Ohio Agronomy Guide; Ohio & Indiana Weed Control Guide; 2014 Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Alfalfa Field Guide; Tri-State Fertility Guide; Modern Corn & Soybean Production; and many handouts. Meals, snacks, and coffee will be provided.

The price for the program is $225. Secure on-line registration using credit card, debit card, or check is available at Harold Watters is the contact person for more information: 937-604-2415, or Please inform Harold if you have meal restrictions.

Have a Good Week! I head to Columbus tomorrow for another set of trainings! Thank Heavens, Stanley likes the calves: He doesn’t mind feeding when I’m not there!

By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

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

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