Last call for Master Gardener registrations

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

Last Call!: Registration for the 2016 Master Gardener Volunteer training will close this Friday, Jan. 22. If you are interested in participating, please submit your completed application and a deposit of $50 to our office at 810 Fair Road here in Sidney. Those of you who need an application to complete (!) can request one by calling 937-498-7239 (or stopping by to pick one up). Our MG Training classes will be held on Thursdays, March 3, through May 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The next Dairy Luncheon is this Wednesday, Jan. 20, at the New Bremen Pizza Hut. Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m. with the program starting at noon. Dianne Shoemaker, OSU Field Specialist – Dairy Production Economics, will be our speaker. Dianne is extremely knowledgeable about dairy economics with her many years as an Extension employee and practical knowledge with having a dairy farm.

Well, the Daytime portion of West Ohio Agronomy Day is complete! We had a great crowd: Over 250 there that day(!), with 160+ Private Pesticide Applicators re-certified and 160+ becoming certified to apply commercial fertilizers! In addition, 46 Certified Crop Advisors earned a total of 120 Continuing Education Units. That’s quite the Educational Accomplishment!!

Our Evening Session is Tuesday evening this week. I’m looking for about 50-60 more who will be learning/reviewing safety, weed and insect control, fumigation standards, and application guidelines! Of course, all this is made possible by our great sponsors! I’ll have the list for you next week so you can express your “Thanks!” to them, also!

Hops is a main ingredient that beer manufacturers use to provide bitterness to balance the sweetness of malt sugars in their product. Ohio hops growers experienced strong demand in 2015 for the specialty crop used as a key ingredient in craft beers, and, experts say, the demand isn’t likely to decline soon.

To help new growers learn how to get started growing both hops and malting barley in Ohio, a two-day Ohio Hops and Malting Barley Conference and Trade Show will be held Feb. 24-25 at Fisher Auditorium in Wooster on the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) campus.

The workshop will feature detailed information on the latest in hops and malting barley production, including mechanical harvesting, processing, malting, and pelletizing. The conference is for both beginning and advanced hops and malting barley growers and anyone interested in growing these crops to meet the increasing demand for a rapidly expanding industry.

The event will feature horticulture experts with Ohio State University Extension, OARDC, and OSU South Centers, as well as other agricultural industry professionals. Conference participants will also be able to meet some of Ohio’s best hops growers and learn how to take advantage of hops mechanical harvesters, processing, and pelletizing operations that have been formed and are available for use by Ohio hops growers.

Registration for the conference is $175 for both days or $100 for one day. Registration includes a spiral-bound booklet, handouts, a flash drive with conference presentations, snacks, and beverages. The Feb. 24 banquet is an additional cost of $50 per person. The deadline to register for the conference is Feb. 5.

For more information on the two-day Ohio Hops and Malting Barley Conference and Trade Show, contact Brad Bergefurd at 740-289-2071, ext. 136 or To register and to find the conference’s full agenda, go to

By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

Reachthe writer at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at

Reachthe writer at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at