By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

SIDNEY — There’s not a whole lot I’ve got to report this week. We should be in the fields by now, but it’s still wet. Things did dry out a bit last week and I did see some manure being applied and worked in, but Thursday’s rain put a halt to that, too …

Frustration! Yep, if you look at the calendar, we’re way behind! However, I don’t think we’re as “behind” as we think … For the most part, it doesn’t “feel” like late spring; more like early/mid-April. I’m not much of a phenologist, but until I can “smell” that dirt in the field, it’s not ready … Those soil temps have to be consistently high enough to get all those micro-organisms awake and active … Once the soil “comes to life,” it’s time to plant …

OK, on to other stuff: OSU and the Ohio Pawpaw Growers’ Association will be holding Pawpaw Grafting Workshops in two weeks. There is a program on Thursday, May 23, at the OSU South Centers in Piketon from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. and another on Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the OSU Waterman Farm in Columbus.

Each workshop will teach you how to graft pawpaw trees for propagation using rootstock and grafts, taught by Dr. Ron Powell of the Ohio Pawpaw Growers’ Association. The cost is $15 per person with a deadline to register of May 21. However, space is limited, so you might want to get registered a bit earlier. You can contact Charissa Gardner at 740-289-2071 to register.

Also on Thursday, May 23, there is a program on “How Plants Mate” at the Secrest Arboretum in Wooster. The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a flower and fruit walk, followed by classroom instruction on flower identification and display, anatomy of a flower, pollination, and why “how plants mate” matters. There will also be a session with an up-close look at flower parts using a microscopic projection system. The program will conclude at 4 p.m.

The cost for this program is $40 with a registration deadline of May 16. You can find more information at Click on the title “How Plants Mate” to pull up the brochure and registration form.

If you missed getting your Fertilizer Applicator Recertification Training, there will be a program on Thursday, May 30, at the Hardin County Extension office in Kenton from 7 to 8 p.m. The cost is $10. Register at or contact Mark Badertscher at 419-674-2297 for more information.

Just a reminder that our Master Gardeners have the Hotline open to answer your questions. They’ll be in the office on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call or bring your samples and let’s see what we can do!

That’s all I’ve got right now, folks. I, too, wanna be driving tractor soon … but we’ll wait until the soils dry out so we’re not making ruts and causing compaction. Back in 2011, we planted corn on June 3; best crop we’ve ever had! The soils were warm enough we had really fast emergence and, yes, we got rain in late July/August. No guarantees on that this year, but … nothin’ we can do about it at this point! Just get rested up because when that window breaks, it will be “Full Steam Ahead!”

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