Workshop theme is protecting water

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

“Agricultural Conservation, Protecting Water: Keeping Soil and Nutrients in the Field” will be the theme of a Hardin County Field Day on Friday, Sept. 18. The event will from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with complimentary lunch. The location is the Jerry McBride Farm, 11312 County Road 60, Dola. Wagon tours will transport attendees to three different farms in addition to a Corn Response to Nitrogen plot.

Included in the day’s activities will be a soil moisture probe demonstration, a demonstration of injecting liquid manure into a growing crop, the essential components of the Soil Health Tool Box, a Smoking Tile demonstration, an update on the current legislation regarding nutrient management, a field demonstration of incorporating commercial fertilizers with minimal disturbance, and the placement of fertilizer within the soil. Other concurrent sessions to choose from include Drainage Water Management; an overview of the two-stage ditch design, potential benefits and costs, and a description of a process to determine if a two-stage ditch is potentially a good practice for you; study results on the edge-of-field effects of different management practices on phosphorus movement in surface runoff and tile drainage discharge; and the pros and cons of 10 different cover crop plots.

Please call the Hardin Soil and Water Conservation District at 419-673-0456 ext. 3 by Sept. 10 to pre-register for this free event. Pre-registration helps to ensure an accurate lunch count. CCA and CLM credits are pending.

Farmers, want to help guide the use of technology in agriculture? You can do so by participating in a short survey put together by researchers at OSU. This online survey, which can be completed in five minutes (yes, it’s that short!!), asks for input from farmers and industry professionals. It includes questions on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones; the number of acres allocated in 2015 for specific crops such as soybeans, corn, and wheat; the use of GPS tracking in the field; Wi-Fi accessibility; and the use of smartphones. The survey can be found at

We are in the process of planning for next spring’s Master Gardener class!! Yes, one day per week for eight weeks of learning about plants, soils, fertility, pest prevention and control!! If you’d like to know more about the class, please contact our office to provide your name and mailing address. We’ll provide details as the schedule is developed.

According to Marc Sulc, our OSUE Forages Expert, the last harvest of alfalfa should be taken no later than Sept. 15 in this area of the state. (Yes, I’ve seen quite a bit of hay cut in the past week or so. That’s good!) This will allow a fall rest period for alfalfa, which is probably more important than usual this year due to the stressful growing conditions we’ve had; cutting later (Sept. 15 to Oct. 30) will add significant additional stress to fields that are already in poor condition from the earlier wet weather.

The fall period is when alfalfa and other tall legumes like red clover begin storing carbohydrate and protein reserves in the crowns and roots. Cold-hardening processes also occur that increase plant resistant to cold temperatures. Interrupting those processes could result in plants having inadequate cold hardiness along with lower energy reserves for initiating regrowth next spring.

While cutting alfalfa during the critical fall period might be tempting due to the need for high quality forage, consider the risk from fall cutting to be greater this year than is usual, especially if the stand suffered excessive soil wetness this year and is lacking vigor. Sulc’s complete article can be found at

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