Wanted: milkweed pods for habitat initiative


By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update



Just a reminder that our local Soil and Water Conservation District office is collecting milkweed pods through the end of the month (Oct. 31). With the weather changing over the next few days, now should be a good opportunity to get out, take a walk along the road or through a field to collect some of those seeds.

Yes, it’s best to pick them when they are dry and gray or brown in color. When ready, that center seam will pop with a bit of gentle pressure. The pods can be put into a paper sack (not plastic!); write the date and county in which they were collected and store them in a cool, dry area until you can deliver them to your local SWCD office.

Oh, yeah. Why are we doing this?: To support the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative. Milkweed is the sole host plant for the Monarch Butterfly and the population of this plant has been declining over the past many years. We’re trying to help replenish the population …

As the farm economy becomes tighter and the environmental pressure greater, understanding your soil fertility and nutrient needs becomes even more important. The Darke Soil and Water Conservation District, along with the Shelby SWCD, OSU Extension, Otte Ag LLC, Second National Bank, and Wright State-Lake Campus are hosting a Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management Workshop Series beginning in November.

This is a four-part workshop that begins with the basics and ends with a farm plan for up to 50 acres on your farm. Three of these sessions are held 6 to 9 p.m. at the North Star Community Center in North Star: The Nov. 13 class will focus on basic agronomy: soil sampling, and commercial fertilizers; On Dec. 4 the topics will include soil audits, nitrogen testing, Tri-State Fertility guidelines, and using imagery to guide your nutrient decisions; The last class on Jan. 22 will look at manure as a nutrient source, Tri-State calculations, manure regulations and stockpiling, and record keeping. The third session will be held on Jan. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a tour of Brookside Labs in New Bremen.

The cost for this four-part, in-depth Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management Workshop is $20. Space is limited, so reserve your spot soon!: call 937-548-1752 or email jared.coppess@darkeswcd.com. There are CCA and CLM credits for participation and attending all four sessions will provide the credit you need for your Fertilizer Applicator Certification.

The 2017 OSU Extension Income Tax School for this area of the state will be held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 16-17 at the Old Barn Out Back in Lima, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. These two‐day schools are designed for individuals who have some experience preparing and filing federal and state tax returns. They are considered to be intermediate level classes.

Instruction will focus on recent tax law changes and on the issues that you may encounter when preparing 2017 tax returns. Highly qualified instructors will explain and interpret tax regulations and recent changes in tax law. The OSU Income Tax School is an IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider (36HVG).

The cost for both days is $350; $220 if you can only attend one day. Early bird registration is due Nov. 2. More information, including registration and dates for other locations if the Lima days don’t work can be found at farmoffice.osu.edu. Look under the “Income Tax Schools” tab. You can also call 614-292-2433 with questions.

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By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at brown.1522@osu.edu.

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at brown.1522@osu.edu.