New website for farmers/landowners with erosion concerns

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

There is a new website to help landowners and operators use visual clues in the landscape or from their management records to identify fields or streams and ditches where targeted practices could reduce erosion and nutrient losses that impair Ohio watersheds. This website provides a summary of “Critical Concerns” found in the landscape and in agronomic farm plans, a review of potential “Best Management Practices (BMPs),” and a list of resources, people, and agencies to contact.

The intent of this website is to empower farmers/landowners with the knowledge necessary to identify the high risk situations that exist in their farm fields and the ability to know when to seek professional help for implementing cost effective conservation. This website can be used in the field on mobile devices and is easily updated with new information on cost of implementation, effectiveness of practices to address water quality, and other factors as new research is made available. The website is

There are New Care Standards for Ohio Veal and Dairy Livestock that will take effect Jan. 1. Apparently, these standards were originally adopted in September 2011 with the time since allowing for changes in management, facilities, and practices.

After the first of the year, veal calves weighing 750 pounds or less can only be tethered to prevent naval and cross-sucking and as a restraint for examinations, treatments, and transit, as long as the tether is long enough to allow the calf to stand, groom, eat, lie down comfortably, and rest in a natural position and the tether’s length and collar size is checked and adjusted as needed every other week.

There are also some new requirements for pens: individual pens must have good air circulation, be large enough for them to turn around and allow for normal resting postures, grooming, and eating. By 10-weeks-old, calves must be in group pens that meet the above standards and have a minimum of 14-square-feet per calf. Calves of substantially different sizes need to be in separate pens.

The only change to the dairy care standards is that docking the tails will only be permissible if it’s performed by a licensed veterinarian and determined to be medically necessary. These and other regulations on Ohio’s Livestock Care Standards can be found at

And, yes, we lead into the new year with West Ohio Agronomy Day. You can find the schedules, credits offered, costs, and registration information for both the daytime program in Fort Loramie on Jan. 8 and the evening program in Sidney on Jan. 16 at Click on “Ag and Natural Resources” and then “West Ohio Agronomy Day” on the left-hand side of the page. Thank You, Fertilizer Dealer Supply of Anna, for continuing to support these programs!!

We hosted my Family’s Holiday-Get-Together and things went well. Everyone brought food, so there was plenty! Gifts for all 16 of the grand-nieces and nephews — with no crying or arguing! Mom and Dad got to spend a day with all their kids, grand-kids and great-grand-kids. Great!!

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