Workshop season continues for farmers

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

Mercer County is holding a Soil Nutrients and Application Workshop on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the Central Services Building in Celina, beginning at 7 p.m. The focus is on Understanding your Soil Sample, Understanding your Manure Sample and Proper Applications and Nutrient Record Keeping. Take a copy of a recent soil sample and/or manure analysis, if you have one available. There is no cost to attend this workshop, but RSVP at 419-586-2179.

There will be a program on Balance Sheets and Record Keeping: More Valuable Now Than Ever in the downstairs meeting room of the Auglaize County Administration Building in Wapak on Feb. 21 beginning at 6:30 p.m. With tight budgets, using and maintaining balance sheets is extremely critical in knowing what is profitable. Register before Feb. 19 by calling the Auglaize County Extension office at 419-739-6580.

Beef 510, a one-day program for all cattlemen, will be held in Columbus on Saturday, March 3. This program will review the traditional beef sensory sessions and BQA presentations from Beef 509 and will also present information designed to help producers better prepare their operations and their cattle to meet the challenges of the future. All who attend will be certified in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) by the end of the course.

Speakers and topics include Justin Nelson, Director of Animal Procurement for Tyson Foods, talking about today’s marketing environment and Tyson’s approach to market-access programs. He will also address the decision from Wendy’s restaurants to purchase cattle, beginning in 2019, only from those suppliers who can verify that producers providing the cattle are BQA certified.

Mandy Carr Johnson from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association will discuss how the beef checkoff program works to assure consumers that beef is a sustainable and nutritious food. This presentation will also include a sneak peek into the checkoff’s new “raising beef responsibly” campaign and the “Rethink the Ranch” campaign, sharing stories of the people behind the product.

Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Field Specialist in the area of Manure Nutrient Management and Application will discuss his on-farm research focusing on the use of livestock manure as a spring top-dress fertilizer on wheat and as a side dress fertilizer for corn. His research goal is to move livestock producers toward applying manure during the crop growing season instead of late fall. Additional presenters include professors from the Department of Animal Sciences at OSU.

This Beef 510 program will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude by 5 p.m. The registration fee is $35 and includes lunch provided by the 2018 OSU Meats Judging Team. Registration deadline is Feb. 16. For a registration form and more information, go to and under Event/Programs, scroll down to the March 3 listing. Yes, you’ll find other learning opportunities from across the state, too!!

Our Shelby County Master Gardeners will be holding Spring Gardening Seminars during the months of February, March and April. All three of these seminars will take place in the Community Room at the Amos Memorial Public Library in Sidney from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Each session will include hand-outs, refreshments, a question-and-answer time, and great door prizes. These seminars are open to the public at no charge, and there is no need to sign up ahead of time. Feel free to attend one, two or all three seminars.

Tuesday, Feb. 20, will feature the topic of “What’s Happening in the Plant World? Garden Trends for 2018.” Discussed will be new ornamental and edible plants for 2018, low-maintenance plants for busy people, garden resources, and much more. “March Madness: A Winning Season on Garden Prep” will be held on Tuesday, March 20, and “Gardening in Small Spaces” will be the topic for the April 17 presentation.

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