Blogs

Here a newly planted white pine has plenty of opportunity for sunlight surrounded by the aggressive Dutch white clover cover crop.

Clover cover crop helping with weed control (so far)

After the trees are planted in the spring, a major source of summer labor on my family’s Christmas tree farm is weed control. Weeds can rob young trees of exposure to sunlight, moisture and nutrients. The first year of planting trees on the farm (many years ago) we did not emphasize weed control and lost [...]

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Farmers are more valuable than their CAUV

There was recently an article in The Columbus Dispatch about concerns that cutting farmers’ property taxes in Ohio could cost homeowners and schools millions of dollars. The topic at hand is CAUV, or Current Agricultural Use Value, that lawmakers in Columbus are once again debating. From 2008 to 2014, farmers were burdened with a 307% [...]

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Bonkers goat3

Bonkers, the Pygmy goat

Every set of Pygmy goat kids born at my place has one silly member. This year was no exception. In mid-March, a wether was born that immediately caught my attention with his fun antics. If he isn’t chewing on my jacket or jumping on a toy in the goat pen, he is knocking his brothers [...]

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dry dirt

Will La Niña send markets soaring?

The 2016 soybean and corn crops in the U.S. could face a serious shortfall if they get the full brunt of a La Niña. This winter I had the great pleasure of talking with Elwynn Taylor from the Iowa State University. He is watching what the strong El Niño does next. He had this to [...]

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PHOTO: The Reese garden mud hole barometer indicated that there was ample soil moisture following an exceptionally poor stretch of April weather.

The Reese garden mud hole barometer: A value analysis

When I was growing up, a neighbor had one of those Mule Barometers to monitor the weather. It said something like: “If tail is dry — Fair; If tail is wet — Rain; If tail is swinging — Windy; If tail is wet and swinging — Stormy; If tail is frozen — Cold.” In what [...]

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draft hitch

Giants and miniatures stand out at Ohio Equine Affaire

Despite the gloomy and cold weather Equine Affaire drew crowds to the Ohio Expo Center. There was plenty of shopping, demonstrations and learning opportunities, but my favorite part of the event was seeing the draft and miniature six-horse hitches. Watching horses around the 18-hand height and horses just more than 30 inches performing similar maneuvers [...]

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Water

Is the EPA funding an anti-ag PR campaign?

Unfortunately it seems only coincidental that the story about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding an anti agriculture PR campaign appeared on April Fools’ Day. If the insistence on WOTUS, the unending regulatory battles and general disdain between agriculture and the agency were not clues enough to see the true agenda of the EPA, some [...]

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turkey chicks

You’re teaching my daughter WHAT in health class???

What started out as a nice family meal out at one of our favorite fried chicken stops, turned into a conversation that had me boiling like the oil that cooked our supper that night. My 6th grade daughter began telling us about her day. Part of her studies for this quarter included a health class. I [...]

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tulip

Spring 2016

I killed a wasp in very early March and my daughter got her first mosquito bite the following week. By all accounts it appears that the planting season will be early in Ohio this year. The four-inch inch soil temperatures will likely be running above normal this spring and forecasters thought they would reach above [...]

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corn seed

Battle of the Smiths

It was a battle of the Smiths for the highest Ohio yield in the National Corn Growers Association 2015 Corn Yield Contest. Fresh off his trip to Commodity Classic where he was recognized for his corn yield success, Adam Smith had several tales of what turned out to be a pretty great 2015 for him [...]

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