The Fulton County office of OSU Extension has had several programming successes during spring 2020.
- Led a group of NW Ohio farmers (CFAES alumni) interested in soil health to collaborate with CFAES and Extension personnel (Fulton, Hawkins, Culman, Hartshuh, Ruff) to develop an initial set of soil health indicators that can be used simply and practically as a starting point to evaluate soil health. We believe these farmers were looking to Ohio State to provide leadership in this area when other soil health discussions were too confusing and confounding; they requested a simple, straightforward starting point. Concerns were first heard in-person at Conservation Technology Conference in Ada; but the remainder of ‘meetings’ were virtual, starting with a listening session and ending with a reporting session and a bulletin about what soil health indicators CFAES suggests and ‘how to’ do them. Additional results will be reported via eFields; and a soil health inquiry article was posted in corn.osu.edu newsletter.
- Co-led with a Water Quality Extension associate (Jordan Beck) a watershed-based, peer group interested in improved solid (pen pack) manure management that met virtually. The peer group included larger cattle farmers (and CFAES alumni) to brainstorm needed CFAES-led manure/organic nutrient research. As a result, Glen Arnold and Eric Richer co-proposed a $112,000 GLRI Manure Composting/Phosphorus Placement Research RFP. Glen requested an additional $180,000 in a separate RFP for his liquid manure research.
- Continued to advise a group of 10-12 ‘new’ malt barley growers in the seven-county northwest Ohio region. Much of this was virtual via email, phone, text. Eventually, a research exemption allowed for field visits that resulted in improved grower confidence in growing barley. The major scouting, advising concerns revolved around the freeze events associated with May 9, 11, 12, 13 and their impact on barley kernel fill and then head scab management. Additionally, a group of educators (Mike Estadt, Mary Griffith, Barry Ward, Eric Richer) finalized the first malt barley budget in Ohio (ever? or in 50 years); posted at farmoffice.osu.edu. CFAES and Extension work in barley has resulted in a direct thank you or ‘shout out’ by Michigan Malt Barley Association, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers, Independent Barley and Malt, and Origin Malt. Currently, Ohio has 9,400 acres of malt barley in the ground in direct contract with Origin Malt, a huge collaborator in this work. Malt barley ‘team’ at CFAES includes Stockinger, Lindsey, Paul, Bergefurd, Estadt, Griffith, Ruff, Ward, and Richer.
- Virtually helped onboard a new Water Quality Extension associate (Jordan Beck). Jordan, with research exemption, has since coordinated and executed the first Ohio State eFields in Lucas County trial (Yield Response to Starter Phophorus and/or Soil Applied Biologicals).
Have a success story you would like to share? Please send them directly to your assistant director and copy Cheryl Buck, Extension communication manager.