Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. Photo: Thinkstock

    Ohio State Agronomy Workshop Jan. 19 to Focus on Soil Fertility

    URBANA, Ohio – Healthy soils are a key ingredient to produce strong crop yields, and understanding what nutrients your soils need is a fundamental step in that process, says an educator in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Soil fertility is crucial to maximizing yield potential when growing crops, said Amanda Douridas, an Ohio State University Extension agriculture and natural resources educator. “Increasing crop yields starts with understanding what your soils need and making sure that you are making the right nutrient application decisions,” she said. “And that starts with taking a good soil sample so that you can have the most reliable test to base your nutrient application decisions on.”...
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    Ohio State Ag Economist: Cropland Values Not Likely to Rise Next Year

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Although cropland values in Ohio have increased in recent years, low projected profit margins next year will likely restrict land values from increasing in 2016 and may, in fact, cause land values to decrease, an agricultural economist from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University said. Ohio cropland values rose 3.5 percent in 2015, with bare cropland averaging $5,850 an acre, said Barry Ward, production business management leader for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. Ward, citing statistics from the Ohio Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, said continued lower margins together with the potential for higher interest rates suggest farmland...
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    Ohio State Economist Offers 2016 Grain Market Outlook

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Grain prices aren’t likely to rise next year thanks to stagnant demand growth and ample grain supplies, says an agricultural economist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. With the slowing Chinese economy contributing to stagnant demand growth and the ample supply thanks to large harvests in major production nations the past two years and destocking in Argentina and China, the 2016 grain market will remain one of flat, weak prices, said Matt Roberts, an Ohio State University Extension economist. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. “The global and U.S. wheat market remains well supplied,” he said. “To date, Great Plains weather has been positive for the 2016 winter...
  4. Sun hemp is just one example of a cover crop that can help improve soil health. Photo: OSU Extension.

    Workshops Promote Benefits of Cover Crops for Crop Farmers and Livestock Producers

    OTTAWA, Ohio – Farmers who plant cover crops can expect to see lower input costs and healthier soils for both crop and livestock production, according to a soil expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. For crop producers, the benefits include lower pesticide use and more efficient use of soil fertilizer and nutrients, said Jim Hoorman, an Ohio State University Extension educator and an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. “The increase in soil organic matter from cover crops results in improved water infiltration, less water runoff, improved soil structure, reduced soil compaction and ultimately higher yields for farmers using cover...
  5. Producer making silage stocks for animal feed in winter. Photo: Thinkstock.

    Extra Care Can Prevent Silage Pileups, Preserve Quality Animal Feed

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Livestock producers need to take extra care when creating and maintaining stored silage piles to not only ensure they produce quality animal feed but also to lessen the risk of injury or even death from suffocation caused by an accidental silage avalanche. Creating safe and nutritional silage piles starts with making sure the height is never higher than what your loading or unloading equipment can safely reach, which is typically 12-14 feet above the silage floor, said Rory Lewandowski, an Ohio State University Extension agriculture and natural resources educator. While that may sound intuitive, Lewandowski said, numerous silage avalanches have occurred nationwide in recent years that have resulted in several deaths, according to data compiled by Ruthie and Keith...
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    Beef 509 Workshop Offers Livestock Producers Insight into Harvesting

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Understanding what consumers value and look for when purchasing meat can help livestock producers increase their profit potential and become more competitive in the cattle industry. “The average livestock producer rarely follows the animals through harvest to the finished product,” said John Grimes, beef coordinator for Ohio State University Extension and a member of the OSU Extension Beef Team. “Understanding how prime, choice and select cuts are determined and what goes into establishing value can help producers make more informed choices in their day-to-day management on their farm operations,” Grimes said. To help bridge the knowledge gap, beef experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences are offering a...
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    Commercial Grape and Wine Workshop Offered Dec. 3

    PIKETON, Ohio – With interest in Ohio wine production growing among potential producers, understanding what goes into running a successful vineyard and winery can make the difference in developing a profitable operation, according to a grape expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. To help growers — new and experienced alike — learn the basics of grapevine propagation techniques and vineyard management, horticulture and viticulture experts from the college will host the Commercial Grape and Wine Workshop Dec. 3. The workshop will also offer insight into other key concerns facing commercial wine grape growers, said Gary Gao, an Ohio State University Extension specialist and associate professor of small fruit...
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    Farm Management School Teaches Small, Beginning Producers Farm Finances

    GREENVILLE, Ohio – Producers new to farming or those who operate small farms and ranches can learn how to create a business plan and develop a balance sheet from farm management experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The 2016 Farm Management School, a five-session workshop series, will focus on the financial education that goes along with operating a successful farming operation, said Sam Custer, an Ohio State University Extension educator who is organizing the the program. OSU Extension is CFAES’s outreach arm. Although the farm management school targets those who are new to agricultural fields, any farmer, producer or agriculture-related industry person is welcome to attend, Custer said. The goal of the...
  9. Red clover can be used as an effective cover crop. Photo: Thinkstock.

    Award-Winning Cover Crops Guide Helps Growers Improve Water Quality

    OTTAWA, Ohio – A publication that teaches growers the advantages of using cover crops to improve soil health and crop yields has won several awards and is now in its third printing. The Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide, ID-433, helps growers learn how to improve the region’s water quality while improving soil health, increasing yields, lowering input costs and earning higher farm income, said Jim Hoorman, an Ohio State University Extension educator and an assistant professor studying cover crops, soil health and water quality issues. The guide was collaboratively written in part by soil researchers and educators from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. First published in 2012 and updated in 2014, more than 52,000 copies...
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    Ohio’s 2015 Soybean Crop Performance Trials Reveal Higher than Expected Yields

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Despite the heavy rains that hit the region early during the growing season this year, soybeans in the majority of test plots planted by researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University still managed to beat expectations. In fact, in four of the six test sites for the 2015 Ohio Soybean Performance Test, soybeans averaged over 70 bushels per acre, said Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the college’s outreach arm. “Although this year was very unusual in the amount of rainfall that fell in June, our yields were very high – much higher than expected,” she said. “We averaged over 70 bushels per acre on some...
  11. Photo: Thinkstock

    New Worker Protection Rules Impact Farm, Greenhouse Workers

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Owners of farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses that use pesticides in agricultural plant production will have to implement additional safeguards for their pesticide handlers and agricultural workers under a revision to the Worker Protection Standard. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published the new rules in the Federal Register Nov. 2. Compliance with most of the new rules will be required by January 2017, said Mary Ann Rose, program director for Ohio State University Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program.  New training content will not be required until January 2018, she said.  OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The increased...
  12. Photo: Thinkstock

    New Worker Protection Rules Impact Farm, Greenhouse Workers

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Owners of farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses that use pesticides in agricultural plant production will have to implement additional safeguards for their pesticide handlers and agricultural workers under a revision to the Worker Protection Standard. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published the new rules in the Federal Register Nov. 2. Compliance with most of the new rules will be required by January 2017, said Mary Ann Rose, program director for Ohio State University Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program.  New training content will not be required until January 2018, she said.  OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The increased...
  13. Crimson clover. Photo: Thinkstock

    Webinar Offers Insight on the Economics of Planting Cover Crops

    OTTAWA, Ohio –Growers who plant cover crops instead of tilling their soil will save money upfront and have healthier soils and better yields long-term, says a soil health and cover crops expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Farmers who add cover crops to their fields — such as oilseed radish, cereal rye, Austrian winter pea and crimson clover, among others — can also expect to reduce soil erosion, cut down on nutrient losses, cut input costs and improve water quality, said Jim Hoorman, an Ohio State University Extension educator and an assistant professor studying cover crops, soil health and water quality issues. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. Hoorman will discuss “Economics of...
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    Webinar Series Offers Insights Into Cost Savings When Feeding Livestock

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – A four-part webinar series on minimizing costs when feeding livestock is now available to view online, presented by beef experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Links to the 2015 Ohio Beef Feedlot School are now viewable at u.osu.edu/beefteam/resource-library/#linkg. The webinars, which were filmed earlier this year, feature presentations by Francis Fluharty, a professor of ruminant nutrition in the college. Fluharty, who specializes in feedlot nutrition and animal growth, also has an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.  The webinars, each about two to 2.5 hours long, focus on beef feedlot nutrition and maximizing profits by increasing feed efficiency and...
  15. Photo: Thinkstock

    Study Examines Potential of Containers for Commercial Berry Production

    PIKETON, Ohio – Growing berries in containers could extend Ohio’s commercial fruit season and provide other benefits. At least, that’s what a researcher in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University hopes to determine by studying how growing raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in containers on a commercial level can help make Ohio-grown berries more hearty to the effects of Ohio winters. The demand for blackberries, blueberries and raspberries has exploded in recent years thanks to consumers who covet the tiny sweet fruits for their many health benefits, said Gary Gao, an Ohio State University Extension specialist and associate professor of small fruit crops at the Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon....
  16. Photo: Thinkstock

    Time to Comment on New Pesticide Applicator Rules Ends Nov. 23

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio pesticide applicators have until Nov. 23 to voice their opinions on a set of proposals from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to increase the requirements for the certification of pesticide applicators nationwide. The proposed rules, if they were to go into effect as they are currently written, would impose significant changes to the process for both certification and recertification, said Mary Ann Rose, program director for Ohio State University Extension’s Ohio Pesticide Safety Education Program. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The Ohio Pesticide Safety Education Program provides training, education and outreach to pesticide applicators about the...
  17. Photo: Thinkstock

    Farmland Leases Offer Protection for Landowners, Tenants

    WOOSTER, Ohio — As landowners calculate farmland rental rates for the coming year, they may want to consider completing the process with a written cropland rental or lease agreement. Such a document can go far to protect both landowners and tenants, says Rory Lewandowski, an Ohio State University Extension agriculture and natural resources educator. While that may sound intuitive, there are a surprising number of cropland rental or lease agreements that are verbal agreements rather than written legal documents, Lewandowski said. “Not only does a written agreement clarify the terms and conditions of the lease agreement, it also can help prevent legal problems down the line and help prevent potential problems from arising between landowners and tenants,” he said....
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    Corn Residue Great Option for Livestock Supplemental Feed

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Corn residue left over from harvesting can make an excellent source of supplemental feed for livestock, according to a forage expert from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.  This is especially true for producers who are facing lower hay crop inventories thanks to the excessive rains that impacted the region during the beginning of the growing season this year, said Rory Lewandowski, agriculture and natural resources educator for the college’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension. Grazing cows on harvested corn acres within the first 30 to 60 days after harvesting can be a great way for producers to stretch their feed supplies, he said. “This was a tough forage year for many...
  19. Photo: Thinkstock

    Webinar Series Offers Farm Financial Tips and Management Information

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – With low crop prices and higher input costs, many farmers, producers and farm business owners may be faced with having to make hard financial choices to stem potential losses and lessen financial stress, said a farm business expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. To help farmers, producers and farm business owners who want to gain insight into improving financial management, Ohio State University Extension is offering a free, four-part webinar series on managing risk and financial management. The series, called “Ready, Set, Go: Preparing Farms to Successfully Manage Risk,” can help participants better understand their financial situation by focusing on financial statements and using them...
  20. Photo: Thinkstock

    Farm Bill: Producers Still Have Time to Enroll in Dairy Program

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dairy producers still have time to enroll in the dairy Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016 and can use an online tool developed by dairy economists with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University to aid in their decision-making. Cameron Thraen, emeritus professor and formerly an associate professor in the college’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, and John Newton, formerly a Ph.D. graduate student working with Thraen and now senior director, Economic Research, National Milk Producers Federation, collaborated with members of the Dairy Markets and Policy (DMaP) team in 2014 to create the online decision tool.  Thraen and Newton, working with a team of...
  21. Photo: Thinkstock

    Ohio State Offers Ag Lending Seminars on Ag Law, Economics

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Agriculture experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University will offer three agricultural lending seminars designed to offer participants insight into agricultural law and economics.  The seminars were created to offer agricultural lenders, Farm Service Agency personnel and others insight on current economic forces affecting farming, said Bruce Clevenger, an Ohio State University Extension educator. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college.  “The topics offered in the seminars were all chosen to provide participants the most up-to-date information on the current state of the agriculture economy with a goal in mind of how they can best serve their farm clientele,” he...
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    Federal Task Force to Develop Registry for Recreational Drone Use

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Users who fly drones for fun may soon have to register their machines. A new task force announced Monday (Oct. 19) has been charged with recommending a registration process for unmanned aircraft systems used for recreational purposes. But farmers who want to use drones in their operations for activities like crop scouting and checking on livestock will still have to wait until the Federal Aviation Administration issues its final rules that would govern the use of small UAS in agriculture and other enterprises, said Peggy Hall, Ohio State University Extension’s agricultural and resource law field specialist. The proposed regulations, which FAA published last spring, would require commercial operators to comply with a certification process, which includes...
  23. Western bean cutworm. Photo: OSU Extension.

    Western Bean Cutworm Potential Threat to Corn

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Late-harvested corn may be at risk for some growers this year thanks to western bean cutworms that have infested some fields, leaving some damaged crops susceptible to toxin-contaminated mold, said plant and insect experts in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The concern is that in some late-harvested corn fields, western bean cutworm feeding has left some corn crops susceptible to fungi such as Fusarium, Gibberella and Aspergillus that produce mycotoxins that can be harmful to animals and humans if used in corn for grain and human food consumption, said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension corn and small grain specialist. The holes and damage caused by the western bean cutworm feeding could lead...
  24. Photo: Thinkstock

    Mow Your Pastures to See Greener Grass, and Other Pasture Improvement Tips

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Livestock producers who want a simple way to improve their pastures may want to consider using a tool similar to what most homeowners use to keep their neighbors happy — a mower, only bigger. Not only does mowing keep pastures looking nice, it also helps remove weeds, said Chris Penrose, an Ohio State University Extension educator. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. And if you mow the weeds in your pastures early in the season, it also results in another significant benefit — it removes seed heads from the grass, which encourages new growth, he said. That’s because grass, early in the season, is in its reproductive stage and focuses more on seed...
  25. Photo: Thinkstock

    Ohio State Working to Update Tri-State Fertility Recommendations for Soybeans, Corn and Wheat

    WOOSTER, Ohio -- A soil fertility specialist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University is looking to recruit growers interested in helping researchers update the soybean, corn and wheat fertility recommendations for Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. Steve Culman, an Ohio State University Extension soil fertility specialist, is seeking growers to participate in a project to look at nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in soybeans, corn and wheat as part of an overall effort to update the tri-state fertility recommendations. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. “The project involves casting a broad net to collect data from a large number of farms to determine the most economical and most effective fertilization rates for...

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