Tracy Turner

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

    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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. Photo: Thinkstock

    Researchers Studying the Potential Impact of Pipeline Installation on Farm Soil

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Growers wondering what impact, if any, natural gas pipelines will have on crop productivity in their fields can sign up for a research project being conducted by researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Steve Culman, an Ohio State University Extension specialist in soil fertility, is starting a pilot study to document the effects of pipeline installations on crop productivity over several years. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. The project, still in its beginning stages, needs to work with at least 20 to 30 farmers with pipelines in their fields over a period of three to five years. The goal is to compare crop productivity in areas disturbed by pipeline installation versus...
  6.  Combine unloading grain. Photo: Thinkstock.

    OSU Agriculture Safety and Health Professionals Offer Grain Handling Safety Tips

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – With grain harvest well underway statewide thanks to favorable weather conditions throughout the region, growers are reminded that taking extra precautions when handling grain can lessen the potential for injury. When working around grain storage facilities, incidents such as slips, trips, falls, severe trauma injuries, entanglement or engulfment can happen in a fraction of a second, said Kent McGuire, agriculture safety and health coordinator for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. “Throughout Ohio, on-farm grain storage facilities are being upgraded, and newly constructed on-farm storage facilities are getting larger and larger,...
  7. Photo: Thinkstock

    Ohio State Experts: Tax Schools Offered Statewide November, December and January

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Provisions of the Affordable Care Act will again be the big issue this year for taxpayers – but instead of the focus being heavy on individual taxpayers, more interest will be on employer reporting requirements, a tax expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University said. To help experienced tax preparers learn about federal tax law changes and updates for this year as well as learn more about issues they may encounter when filing individual and small business 2015 tax returns, the college is offering a series of two-day income tax schools. The tax school will also offer information on preparing taxes that focus on agriculture concerns, said Larry Gearhardt, director of the Ohio State University Income...
  8. Photo: Thinkstock

    Dec. 14 Agriculture and Natural Resources Tax Webinar and Workshop Focuses on New Tax Rules

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Farmers, farm representatives and rural landowners can learn more about the special issues with farm tax returns during a daylong tax webinar and workshop Dec. 14 hosted by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University Topics such as inherited property and income tax on farm transfers will be discussed during the workshop, which focuses on issues specific to farm tax returns related to agriculture and natural resources, said Larry Gearhardt, director of the Ohio State University Income Tax School Program of Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college. The six-hour program, which will be presented in a live webinar format, is open to tax preparers as well as...
  9. Tar spot (corn). Photo: CFAES

    New Disease: Growers Can Send in Samples for Testing if They Suspect Tar Spot in Their Fields

    WOOSTER, Ohio – A new corn disease has been spotted in fields near the Indiana-Ohio border that, while it isn’t a big threat for growers this year, could potentially cause some concern in impacted fields next year. That is, if the fungus can survive the harsh Midwest winter. So says Pierce Paul, a corn and small grain Extension specialist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Called tar spot, this corn disease is not only new to Indiana and Illinois, where it was first reported, its appearance is a first in the U.S., Paul said. While the fungal disease is typically found in Mexico, South America and the Caribbean, tar spot is thought to have been transported to the Midwest earlier this season by Tropical Storm Bill...
  10. Solar Energy Could Offer Significant Savings for Agriculture

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Farmers and agribusinesses can learn more about the benefits of installing solar energy systems as a method to reduce costs — and slash their operations’ environmental impact — during an agricultural solar energy workshop offered at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) Oct. 1. Agriculture producers may find that installing such solar energy systems offers significant cost savings, said Fred Michel, event co-planner and associate professor of biosystems engineering in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. “In addition, these systems result in the emission of almost no greenhouse gases, reducing a farm’s impact on climate change,” he said...
  11. Photo: Thinkstock.

    Clean Water for Ohio: New Partners, Projects, Funding are Growing Field to Faucet

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the year since the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University launched its Field to Faucet program, significant strides have been made to improve Ohio water quality. Field to Faucet was conceived by Bruce McPheron, Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the college, who put $1 million in college funding toward the effort after harmful algal blooms caused dangerous microcystin levels in Lake Erie and shut down Toledo’s water supply for two days in August 2014. The initiative includes research projects, training and education efforts, all designed to ensure safe drinking water while maintaining an economically productive agricultural sector, said Jay Martin, an ecological...
  12. Photo: Thinkstock

    Save the Date: OSU Extension to Offer Beef Cattle School Jan. 19, Feb. 2 and 16

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Beef cattle producers who want boost their profit potential and become more competitive in the cattle industry can learn how by attending the 2016 Ohio Beef Cattle School series Jan. 19, Feb. 2 and 16, taught by experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The three-session program will include a wide range of topics focusing on management decisions that producers can make to take full advantage of the beef economic outlook in the present and prepare for the long term, said John Grimes, beef coordinator for Ohio State University Extension and a member of the OSU Extension Beef Team. The overall goal of the program, he said, is to help producers continue to take advantage of the increasing consumer demand for...
  13. Photo: Thinkstock

    Ohio State Making Strides in Working to Improve Water Quality

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – It’s been one year since the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University launched its Nutrient Stewardship for Cleaner Water Signature Program, and already the initiative is making strides in working to improve water quality in Ohio. In that time, nearly 6,600 farmers and commercial applicators have gone through fertilizer applicator certification training created and offered by Ohio State University Extension researchers. And 45 percent of OSU Extension educators have or will have conducted on-farm and field trials throughout 2015 on the best management practices producers can use to reduce runoff of nutrients into Ohio waterways, according to Sam Custer, an OSU Extension educator who leads the program. OSU...
  14. Photo: Thinkstock

    Sept. 3 Corn Field Day to Focus on New Technology

    HARTFORD, Ohio – With more growers looking to incorporate the use of technology in their fields to produce crops and increase yields, experts from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University will offer a free workshop that focuses on technology and allows growers to ask questions about its use in agriculture. The Central Ohio Corn Field Day is Sept. 3 from 5-7 p.m. at Ohio Foundation Seeds, 11491 Foundation Road in Hartford, Ohio. The event will also offer farmers and crop consultants a chance to learn more about corn fertility and nitrogen placement, said Ted Wiseman, an Ohio State University Extension educator. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. “With the extreme weather that we’ve had this season, for...
  15. Photo: Thinkstock

    Ohio’s 2015 Wheat Crop Faced Tough Year

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Growers wondering how this year’s historic rains have impacted wheat now have proof that it has indeed been a tough year for the crop, according to the results of the 2015 Ohio Wheat Performance Test. The test results are offered by researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University and can be viewed at go.osu.edu/wheatresults. They provide growers with the latest information on how well 78 soft red winter wheat varieties grown at five Ohio locations in Wood, Crawford, Wayne, Darke, and Pickaway counties have performed this year. The test is designed to evaluate wheat varieties, blends, brands and breeding lines for yield, grain quality and other performance characteristics, said Laura Lindsey, a...
  16. Photo: Thinkstock

    Ohio State Beef Cattle School Offered in October

    BELLE VALLEY, Ohio – Beef cattle producers who want to reduce costs while maximizing their profit potential can learn how during a Beef School Oct. 6, 13 and 20, taught by experts from Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. The three-day program focuses on forage weed control, spring development, working livestock, carcass beef breeds and open cows, said Clif Little, OSU Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources. “We’re hoping to show producers low-stress, economical and practical practices they can implement on their cattle farms,” he said. “For example, participants can see the effects of pasture clipping versus chemical weed control methods that we’ve implemented on land at the...
  17. Photo: Thinkstock

    OSU Expert: Sustainable Ag Grants Can Help Fund Farm Objectives

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Producers who want to add sustainable agriculture practices to their farm operations may be able to use grant funds to do so — if they know where to look and how to write a winning grant proposal, according to an educator with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Mike Hogan is an Ohio State University Extension educator who is also the coordinator of the university’s Sustainable Agriculture Team. He said that while the grants may not offer a huge amount of money, “there are several sustainable agriculture grants out there that can offer a big benefit for farmers and producers.” Hogan will discuss “Utilizing Grants to Achieve Your Farm Objectives” Sept. 22 at 10 a.m. in the...
  18. Frozen vineyard. Photo:Thinkstock,

    Grape Field Day Aug. 27 to Focus on Dealing With Winter Injury

    HARPERSFIELD, Ohio – Wine grape and commercial grape juice growers can learn how to increase their production management skills and how to manage grape vines after winter injury during a workshop and winery tour Aug. 27 presented by horticulture and viticulture experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The program will feature a tour of three wineries and a look a how the grape industry is recovering from multiple severe winter injury events in 2014 and 2015, said David Marrison, an Ohio State University Extension educator.  “Many growers across the region are still recovering from the frigid temperatures experienced in the region last two winters, which destroyed a majority of popular wine grape crops grown...
  19. Photo: Thinkstock.

    New Guide Directs Consumers to Local Food Producers

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new publication that connects food producers with consumers not only can help increase food producers’ bottom lines but can increase consumers’ access to safe, nutritious, locally produced foods, says a local foods expert in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The Columbus Local Foods Guide is designed to benefit food producers by exposing them to an engaged consumer market for their products as well as benefit consumers by informing them of the availability and locations of local food producers, said Mike Hogan, an Ohio State University Extension educator who is also the coordinator of the university’s Sustainable Agriculture Team. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. The...
  20. Goji berry. Photo: Thinkstock.

    Farm Science Review Workshop: How To Make Informed Choice Before Deciding to Add Alternative Crops

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Wondering if you should add goji berry production to your farm operation? Or how about adding hops to your production lineup? Maybe fish farming is a good option? Before answering yes to adding these or other in-demand crops to a farm business, producers should make sure they are aware of all the requirements that go with adding alternative agriculture enterprises to their farm operations, said Mike Hogan, an Ohio State University Extension educator who is also the coordinator of the university’s Sustainable Agriculture Team. While alternative crops such as hops, super berries and aquaponics are great ways to generate additional farm income, farmers need to be clear first how the additional crops fit into their business’s overall objectives, he said....
  21. How will this year’s historic floods impact grain prices? Ask the experts at Farm Science Review. Photo: Thinkstock.

    Farm Science Review Allows Farmers, Producers, to Question Ag Authorities

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Whether it’s questions about how this summer’s record flooding will impact grain prices or whether drones can be used legally to scout agriculture fields, the answers to these and more will be available from experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University during Farm Science Review, Sept. 22-24 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio. In fact, 53 presentations will be offered by experts from Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Purdue University during the Review’s “Question the Authorities” question-and-answer sessions offered daily at the three-day...
  22. Goji berry. Photo: Thinkstock.

    OSU Extension: ‘Superfruits’ Could Offer Ohio Growers Alternative Income Source; Workshop Set for Aug. 20

    PIKETON, Ohio – The potential market for so-called “superfruits” in Ohio could offer growers an additional income stream thanks to increasingly health-conscious consumers and ongoing research that finds these plants can grow well in the Buckeye state. That’s according to a fruit crop expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, who said that based on research trials of elderberry, aronia berry and Chinese goji berry plants at Ohio State’s South Centers in Piketon, the berries are a viable option for Ohio growers. Fruits such as these, which are also known as super berries because of their nutrition quotient including a rich antioxidant content, are growing well in the research trials, said Gary Gao...
  23. NW Ohio Farmers: Sign Up for Project Designed to Improve Ohio Water Quality

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are looking for farmers in the Maumee River Basin to volunteer for a study to determine the best management practices to reduce nutrient runoff while increasing crop yields. Greg LaBarge, an Ohio State University Extension field specialist and a leader of Ohio State’s Agronomic Crops Team, is leading the Farmer Phosphorus Water Quality Monitoring Project. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. The data will be used to quantify economic and environmental nutrient losses associated with phosphorus runoff, LaBarge said. The goal is to determine the best tools to target high-risk fields and design the most effective practices to maintain crop...
  24. marestail

    Weed ID Is the Key

    SOUTH CHARLESTON, Ohio — It was a contest to see who knows their weed. Or weeds, to be precise. College students from across the U.S. and Canada competed in the National Weed Science Contest July 20-21 at the Western Agricultural Research Station in South Charleston. The program was part of a competition to see who has bragging rights as the best student weed scientists, said Bruce Ackley, an Ohio State University Extension program specialist in weed science. The station is part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. More than 225 undergraduate and graduate students from over 25 universities...
  25. Photo: Thinkstock

    Northwest Ohio Precision Ag Day is Aug. 4

    WAUSEON, Ohio – With increased interest in the benefits of precision nutrient management, the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University is offering a day-long workshop that focuses on precision agriculture. The Northwest Ohio Precision Ag Technology Day is Aug. 4 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Fulton County Fairgrounds, 8591 State Route 108, in Wauseon, Ohio. The event will offer farmers and crop consultants a chance to focus on nutrient management, said Eric Richer, an Ohio State University Extension educator. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.  Topics include: ·      Soil Phosphorus Recommendations ·      Soil Nitrogen Rate and Source Considerations...

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