Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. Black cutworm

    Black Cutworms, Armyworms Becoming Active in Some Ohio Fields

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Warmer weather and newly emerging corn coupled with reports of large populations of black cutworms and armyworms reported last month in Indiana and Kentucky means Ohio growers could start to find larvae from these pests in their fields over the next few weeks. Now that the region is experiencing more suitable planting days, growers could see some fields with heavy feeding by these pests as soon as the second or third week of May, an entomologist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University said. Black cutworms, which are migratory pests, have been reported in the neighboring states of Indiana and Kentucky in significant numbers in traps set up by entomologists to determine the number of moths migrating up from the...
  2. Ohio State Offers Strawberry Field Night May 21

    PIKETON, Ohio – Robotic strawberry pickers on the farm? Researchers in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are testing a new prototype robotic sensor technology that can assist farmers in strawberry production, potentially saving growers up to $10,000 per acre in labor harvesting costs. Although researchers at Ohio State are still testing this new technology to determine if it is economically feasible for farmers to adopt, it could be a significant boost to strawberry farmers, said Brad Bergefurd, a horticulturist with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “The potential benefit for using technology like this is significant in reducing labor costs and increasing farm...
  3. Soybean. Photo: Thinkstock

    OSU Expert: Check for Potential Cold Snap Injury in Wheat

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Now is the time for growers to check their wheat crops to see if the recent cold snap that hit the region last month has injured susceptible plants, a field crops expert in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University said. With temperature that hit near or below freezing during the week of April 20 in some parts of Ohio, wheat growers in affected areas may consider checking their crops for potential injury, said Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the college’s outreach arm. Depending on the wheat’s growth stage and how cold the temperatures were, some plants could have been negatively impacted by the freeze, Lindsey said, noting that...
  4. Cereal Rye

    Cover Crops Are Viable Option for Livestock Supplemental Feed

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Producers who want to use the cover crops they planted last fall as supplemental feed for their livestock may want to may want to harvest these crops quickly before the plants get too mature and the feed quality declines, says a forage expert from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.  So says Rory Lewandowski, agriculture and natural resources educator for the college’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension. Although cover crops are typically planted to control erosion and improve soil structure and health, they can also be a good option as supplemental forage for livestock, he said. “There are a number of dairy farmers who take a cutting off of cover crops that are planted in the...
  5. Spring Planting Errors to Avoid to Get Crops Off to Good Start

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Growers who want to make sure they get their corn crops off to a good start this season should make sure they perform tillage only when necessary and under the proper soil conditions, cautions a field crops expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. That’s just one of the tips Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist, said can help growers avoid spring planting errors that could result in lower yield potential before the first plant has even emerged. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college. Thomison says growers should stick with proven practices when it comes to getting corn planted, including getting corn planted before May 10, after which the potential...
  6.  Black cutworm. Photo: OSU Extension

    Reports of Large Populations of Black Cutworms, Armyworms in Indiana and Kentucky Signal Potential Concern for Ohio Growers

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Large populations of black cutworms reported last week in Indiana and Kentucky means Ohio farmers can soon expect to see the migratory moths in the Buckeye State, an entomologist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University said. Black cutworms have been reported in the neighboring states of Indiana and Kentucky in significant numbers in traps set up by entomologists to determine the number of moths migrating up from the South, said Andy Michel, an Ohio State University Extension pest expert. Large numbers of armyworms have also been caught in the Kentucky traps, Michel said. Since these are migratory pests, Ohio growers should be prepared to start scouting their fields once corn is emerging or has come up. Both...
  7. Wanted: Farmers, Agriculture Agencies, Others to Complete Nutrient Management Survey

    SOUTH CHARLESTON, Ohio – Nutrient management experts in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are asking farmers, producers, agriculture agencies and others to complete a survey on how they receive and use information on manure nutrient management. Called the Pathways Project, the survey will tell Ohio State University Extension what are the most effective ways to get information on nutrient management into the hands of those who need it, said Amanda Douridas, an OSU Extension agriculture and natural resources educator. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. People working with manure nutrients are invited to complete the survey at pathwaysproject2015.questionpro.com/, Douridas said. “The objective of the...
  8. Salt test for spotted wing drosophila shows larvae floating out of fruit. Photo: Ohio State University.

    Workshop Teaches Growers to Identify Spotted Wing Drosophila

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – In order to combat the damaging impact of spotted wing drosophila on small fruit crops, growers have to know what the winged pests look like so they can start treatment even after finding just one of them in their fields, according to an entomologist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The spotted wing drosophila, which can destroy an entire fruit crop, looks like a common vinegar fly to the untrained eye, said Jim Jasinski, an Ohio State University Extension educator and Integrated Pest Management program coordinator. If even one of these pests is detected in a field with ripening fruit, it needs to be treated, he said. “When spotted wing drosophila comes into a field, it will attack ripening or...
  9. A worm in a cherry. Photo: Thinkstock

    Webinar offers Management and Monitoring Tips for Spotted Wing Drosophila

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – A relatively new but already widespread winged pest to Ohio small fruit growers can cause significant crop damage but, if spotted early, can be managed to avoid losses, according to an entomologist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. While spotted wing drosophila may look like a common vinegar fly, it instead has the potential to wipe out entire fruit crops because of its propensity to attack healthy ripening fruit, said Celeste Welty, an Ohio State University Extension entomologist and associate professor of entomology. “The bad news about this pest is that is it widespread and causes significant damage,” said Welty, who also has an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and...
  10. Photo: Thinkstock

    OSU Extension Training Reaches Nearly 1 Million Acres Toward Improving Water Quality

    Editor’s note: Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension field specialist and co-leader of Ohio State’s Agronomic Crops Team, will participate in the Ohio Farm Bureau Clean Water Status Report Teleconference today, April 20, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. To participate, call 888-587-0615, and provide conference ID number: 5317257. COLUMBUS, Ohio — There’s a growing army working to improve Ohio’s water quality. Since last fall, the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University has provided fertilizer applicator certification training to 6,439 Ohio growers responsible for farming some 927,000 acres of Buckeye state farmland, and the numbers continue to grow. Taught by Ohio State University Extension’s Agriculture...
  11. Hops plantation. Photo: Thinkstock

    Learn About Hops Production During First Friday Tours

    PIKETON, Ohio – Growers and others interested in learning more about the Ohio hops research at The Ohio State University can attend tours of its hop fields in both Piketon and Wooster. The Hop Production to Enhance Economic Opportunities for Farmers and Brewers project is offering early stage growers, advanced growers and anyone else interested in hops production an opportunity to tour the hop research trials. The trials are taking place at Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon and at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Participants can learn basic information on how to get started in hops production as well as what resources may be available to help growers, said Charissa McGlothin, program assistant with South Centers. OSU Extension and...
  12. Sweet sorghum. Photo: Thinkstock

    Ohio State offers Workshop on Sustainable Advanced Energy Feedstock Production

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Farmers with land that isn’t productive for growing commodity crops such as corn, soybeans or wheat may find they can use the land to inexpensively grow energy crops that can generate a significant source of income. Thanks to a growing demand for alternative energy sources that is fueling increased interest in energy crops, farmers could find a profitable use for land they previously viewed as marginal, said Rafiq Islam, the soil, water and bioenergy resources program leader at The Ohio State University’s South Centers in Piketon. Growing energy crops could be an inexpensive way to provide farmers an additional source of income, said Islam, who holds joint appointments with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and...
  13. New Law on Fertilizer and Manure Applications Explained

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Farmers who want to learn more about the new Ohio law passed last week intended to control algae production in Lake Erie and its western basin can find a detailed explanation in a blog post written by an agricultural law expert and a manure expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. In the post, Peggy Hall, Ohio State University Extension’s agricultural and resource law field specialist, and Glen Arnold, OSU Extension field specialist in manure management, detail some of the provisions in Senate Bill 1, including: Fertilizer application restrictions in the western basin Manure application restrictions in the western basin Exemptions for small and medium operations Certification...
  14. Ohio State Webinar Focuses on Funding Long-Term Care for Farm Families

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – The rising costs of nursing home care may impact farm families harder than others due to farm assets that may limit or prevent a family member from qualifying for Medicaid, according to an agricultural law expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. In the past, farmers worried about minimizing federal and state estate taxes, but now the larger concern is planning for long-term care needs while ensuring that the family farm assets can be transferred to the next generation, said Peggy Hall, Ohio State University Extension’s agricultural and resource law field specialist. OSU Extension is the college’s outreach arm. “Long-term health care costs seem to be growing, and without preplanning,...
  15. Photo: Thinkstock

    OSU Extension Offers Herd Bull Purchase Tips For Livestock Producers

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Beef cattle producers who want to boost their profit potential need to consider several factors when purchasing a herd sire, says a beef cattle expert in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. While beef cattle producers have a wide range of criteria when purchasing a herd sire based on their production goals and the size of their herd, price and calving ease usually become high priorities, said John Grimes, beef coordinator for Ohio State University Extension and a member of the OSU Extension Beef Team. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. Given the value of feeder cattle and the level of expenses associated with beef production today, producers have to make sure that any potential herd sire they...
  16. Genomic testing can help producers identify the heifers that will offer the best return on investment. (Photo: Thinkstock)

    Ohio State Workshop to Offer Insight on Dairy Reproduction and Genomics

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dairy producers who want to take more control over the profit potential of their future herds may want to consider genomic testing, which can help identify which heifers to raise that are genetically superior and will offer producers the best return on investment, said an Ohio State University Extension veterinarian. Genomic testing can allow dairy producers to identify specific DNA markers for selection of reproduction, production and health traits in dairy cattle, said Gustavo M. Schuenemann, associate professor, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio State, and OSU Extension veterinarian. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “Using such DNA markers allows for...
  17. 4-H members. Photo: OSU Extension

    4-H Growing in Urban Communities

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Whether it be hatching chicks in the classroom to learn about the animal’s life cycle, building rockets out of 2-liter soda bottles to learn about Newton’s Laws of Motion, or taking the EcoBot Challenge turning toothbrushes into robots to clean up fake oil spills, urban 4-H programs are continuing to find new ways to increase their offerings for city kids. “Four-H isn’t just plows and cows,” said Beth Boomershine, an Ohio State University Extension educator for 4-H Youth Development. The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University runs Ohio 4-H through its outreach arm, OSU Extension. The organization, which stresses Head, Heart, Hands and Health, is dedicated to supporting and developing all...
  18. Proposed Rules Set for Drone Use in Agriculture: Public Comment Open Until April 24

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Farmers who want to use drones in their operations have until April 24 to voice their opinion before the Federal Aviation Administration closes the comment period on rules it has proposed for the use of unmanned aircraft systems. The FAA last month published proposed regulations 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 rules would require operators to comply with a certification process, which includes passing an exam. Operators would also have to register and maintain the aircraft, and follow limitations on aircraft operation, said Hall, who is also an assistant professor for OSU Extension.   OSU Extension is the...
  19. Photo: Thinkstock

    Ohio State Offers Free Gardening Help to Faith-based Organizations to Increase Urban Agriculture

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – More faith-based organizations are turning to community gardening as a way to increase access to healthy, local foods for their members, to donate to food pantries or to give to people who live in nearby communities that may be in a so-called “food desert,” according to an expert in urban agriculture with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. In fact, many faith-based organizations have community gardens and some even offer farmers markets on site that sell produce grown in their gardens, said Mike Hogan, an Ohio State University Extension educator and sustainable agriculture coordinator. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. “More communities of faith are creating community...
  20. Goji berry. (Photo: Thinkstock)

    Super Berries Production Workshop Offered March 19

    PIKETON, Ohio – ”Superfruits” have become a popular option for health conscious consumers and could provide additional farm income for growers who add them to their production lineup, says a fruit crop expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Fruits such as elderberry, aronia and goji berries are being called super berries because of their nutrition quotient, especially their rich antioxidant content, said Gary Gao, an Ohio State University Extension specialist and associate professor of small fruit crops at Ohio State’s South Centers in Piketon. The berries, which are growing in popularity with consumers who are looking to add healthier options to their diets, could be a financial boost to farmers...
  21. Photo: Thinkstock

    Overholt Drainage School is March 16-20

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Farmers, crop consultants and others interested in learning more about proper subsurface drainage, can attend the Overholt Drainage School March 16-20 and learn key concepts in water table management, including  how proper subsurface drainage can increase yields  and benefit Ohio’s water quality. The annual five-day program, which is offered by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University, will focus on agricultural drainage as well as construction and management of soil and water conservation systems, said Larry Brown, an agricultural engineer with joint appointments with Ohio State University Extension and OARDC. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the...
  22. Weeds in a soybean field. (Photo: Thinkstock)

    Growers: New Time-Lapse Video Series Shows Weeds after Herbicide Applications

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – A fascinating new series of time-lapse YouTube videos demonstrates how weeds wither and die after being sprayed with an herbicide. The videos, created by members of the weed science team in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, are meant to show growers what to expect from an herbicide as they try to manage weed infestations in their fields, said Mark Loux, an Ohio State University Extension weed specialist. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college. Understanding how herbicides work is all part of helping growers get a good start for spring planting and manage weeds throughout the growing season, Loux said. “The videos are a very good demonstration of how herbicides work on...
  23. Photo: Thinkstock

    Farm to School Opportunities Growing Across Ohio

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Proposed bipartisan legislation introduced into Congress last week that calls for increased funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School program could, if passed, lead to more schools expanding or adding the fresh foods programs for their students and could increase opportunities for growers to sell fresh, local foods to schools. That’s according to local-food experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, who say the potential increased USDA funding could help more local foods make their way into more schools across Ohio, boosting economic opportunities for Ohio farmers. “The proposals call for increasing funding for the USDA Farm to School program from $5 million per...
  24. Research, Preparation Key to Getting Internships. (Photo: Thinkstock)

    Research, Preparation Key to Getting Internships

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Students looking to land an internship should first make sure they’re prepared by doing background research on the company or organization they hope to work for, according to a career development manager in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Having a clear understanding of what a company or organization is and what it does not only helps students be prepared for an interview, it also helps students stand out from the competition and be more marketable to hire, said Adam Cahill, who works in the college’s Career Development Center. “The most common thing that we hear from companies that is frustrating to the internship or job hiring process is when a student isn’t prepared and asks...
  25. Corn and soybeans. (Photo: Thinkstock)

    Corn University, Soybean School Offered at Conservation Tillage Conference March 3-4

    ADA, Ohio – Growers can learn about the agronomics of high yield corn and soybeans during two days of presentations by crop experts from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University and four other Midwest universities during the Conservation Tillage Conference, March 3-4. A “Corn University” and “Soybean School” will be offered during the annual conference, with topics designed to help growers manage for high yield crops while keeping an eye on input costs, said Randall Reeder, a retired Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer and a conference organizer. “Keeping an eye on input costs is really important for growers this year because the price of corn and soybeans are down and farmers for...

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