Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. Damage caused by alfalfa weevil

    Ohio State Entomologist: Warmer Weather Brings Need to Scout for Alfalfa Weevil in Ohio

    WOOSTER, Ohio – With the warmer weather that’s finally hit the region, growers in southern and central Ohio need to start scouting for alfalfa weevil at the end of the week (May 2), while field crop growers in northern Ohio should prepare to start scouting for the pest later next month, said an entomologist with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. While the extended cold conditions felt in the region this winter may have had some negative impact on the alfalfa weevil, growers still need to prepare for scouting their fields for this insect, said Andy Michel, an Ohio State University Extension pest expert. The pest, known to cause significant alfalfa damage in its larval stages, typically starts showing up in southern Ohio...
  2. Heed the Bees during Spring Planting

    WOOSTER, Ohio – As growers get their corn crops out, there is potential for insecticide drift from planters that could impact pollinators, said an entomologist with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Insecticide seed treatments used on corn seed produce an insecticidal dust when they are planted, said Reed Johnson, an entomologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). OARDC is the college's statewide research arm.  “Depending on conditions, this insecticidal dust can settle on the flowering trees and weeds frequented by bees,” Johnson said. “The dust can be packed up with the pollen and then be transported back to the colony where it can have the potential to poison...
  3. Elizabeth Dayton

    On-Field Ohio: Rewriting Ohio’s Phosphorus Risk Index to Keep Nutrients and Water on Fields

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – All farm field test sites have been selected and soil samples from fall testing dates have been collected as part of an ongoing three-year project by an Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences researcher to revise an agricultural tool used by farmers statewide to better predict phosphorus runoff, offer them more management options and improve Ohio water quality. The On-Field Ohio project, now in its second year, seeks to revise the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index to be more useful in predicting the risk of phosphorus moving off farm fields, said Elizabeth Dayton, a soil scientist in the college’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, who is...
  4. Southeastern Ohio Hay Day is June 19

    CALDWELL, Ohio – Growers and producers can learn the latest tips and techniques in forage harvesting and forage handling machinery as well as how to save money during a field day offered by educators from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Participants can learn new raking, baling, mowing and tedding techniques during the field day, said Breanna Pye, an Ohio State University Extension educator. The field day will be held June 19 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station,16870 Township Road 126 in Caldwell. The station is part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).  OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college. In addition to the...
  5. Soybeans

    New OSU Extension Expert Working with Growers to Reduce Nutrient Loads

    WOOSTER, Ohio -- A new soil fertility specialist with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences is looking for a few good growers to help update fertility recommendations for Ohio soybeans. Steve Culman, a newly hired Ohio State University Extension specialist in soil fertility, is part of a team of college experts seeking soybean growers to participate in a project to look at phosphorus and potassium in soybeans as part of an overall effort to update the Tri-State Fertility Recommendations (Ohio, Michigan and Indiana) for soybeans. “The project, which is sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council, involves casting a broad net to collect data from a large number of farms across the state to determine updated phosphorus and potassium...
  6. Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium is May 16

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Attorneys with Ohio State University Extension's Agricultural and Resource Law Program will offer a day-long legal conference May 16 designed to offer attorneys insight into key issues that affect farmers and agribusiness, organizers said. From helping attorneys understand the new provisions of the 2014 farm bill to considering how legal tools can reduce the impact of nursing home costs and Medicaid for family farmers, the Ohio Agricultural Law Symposium is set to offer attorneys detailed information and updates on issues significant to the agricultural community, said Peggy Hall, director of OSU Extension's Agricultural and Resource Law Program. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and...
  7. Media Advisory: Sudden Temperature Drop’s Impact on Gardens

    Editor: Two Ohio State University experts are available to discuss the potential impact of the anticipated sudden drop in temperatures forecast for tonight on home gardens. Denise Ellsworth, director of the Honey Bee and Native Pollinator Education Program, can be reached at 330-495-1284 or ellsworth.2@osu.edu. Dan Herms, professor and department chair of entomology at Ohio State, can be reached at 330-202-3506 or herms.2@osu.edu. COLUMBUS, Ohio – Just when Ohioans finally experienced springtime warmth with temperatures in the 80s in some areas on Sunday, winter’s long reach is back in the headlines with cold temperatures and snow showers forecast Tuesday. Experts with Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences can offer insight...
  8. Low Tunnel/High Tunnel Workshop and Farm Tour is April 24

    ARCHBOLD, Ohio – Vegetable crop and specialty fruit producers wanting to learn more about the use of high and low tunnels can attend a workshop and farm tour April 24 held by educators from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The day-long workshop will feature small group discussions on the basics of integrating tunnel systems into fruit or vegetable operations, said Eric Richer, an Ohio State University Extension educator. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. The workshop is geared toward new low tunnel/high tunnel producers as well as those who want a refresher course on this effective production system, Richer said. The use of these tunnels can benefit crop production and increase farm profits, he said. “...
  9. High Tunnel Workshop Accepting Applications for Three-day Training April 28-30

    PIKETON, Ohio – Specialty fruit or vegetable crop producers looking to gain a better understanding of how to use high tunnels to boost profits can apply for a new training opportunity April 28-30 from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The Ohio State University South Centers will host the three-day high tunnel training on basic and advanced high tunnel techniques, including production and usage, said Brad Bergefurd, an Ohio State University Extension horticulturist based at the centers in Piketon. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. The South Centers also are part of the college. The training, which is for farmers and educators, will allow participants to work in-depth on a one-on-one basis with horticulture...
  10. Spring Planting Could Start As Early As First Weeks of April

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Growers who want to get their corn crop off to a good start this year should make sure they get it planted during the optimal corn planting time, which in some parts of Ohio typically starts as early as the first week of April, an Ohio State University Extension expert said.  Getting corn planted in southern Ohio between April 10 and May 10 and in northern Ohio between April 15 and May 10 -- the historically optimal planting times for corn in Ohio -- is just one of several key measures growers can take to better ensure they avoid irreversible mistakes that could result in lower yield potential, said Peter Thomison, an OSU Extension agronomist. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and...
  11. Ohio State University to Present Farm to School Workshops April 29, 30 and June 10

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Educators, farmers, food producers, businesses and anyone else interested in beginning or expanding a Farm to School program or other related activities can learn how to do so from the experts during a series of Farm to School workshops April 29, 30 and June 10.  Ohio State University Extension will present the Farm to School workshops as part of its goal to expand the successful program, which works to increase students’ access to healthy foods and to help them learn more about food, health, nutrition and agriculture, said Carol Smathers, an OSU Extension field specialist and the program’s director. Farm to School is a national program, which in Ohio is led by OSU Extension and is supported by numerous agencies, foundations and industry...
  12. Frost Seeding Easy, Inexpensive Way to Improve Pastures

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Producers looking for an easy, inexpensive way to improve their pastures and hay fields can consider taking advantage of the still-frozen grounds and try frost seeding now for green pastures later, according to a forage expert from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  Frost seeding, which is a method of broadcasting seed over frozen pastures to allow the seed to be incorporated into the soil as the ground freezes and thaws, can offer producers a less expensive way to renovate their pastures, said Rory Lewandowski, agriculture and natural resources educator for the college's outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension. This method is well suited to the transition between winter and spring...
  13. Ohio State Agronomists Offer Free Webinars for Corn, Soybean and Wheat Growers

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Growers wanting to learn more about managing herbicides, fungicides and resistance, corn yield optimization, corn seed treatments and high-input soybean production can take advantage of a series of free webinars taught by agronomists from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.            The webinars offer participants insight into some of the key issues in grain production including updated information on fungicides and resistance as well as how to best control weeds, said Greg LaBarge, an Ohio State University Extension field specialist and one of the leaders of Ohio State’s Agronomic Crops Team.  The team also includes scientists from the Ohio Agricultural...
  14. Threat of Corn Flea Beetle, Stewart’s Bacterial Wilt Negligible in Ohio this Spring

    WOOSTER, Ohio – As farmers throughout the region deal with yet another blast of winter weather including cold temperatures, rain, sleet, snow and wind, there is at least one good thing that’s come from the unusually harsh season – a lessened chance for corn flea beetle infestation for Ohio corn this year. This means that growers scouting their fields this spring shouldn’t expect to see high numbers of corn flea beetle thanks to the arctic cold temperatures and conditions experienced this winter, according to an entomologist with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Corn flea beetle, which targets corn through the spread of the bacterium that causes Stewart's bacterial wilt and leaf blight on both field and...
  15. Ohio State Experts: School to Teach Hay Fertility, Cutting Techniques

    JEFFERSON, Ohio – Drought conditions in some Western states and higher overall demand for hay exports will likely result in stronger markets for hay this year, industry experts say. So producers may want to attend a daylong course to ensure they are aware of the most up-to-date techniques for quality hay production this season, according to a forage expert with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Producers can take advantage of a hay production school April 16 designed to help them learn techniques including best fertility practices and general hay management guidelines, said David Marrison, an Ohio State University Extension educator.  OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. Other topics will also be discussed,...
  16. Outside poultry mobile processing unit

    March 18: Producers Can Learn About Mobile Units to Process Poultry and Fish for Retail

    JEFFERSON, Ohio – Producers looking to take advantage of the growing consumer demand for local foods but having difficulty in finding methods to process their poultry, rabbit and fish for retail sale may want to consider setting up their own processing units. Industry experts, including those from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, will present a discussion March 18 designed to help producers learn how to set up a mobile processing unit, said David Marrison, an Ohio State University Extension educator. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college. From understanding the regulatory requirements behind a mobile processing unit to learning how to sell homegrown poultry and fish legally, the meeting will...
  17. Extreme Cold, Winter Conditions Now Could Mean Even Higher Beef Costs Later

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – The record-breaking arctic cold experienced throughout the region this winter could mean less productive breeding among beef cattle this spring. The subzero temperatures and persistent winds that pushed wind chills into the 30 to 50 degrees below zero range, affecting a large swath of the country this winter, also raised the potential for scrotal frostbite in bulls, according to a beef cattle expert from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. While normal winter conditions typically don’t result in scrotal frostbite in breeding bulls, the extremely cold, harsh and prolonged weather experienced this year increases its likelihood, and that could result in the animals’ infertility for the upcoming breeding...
  18. New Tool Offers Growers Easy Option to Measure Soil Organic Matter Content

    PIKETON, Ohio – Researchers with Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences have developed a new tool that allows farmers to easily predict soil organic matter content and can help them make decisions about whether or not to sell crop residue. The tool can benefit growers by providing information for more timely planting and harvesting, reducing operating costs, increasing farm income, and building healthier soils, said Rafiq Islam, the soil, water and bioenergy resources program leader at Ohio State University’s South Centers in Piketon. Called a soil organic matter calculator, the tool is designed to allow farmers to easily evaluate the impact of selective crop residue removal on the long-term agronomic and environmental...
  19. Ohio State Offers Four-Part Webinar Series in March on Organic Weed Management

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences will present a webinar series in March designed to help farmers learn updated approaches and practices for managing weeds with a focus on crop rotations, cover crops and soil management.  Building a healthy soil is the foundation of organic farming and applies to all aspects of farm management, including managing weeds, said Alan Sundermeier, an Ohio State University Extension educator who helped organize the four-part series. Sundermeier specializes in agronomic crop production focusing on cover crops, soil quality and organic grain production. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. In addition to industry experts, the seminars will be...
  20. Workshop Discusses Whether Agriculture Can Significantly Reduce Off-Site Movement of Soluble Nutrients

    ADA, Ohio – Growers who plant cover crops and vegetative systems in agriculture will find that it can tie up phosphorus in a stable phosphorus form that remains in the soil which can increase phosphorus use efficiency, according to a soil researcher from Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  The question of whether agriculture can significantly reduce off-site movement of soluble nutrients will be discussed by Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and industry experts in agriculture, climatology and environmental economics during a workshop hosted by the Soil and Water Conservation Society March 17. The daylong workshop will focus on discussing technologies and techniques to reduce off-...
  21. Women in Agriculture Conference is March 28

    NEW PHILADEPLHIA, Ohio -- As more women take on leadership roles on the farm and look to strengthen their role in agribusiness, a conference offered by industry experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences seeks to provide female operators the opportunity to learn more about the resources available to help them to grow their agricultural operations. The East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference on March 28 is targeted to women who are interested, involved, or want to become involved in food, agriculture, natural resources or small business, said Heather Neikirk, an Ohio State University Extension educator and co-organizer of the conference. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. One goal of the day-long conference is to...
  22. Overholt Drainage School Offers Soil and Water Management Education March 10-14

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Proper subsurface drainage is one part of a winning formula for farmers who want to see increased yields for rotation corn, according to an agricultural engineer with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Proper subsurface drainage can also help growers increase overall yields for corn and soybeans with controlled drainage, according to research from Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center conducted at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Hoytville. Improved drainage is quite beneficial on Ohio’s poorly drained soils for increased and sustained crop yields, said Larry Brown, an agricultural engineer with joint appointments with Ohio State University Extension...
  23. Awareness Can Help Prevent Grain Bin Engulfments, Increase Grain Bin Safety

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – With many grain bins statewide full of stored grain this time of year,  safety experts with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences are reminding farmers to be aware of safety precautions to prevent grain engulfments and to have an overall awareness and understanding of grain bin safety. The issue is significant considering that every year, an average of 26 Ohio farm workers lose their lives to production agriculture, said Dee Jepsen, state safety leader for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. “Flowing grain and grain storage is one of the contributing factors,” she said. “In the past 10 years, we’ve had three deaths to Ohio farmers...
  24. OSU Extension Conferences to Help Small Farm Owners March 7-8 and March 21-22

    WILMINGTON, Ohio – Small farmers wanting to expand or make their farms work more efficiently, or landowners who are new to agriculture and are looking for ways to utilize acreage, can learn entrepreneurial tips from agricultural experts with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences during a series of small farms conferences in March. The “Opening Doors to Success” and the “Living Your Small Farm Dream” conferences and trade shows are designed to help landowners and producers learn tips, techniques and methods to increase their awareness and make their small farm operations more successful, which can in turn lead to increased profits, said Tony Nye, an Ohio State University Extension educator and conference...
  25. Strawberry Season Extension, Berry Marketing Workshop Offered March 19

    WAUSEON, Ohio – The growing popularity and demand for locally grown foods offers growers who are looking for ways to generate additional income a viable alternative using land they already have, according to an educator with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  With the increased consumer demand for healthier food, growers who are able to add small fruit production to their farm operations may find that berry production is one potentially lucrative option, said Eric Richer, an Ohio State University Extension educator. “Berries are a great option because the fruits are extremely popular with consumers and can be produced on small parcels of land,” he said. “Because berries are full of nutrients and are best...

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