Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. OSU Expert: Beef Producers Can Consider Summer Annuals as Additional Feed Source

    WOOSTER, Ohio – With hay stock levels at record lows in several Midwest states, including Ohio, beef producers looking to supplement their forage options could turn to summer annuals, which are known to thrive in summer heat, are drought tolerant, and can be grazed or stored as feed, according to a forage expert from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Viable examples include sorghum, sudangrass, sorghum-sudangrass hybrids, millet, teff grass and corn, said Rory Lewandowski, an agriculture and natural resources educator for Ohio State University Extension.  OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.  These plants have the capacity to produce up to five tons of dry matter over summer months, and a...
  2. Late Planting Increases Need to Scout for Pests

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Crop growers should take extra care to scout their fields this spring for insects and invasive pests, including a relatively new pest that has shown up in unexpected areas across Ohio that has the potential to cause significant economic losses for growers, according to an entomologist with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. In addition to cereal leaf beetle, alfalfa weevil and black cutworm, crop growers need to be on the lookout for Asiatic garden beetle grubs, which are especially aggressive in their feeding habit, said Ohio State University Extension entomologist Ron Hammond. Thanks to rains that kept many growers out of their fields later than in a typical year, many corn crops are smaller at this stage,...
  3. OSU Expert: Cereal Leaf Beetle Populations on the Rise; Growers Need to Scout, May Need to Spray

      WOOSTER, Ohio – Some wheat growers in Ohio are reporting outbreaks of cereal leaf beetle in numbers that could cause economic losses in grain, according to an entomologist from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Some growers have reported adult cereal leaf beetles in their fields along with larvae in large enough populations to potentially cause losses of up to 40 percent in both wheat and oats, said Ohio State University Extension entomologist Ron Hammond. With wheat nearing or reaching the flag leaf emergence and the boot stage, the crop is coming into the susceptible period where significant feeding on the flag leaf can cause a major reduction in yield,said Hammond, who also holds an appointment with...
  4. Ohio State University to Host Agricultural Safety and Health Conference June 23-27

      COLUMBUS, Ohio – From tractor safety to grain bin rescue and ATV rollovers to livestock injuries, the June 23-27 International Agricultural Safety and Health Conference is designed to provide insight into key safety issues in the agricultural community.  The overall goal of the conference is to promote agricultural safety and health as part of an effort to reduce injuries and save the lives of farmers and ranchers, said Dee Jepsen, Ohio State University Extension's state safety leader and a conference organizer.  OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  “On average, there are 26 fatalities and over 1,400 serious injuries on Ohio farms every year,”...
  5. Media Advisory: U.S. Agriculture Acting Deputy Secretary Visiting Campus May 30

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- U.S. Agriculture Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse will meet with Ohio State University researchers at the Wilma H. Schiermeier  Olentangy River Wetland Research Park on Thursday, May 30. Acting Deputy Secretary Scuse will tour Ohio State’s Wetland Research Park and discuss the importance of maintaining a firm commitment to soil conservation and wetland protection. Continued research and innovation in the preservation of Ohio natural resources will help preserve wildlife habitats and build strong local economies related to hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation. Who: Michael Scuse, USDA acting deputy secretary Bruce McPheron, Vice President for Agricultural Administration, and Dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences...
  6. Wheat Nearing Critical Growth Stage, Growers Can Use Scab Forecasting System to Determine if Fungicides Are Needed

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Wheat in Ohio is nearing the critical flowering growth stage, and with rainfall and drastic temperature changes forecast for the next few days, some growers are concerned about disease development, according to a wheat expert from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. While wet, humid conditions during flowering can lead to head scab development, the forecast for cooler temperatures over the next several days should help to slow down this disease, said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension wheat researcher. At this point, much of Ohio’s wheat is in good shape and likely to continue flowering during the last week of May, which is the critical stage when people are concerned about disease...
  7. June 11 Workshop to Discuss Nutrient Application, Management, Stewardship

      FINDLAY, Ohio -- Legal issues regarding manure hauling, as well as issues surrounding equipment inspections and highway safety, will be discussed by Ohio State University experts and others during a joint workshop and meeting of the Midwest Professional Nutrient Applicators Association June 11 in Findlay. The workshop is targeted toward livestock producers, growers, professional nutrient applicators, crop consultants and Extension educators to offer information on nutrient application, management and stewardship, said Amanda Douridas, an Ohio State University Extension agriculture and natural resources educator.  OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “The goal is to touch on the key...
  8. Statewide Tour Series Offers Up-close Look at Sustainable Agriculture in Ohio

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Interested in learning more about how sustainable agriculture in Ohio works? Ohio State University’s Sustainable Agriculture Team will host seven tours this spring and summer on the plasticulture strawberry growing method, hops production, agritourism, organic farming and urban agriculture, as part of the 2013 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. The series is a unique opportunity for growers and other interested people to experience what sustainable agriculture is all about directly from farmers, said Mike Hogan, an Ohio State University Extension educator who is also the coordinator of Ohio State’s Sustainable Agriculture Team. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the university's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental...
  9. Soil Health and Cover Crops Workshop is June 8 at Ohio State University South Centers

    PIKETON, Ohio – Growers wanting to learn how to improve soil health and increase crop yields while reducing operating and input costs may want to consider using multi-functional cover crops, which can also improve water quality, reduce soil erosion and lower greenhouse gas emissions, a soil scientist from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences said. Rafiq Islam, who holds joint appointments with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, will discuss soil health, no-till and cover crops during a June 8 workshop on these issues at the Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.  The...
  10. Ohio State Entomologists on the Hunt for Lady Beetles in Ohio

      WOOSTER, Ohio – Ohio State University entomologists are trying to determine how many “homegrown” lady beetles are in Ohio compared to the number of exotic lady beetles in the Buckeye state and are asking Ohio farmers, gardeners and homeowners for assistance. Mary Gardiner, an entomologist with Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, is conducting the Buckeye Lady Beetle Blitz as part of an effort to recruit some 200 Ohio farmers, gardeners and homeowners to volunteer to collect data on lady beetles in their farms, gardens and backyards and report their findings to use for research efforts.  “Many types of native lady beetles are declining in Ohio, while the introductions of exotic non-native species of lady...
  11. Agricultural Economists: U.S. Dairy Margin Insurance Programs Offer Pros, Cons

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – The two competing margin insurance programs being debated as part of the dairy subtitle of the 2013 Farm Bill both offer pros and cons for dairy farmers, based on the individual farm characteristics, according to a pair of Ohio State University agricultural economists. In a new report released last week, Cameron Thraen, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AEDE) in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and doctoral student John Newton, discuss the two programs to provide clarification and insight into both without taking a side on either. The report takes an in-depth look at the Dairy Security Act, with its margin insurance paired with a dairy market...
  12. OSU Expert: Now’s the Time to Scout for Alfalfa Weevil in Ohio

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Now’s the time for growers in southern and central Ohio to start scouting for alfalfa weevil. Northern Ohio field crop growers should prepare to start scouting for the pest by next week, said an entomologist with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The pest, known to cause significant alfalfa damage in both its adult and larvae stages, typically starts showing up in southern Ohio first, slowly progressing its way to northern Ohio fields, said Ron Hammond, an Ohio State University Extension entomologist. This winter’s relatively warmer days have contributed to the pests’ damage potential, said Hammond, who also has an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. OSU...
  13. Ohio State Strawberry Workshop is May 16

    PIKETON, Ohio – Strawberry growers can learn about new production methods and techniques during an Ohio State University strawberry plasticulture workshop May 16 that can help them extend their growing season and boost on-farm profits. The workshop will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon, 1864 Shyville Road. Registration is $5. The centers are part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). The workshop will feature Brad Bergefurd, a horticulturist with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). Bergefurd will discuss the plasticulture production method, in which strawberries are planted in September and grow over the winter using...
  14. 2012 Drought Could Mean Larger Soybean Seeds for 2013 Growing Season

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – As soybean growers go into the 2013 planting season, they may find that many soybean seeds are larger than normal, a lingering impact from the 2012 drought, said an expert with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). On average, 2,500 individual soybean seeds constitute a pound, said Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grain specialist with the college’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension. But considering that dry conditions during seed fill followed by August and September rains can result in larger than normal seeds, growers could find instances where 1,700 seeds constitute a pound, she said. Last year’s drought conditions plus late-season rains expedited the growth of soybean plants...
  15. Entomologist Offers Guidance on Controlling Slugs in No-till Soybean, Corn Fields

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Crop growers should take extra precautions to scout their fields this spring for slugs to try to get control of these plant feeders before they attack corn and soybean plants and cause feeding injury, an Ohio State University Extension entomologist said.  Ron Hammond, who also has an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, offers his guidance in videos posted on the Plant Management Network, a nonprofit publisher of science-based crop management information for growers, consultants and other applied audiences. Hammond is a featured speaker for April on the feeding injury that gray garden slugs can cause to corn and soybean crops.  OSU Extension and OARDC are the statewide outreach and research arms, respectively, of...
  16. Spring Planting: Planting Corn During Optimal Time One Key in Getting Corn Planting Off to Good Start

      COLUMBUS, Ohio – Growers who want to get their corn crop out 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 this week, 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 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 Environmental Sciences...
  17. Ohio State Weed Specialist: Do Legwork to Stop Spread of Costly Herbicide-Resistant Weeds

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio growers, agribusinesses and Ohio State University weed scientists will need to work over the next decade to prevent a weed known to many cotton and soybean farmers in the South as “pigweed on steroids” from further expansion in Ohio, an Ohio State University Extension expert said. Palmer amaranth, which is a glyphosate-resistant weed that has wreaked havoc for Southern U.S. growers, has been spotted in a large field near Portsmouth in extreme southern Ohio and potentially in a site just south of Columbus, said Mark Loux, an OSU Extension weed specialist. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The concern is that this weed, which has had...
  18. OSU Extension Expert: Grass Not Yet Ready for Grazing

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – While the calendar may say it is officially spring, the weather outside in many areas may not necessarily agree. As a result, producers may want to hold off grazing for a week or so longer than in a typical year, which could help pastures build up the roots to allow for a more productive grazing season, an Ohio State University Extension expert said. This time last year, Ohio was at least two weeks ahead of normal in terms of pasture growth, thanks to the warmer, milder winter and early spring experienced in many areas, said Chris Penrose, an OSU Extension educator. But the colder, wetter weather this year has left growth weeks behind normal, leaving grass that is not ready for grazing, he said. “This extra period of wet weather is causing a problem...
  19. Asiatic garden beetle

    Asiatic Garden Beetle Could be Cause for Concern for Northern Ohio Corn

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Northern Ohio corn growers who’ve experienced unexplained stand loss for the past couple of years may have fields that are infested with Asiatic garden beetle grubs. The grubs are a relatively new pest to Ohio field crops and have the potential to cause significant economic losses for growers, an Ohio State University Extension entomologist said. Last year was the first known instance of Asiatic garden beetle grubs causing significant stand losses in corn in northern Ohio just below Lake Erie, said Ron Hammond, who also has an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Growers who planted corn following soybeans in sandier soils reported last year finding Asiatic garden beetle grubs that caused some stand losses, he said. What...
  20. OSU Extension, OARDC Offer Beef Cattle Artificial Insemination School April 30-May 2

    BELLE VALLEY, Ohio – Beef cattle producers who want boost their profit potential by increasing their success with artificial insemination can attend a school on the subject April 30 through May 2, taught by Ohio State University Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center experts. The three-day program covers a broad range of artificial insemination topics including factors that influence reproduction efficiencies, heat synchronization, semen handling and thawing, said Clif Little, OSU Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources. The techniques taught at the school are important for beef cattle producers because they can influence how effectively a producer will succeed with artificial insemination, Little said. “One reason we do this...
  21. Threat of Corn Flea Beetle Moderate to Severe in Ohio this Spring, Slightly Higher Potential for Stewart’s Bacterial Wilt

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Growers scouting their fields this spring should be on the lookout for corn flea beetle as the relatively mild winter Ohio has experienced this year is expected to cause a moderate to severe infestation of the pest, an Ohio State University Extension entomologist said.  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 sweet corn, will likely be seen throughout much of the state this year, said Ron Hammond, who also has an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.  Adult beetles that overwinter become active in the spring when the soil temperature reaches 65 degrees, and are most active on sunny, warm, windless days. ...
  22. Workshop Offers Producers Tips to Expand Sales Using ‘Maps and Apps’

    PIKETON, Ohio – Is your food business on the map? The mobile map, that is. Ohio food producers wanting to increase their markets, grow their customer base, improve profitability and increase visibility can learn strategies on how to leverage mobile media marketing during a workshop offered by Ohio State University Extension. The “Maps and Apps” workshop April 24 will teach participants how to make the most of mobile media marketing as a way their businesses can benefit from free listings on Internet maps, GPS systems and mobile apps, said Julie Fox, direct marketing specialist with the Ohio State University South Centers, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and OSU Extension.   OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms,...
  23. OSU Extension to Offer Webinar April 9 on Farmland Drainage

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Understanding what drainage system works best on what type of farmland can help growers significantly improve yields as well as soil and water quality, an Ohio State University Extension expert said. Using the right drainage system on a corn crop, for example, can increase yields by some 30 percent, said Bruce Clevenger, an OSU Extension educator. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “The Midwest is dominated by the use of agricultural drainage because our soils tend to be very wet throughout the region,” he said. “We typically have wet periods throughout the growing season in which excess water can damage yields and prevent us from planting in a...
  24. Ag Degrees in Demand: Ohio State University Agricultural Graduates Report Positive Job Outlook

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – By New Year’s Day this year, graduating senior Linsey Howell already had five job offers. Although the 21-year-old double major in agribusiness and applied economics in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) won’t receive her degree until graduation day May 5, Howell already has a start date for her new job working in grain merchandising for The Andersons: June 3. “Thanks to the degrees I’m earning from Ohio State and the internships I’ve had, I was able to take the time to really consider the job offers and decide which one would be the best fit for me and what I want to do in my professional career,” the Danville, Ohio native said. “There are a lot of companies...
  25. Ohio State University Extension Releases Four New Guides for Growers

      COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State University Extension has released four new publications that producers and consumers may find helpful. The publications -- on commercial vegetable production, Midwest tree fruit spraying, commercial small fruit and grape spraying, and controlling weeds in Ohio and Indiana -- offer insight into practical issues as spring approaches and growers are getting ready for the upcoming planting season, said Celeste Welty, an OSU Extension Entomologist and an associate professor of entomology. OSU Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) fruit and vegetable specialists are contributors to the new guides, ensuring that the information within the publications reflects current recommendations applicable to Ohio farming...

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