Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. 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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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. ...
  12. 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,...
  13. 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...
  14. 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...
  15. 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...
  16. OSU Extension to Offer Webinar March 18 on ACRE and DCP Programs

        COLUMBUS, Ohio – Growers deciding whether to enroll in the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program or the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) may want to wait until as close to the June sign-up deadline as they can in order to make the most informed decision on which, if either, program can best impact their financial bottom line, an Ohio State University Extension expert said. By the June 3 sign-up deadline for the ACRE program, North American and European corn planting progress, global wheat conditions, and data on soybean crop size should be available to growers, which can better help them make a decision that best suits their individual financial needs, said Chris Bruynis, an OSU Extension educator.  OSU Extension is the statewide...
  17. Ohio Vegetable Production Guide Updated and Merged with New Regional Guide

      COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State University Extension's Ohio Vegetable Production Guide (Bulletin 672) has been discontinued but most of its content, including cultural, varietal, and pesticide recommendations, have been merged with an existing regional publication, an OSU Extension specialist said. The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide (Bulletin 948 for Ohio) is a regional publication involving seven states, including Ohio, published by Purdue University Extension. OSU Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) vegetable specialists are contributors to the new guide, ensuring the information within the document will reflect current recommendations applicable to Ohio farming operations, said Jim Jasinski, an OSU Extension educator and Integrated Pest...
  18. no-till beans

    March 14 Workshop: Use Cover Crops to Improve Soil Health, Yields

      TIFFIN, Ohio – Growers who want to improve soil health and increase yields may want to consider using cover crops such as oilseed radish, cereal rye, cowpea or Austrian winter pea, which have also been proven to lower input costs, an Ohio State University Extension expert said. Jim Hoorman, an OSU Extension educator and an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues, will hold a workshop, “Using Cover Crops to Improve Soil Health,” on March 14 to discuss cover crops and ECO Farming, or "ecological farming," a method that is growing in popularity among farmers because of its success in increasing yields, he said. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “ECO Farming...
  19. MarketReady Workshops Offer Producers Tips to Improve Profitability, Expand Sales

      PIKETON, Ohio -- Ohio food producers wanting to learn how to increase their markets, develop better relationships with buyers or improve profitability can learn strategies and tips on how to do so and more during two MarketReady training workshops March 19 in Columbus and March 26 in Peninsula, Ohio. The MarketReady program is designed to help food producers learn what is needed to enter various direct marketing channels, how producers can capitalize on emerging trends and how producers can manage market development risks, said Julie Fox, direct marketing specialist with OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and...
  20. Ohio State University to Host Statewide Farm to School Conference March 13: Salad Bar to be Donated to Local School Chosen During Event

      COLUMBUS, Ohio – A salad bar will be up for grabs during the Farm to School conference hosted by Ohio State University Extension March 13, thanks to a donation from Whole Foods Market that will allow a local school to set up the salad bar in its school cafeteria, organizers said. OSU Extension, with the support of the Ohio departments of Education, Health and Agriculture, will host the Farm to School conference 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 Julie Fox, director of the Ohio Farm to School program.  The salad bar package will be presented to a local school chosen from among conference attendees, Fox...
  21. OSU Extension to Offer Tax Webinar March 13, April 12 to Update Landowners on Tax Implications of Oil and Gas Leases

      COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State University Extension will host two Oil and Gas Lease/Royalties Webinars March 13 and April 12 to help landowners understand the financial implications and tax laws associated with oil and gas leases, organizers said.  Each two-hour program will offer updates on the tax changes in oil and gas leases stemming from the shale energy boom in Ohio, said David Marrison, an OSU Extension educator. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  The program will offer information to help landowners understand how the Internal Revenue Service handles oil and gas payments, among other issues, said Marrison, who will present the webinars and also works with...
  22. CTC Conference Offers Corn Growers Insight into Conventional and Drought-tolerant Hybrids during ‘Corn University’

    ADA, Ohio – Corn growers thinking about planting decisions for the 2013 season and debating whether to use drought-tolerant hybrids or conventional hybrids may want to consider how drought-resistant hybrids respond to typical growing conditions as well as in drought-stressed conditions, an Ohio State University Extension expert said.   While new drought-tolerant corn hybrids are marketed to provide a margin of protection in drought-stressed conditions as well as non-drought-stressed conditions, growers can benefit from gaining more perspective on the issue, considering that Ohio in a typical year can experience stress from extreme cold, extreme rain or extreme drought, said Peter Thomison, an OSU Extension agronomist.  Such decisions are crucial as growers prepare...
  23. Overholt Drainage School Offers Soil and Water Management Education March 11-15

      COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio growers can increase yields by some 20 to 35 percent for rotation corn with proper subsurface drainage, according to research from Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center conducted at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Hoytville. And overall average yield can increase up to 6 percent for corn and 3.5 percent for soybeans with controlled drainage, according to research conducted on demonstration farms in northwest Ohio, 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 Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). “...
  24. Ohio Commercial Berry Production School is March 14

      PIKETON, Ohio – Berry growers looking for ways to diversify their farming operations can learn the practical and essential skills needed to be successful in the blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and strawberry industries at a workshop held by Ohio State University horticulture and viticulture experts March 14.  The program is from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the OSU South Centers’ Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Road, in Piketon. The workshop is designed to help growers expand their knowledge base to increase their profit potential as well as learn tips to help increase yield, said Gary Gao, an Ohio State University Extension specialist and associate professor of small fruit crops at OSU South Centers. “One of the areas we’ll look at is blueberry,...
  25. Conference Offers Advanced Scouting Techniques Training for Crop Advisers and Farmers March 5-6

      ADA, Ohio – Amid growing questions about the impact of nematodes on corn yields in Ohio, researchers with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) are in the midst of a multi-year project to sample soils in Ohio fields to determine whether the tiny, worm-like organisms are indeed damaging corn yields. Using survey methods and advanced scouting techniques, researchers have spent the last three years conducting corn performance tests for nematodes to determine if the worms are causing problems for Ohio growers and whether seed-treatment nematicides are needed, said Greg LaBarge, field specialist in agronomic systems and one of the leaders of the OSU Agronomic Crops Team. LaBarge, along with OSU Extension...

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