Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. OSU Researchers Working to Increase Blackberry and Raspberry Production in Ohio

      PIKETON, Ohio – Researchers with Ohio State University Extension are in the midst of a multi-year project studying alternative planting methods to help Ohio growers increase the production of two small, increasingly popular fruits that many health experts hail as “superfoods.” The demand for blackberries and raspberries has exploded in recent years thanks to consumers who covet the tiny sweet fruits for their many health benefits, said Gary Gao, an OSU Extension specialist and associate professor of small fruit crops at the OSU South Centers at Piketon. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. And with the growing consumer demand for more locally grown, healthy foods, farmers who are able to increase...
  2. Conference Offers Training and Education for Grape Growers and Wine Producers Feb. 18-19

      COLUMBUS, Ohio – Grape growers, wine producers and anyone interested in learning more about the wine industry will have several opportunities to learn from local and national professionals in the field during the 2013 Ohio Grape and Wine Conference.   The conference, which will be held Feb. 18-19 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Dublin, is anticipated to attract some 250 participants throughout the region, said Imed Dami, a state viticulture (grape growing) specialist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and Ohio State University Extension. The conference is offered jointly by Ohio State's Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, OSU Extension, OARDC, the Ohio Grape Industries Committee and the Ohio Wine...
  3. OSU Extension offers Beef Cattle School Jan. 29, Feb. 26 and March 19

      COLUMBUS, Ohio – Producers interested in learning more about how to increase cattle profits, including an in-depth look at crossbreeding programs, can participate in a discussion of the issues by experts from Ohio State University Extension and nationwide, during a Beef Cattle School Jan. 29, Feb. 26 and March 19 at several locations statewide.  The beef cattle school kicks off Jan. 29 with presentations from two nationally known cattle experts who will discuss how crossbreeding can boost profits for producers and how genetic selection tools have contributed to the de-emphasis on heterosis by some commercial cow-calf producers, said John Grimes, beef coordinator for OSU Extension and a member of the OSU Extension Beef Team. Lee Leachman of the Leachman Cattle Company...
  4. Organic peppers

    Organic Farming Conference Features Record 27 Ohio State University Presenters, Feb. 16-17

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – From vegetable grafting and dairy cow management to plasticulture strawberry production and organic grain production, Ohio State University professionals will present pertinent information on some of the key issues in organic and sustainable agriculture next month during Ohio’s largest sustainable food and farm conference.  The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 34th annual conference, Growing Opportunities, Cultivating Change, is Feb. 16-17 in Granville, Ohio. And with 27 workshops, Ohio State scientists, specialists and students will offer a record number of presentations during the event, which is expected to draw 1,200 participants, organizers said.  The previous high was 19 workshops...
  5. OSU Extension to Offer Beef Feedlot School in January, February

      BUCYRUS, Ohio -- Farmers and producers interested in learning more about beef feedlot nutrition and maximizing profits can participate in a discussion of the issues by experts from Ohio State University Extension during a Beef Feedlot School Jan. 30 and Feb. 13, 20 and 27, 2013, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Crawford County Fairgrounds youth building, 610 Whetstone St. in Bucyrus.  The school will focus on beef feedlot nutrition, maximizing profits by increasing feed efficiency and using byproducts to reduce feed costs, said Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension coordinator in agriculture and natural resources, and organizer of the event.  “With the rising costs of inputs and grain prices being at record levels it will be important for...
  6. OSU Extension: Producers May Need to Supplement Feed to Ensure Successful and Productive Calving Season

      PIKETON, Ohio – Producers who want to assure a healthy, productive calving season may want to consider testing their forage supplies to ensure the feed is of high nutritional value, an Ohio State University Extension beef expert said.  Otherwise, feeding poor quality forages to cows in the late gestation or early lactation period can have devastating negative impacts on conception rates in the following breeding season, said John Grimes, beef coordinator for OSU Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  If producers find they have poor quality forage, they may want to supplement the feed with higher quality corn for those cows, particularly with first-calf heifers, he said...
  7. High Tunnel Workshop Offers Farmers Options to Increase Profits

      PIKETON, Ohio – Are you a specialty fruit or vegetable crop producer looking to gain a better understanding of how to use high tunnels to boost on-farm profits? Now you have the opportunity to attend a joint Ohio State University Extension and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) workshop on this topic, Feb. 8, 2013. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the OSU South Centers at Piketon, 1864 Shyville Road. Registration is $20, with a Jan. 15, 2013, deadline. The workshop will feature OSU Extension horticulturist Brad Bergefurd and Gary Gao, an OSU Extension specialist and associate professor of small fruit crops, both of whom are based at OSU South Centers at Piketon. Abbe Copple, district conservationist at Pike County NRCS,...
  8. OSU Extension Agronomics Team to Offer Certified Crop Adviser Exam Prep Jan. 16-17, 2013

      SIDNEY, Ohio – People planning to take the Certified Crop Adviser exam can gain testing insight through a two-day CCA exam preparation session taught by members of Ohio State University Extension’s Agronomic Crops Team, Jan. 16-17, 2013. The course is designed to help participants understand the principles necessary to become a certified crop adviser and to assist in preparation for the state and international CCA exams, said Harold Watters, an OSU Extension agronomy field specialist and coordinator of the university’s Agronomic Crops Team. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. While the exam preparation class wasn’t created to be a “crash course” covering all information...
  9. Farmland Preservation Summit Set for Jan. 17

      COLUMBUS, Ohio – Farmers, landowners, planners, local officials, land trust leadership, economic development professionals and anyone interested in preserving farmland in Ohio can get tips from the experts on the subject during a farmland summit on Jan. 17.  The 13th  annual Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit is designed to help interested parties learn various techniques, tools and methods to preserve farmland, said Mike Hogan, an Ohio State University Extension educator and Small Farm Program coordinator. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  During past farmland summits, experts have presented tools on legal ways for people to preserve farm land, he said.  “This...
  10. OSU Expert: Farmland Value Projected to Increase in 2013

      COLUMBUS, Ohio – Cropland values in Ohio increased in 2012 and are expected to continue on an upward trend in 2013, despite the drought that devastated growers this year, an Ohio State University Extension expert said.  Ohio cropland value rose 13.6 percent this year, with bare cropland averaging $5,000 an acre, said Barry Ward, production business management leader for OSU Extension.  Ward, citing statistics from the Ohio Agriculture Statistics Service, expects the trend to continue next year, with “projected budgets for Ohio’s primary crops for 2013 showing the potential for strong profits.” This is true, he said, in spite of the drought of 2012, which devastated growers and producers across the country, particularly in the Midwest...
  11. OSU Extension Expert: Cold Weather Increases Livestock Energy Needs

      WOOSTER, Ohio – While colder temperatures now experienced throughout the region mean livestock producers need to be aware of increased livestock energy requirements, those animals that may be thinner because of the drought could need extra energy supplements sooner, an Ohio State University Extension educator said. Cold temperatures, cold rains and muddy conditions can significantly increase the energy required by livestock metabolism to provide enough heat for the animal to maintain its body temperature, said Rory Lewandowski, an agricultural and natural resources educator for OSU Extension. But those animals that have less body condition and less body fat as a result of grazing on drought-impacted pastures may need to have that additional supplement sooner to be able to...
  12. Growers can expect to see tight supplies next year and lower grain prices

    OSU Extension Ag Economics Expert to Offer Market Update During Annual Grain Farmers Symposium

    WILMINGTON, Ohio – With the U.S. Agriculture Department’s forecast that corn production this year will drop to its lowest point since 2006 as a result of the historic drought nationwide, growers can expect to see tight supplies next year and lower grain prices, Ohio State University Extension economist Matt Roberts said.  Prices, supplies and demand are only some of the concerns growers have going into 2013, he said. With that in mind, Roberts will provide a market update for growers Dec. 13 during the 2012 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium at the Roberts Centre and Holiday Inn, 123 Gano Road in Wilmington.     The symposium will allow growers the opportunity to hear the latest agricultural issues impacting their operations, said Harold Watters, an OSU...
  13. Bovine anaplasmosis is a bloodborne disease that could cause severe anemia shortly after a cow is infected, which in some cases results in death or abortions

    OSU Extension to Host Informational Meeting on Bovine Anaplasmosis

    MCCONNELSVILLE, Ohio – A disease that could cause death in cattle but hasn’t gotten much attention in Ohio is being reported to veterinarians, indicating a need to get more producers to understand what the disease is and how to combat it, a pair of Ohio State University Extension experts said. Bovine anaplasmosis is a bloodborne disease that could cause severe anemia shortly after a cow is infected, which in some cases results in death or abortions, said William Shulaw, an OSU Extension beef/sheep veterinarian. And cows that recover from the disease become a lifetime carrier of the bacteria that causes it unless it is successfully treated, he said. The disease is typically transmitted through biting flies and blood-contaminated inanimate objects such as hypodermic needles,...
  14. Oats

    OSU Extension: Ohio Oats Expected to Produce Excellent Yields and Good Supplement for Low Forage Supplies Thanks to Drought

    LANCASTER, Ohio – Ohio growers this year have planted more oats after wheat and into early harvested corn silage fields. And thanks to late-season rains, the crop is expected to produce “excellent yields,” which is a boost to producers suffering through low forage supplies after drought, an Ohio State University Extension beef cattle expert said. Although late rains haven’t been abundant, they’ve provided enough moisture to produce excellent oat yields and quality for many growers throughout the state, said Stan Smith, an OSU Extension program assistant in agriculture and natural resources.  That’s significant considering that the drought of 2012 has been one of the worst on record in Ohio, leaving many livestock producers hard-hit in their...
  15. 2012 Land Use Conference

    OSU Extension to Host Statewide Land-Use Conference January 2013

      COLUMBUS, Ohio – Government officials, planners, developers, landowners, farmers, producers and those interested in land-use implications regarding everything from agriculture as an economic force to planning for oil and gas use, can participate in discussions on those issues and more during the 2013 Ohio Land Use Conference, Jan. 11 in Columbus. Sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, Lake Erie Commission, Ohio Water Resources Council, Ohio Balanced Growth Program and Cleveland State University, the “Linking Land Use and the Economy: Our Land, Our Water, Our Future” conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. The conference kicks off with an...
  16. Wayne County Farmers Dan and Randy Bower examine drought-impacted corn

    Post 2012 Election: Farm Bill and the Fiscal Cliff

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – With the election of 2012 over, it may be a good thing that the forthcoming debate over the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic budget cuts and tax increases coincides with the ongoing debate over the farm bill, an Ohio State University farm policy expert said. The debate over the 2012 Farm Bill involves many aspects of the broader policy discussions currently occurring in the U.S., said Carl Zulauf, who is also a professor in Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.  In a paper written the day after the election, Zulauf said that while it is risky to simplify the policy environment in any country as large and diverse as the U.S., “many issues confronting the U.S. at present can be viewed as...
  17. Students access healthy foods at school thanks to Farm to School program

    Ohio State to Host Statewide Farm to School Conference March 2013

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – More than 250 farmers, producers, educators, school food service professionals, business leaders and Ohio State University Extension experts are expected to attend a statewide conference on the Farm to School program, with a goal to continue to get more fresh, locally grown and produced foods into more school cafeterias. OSU Extension will host the Farm to School conference March 13, 2013, as part of an effort to continue 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.  Farm to School is a national program, which in Ohio is led by OSU Extension and is supported by numerous agencies, foundations and industry organizations. OSU...
  18. P Risk Index tile drainage

    Ohio State Researcher to Re-write Ohio’s Phosphorus Index to Improve Water Quality

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Grand Lake St. Marys has lost an estimated $60-80 million in tourism due to harmful algae blooms. And in 2011, algae blooms covered 990 square miles of Lake Erie’s surface area, the largest in the lake’s history. Phosphorus is the pollutant most often implicated in the degradation of Ohio’s fresh surface water, with use of phosphorus fertilizer on farmland as a contributing factor. To help mitigate these water quality issues, an Ohio State University researcher has launched a $2 million project to evaluate and, as necessary, revise the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service Ohio Phosphorus (P) Risk Index to better predict the risk of phosphorus moving off farm fields.  Elizabeth Dayton, a soil scientist in Ohio...
  19. Ohio State University research has been key to the growth of Ohio's rapidly expanding grape and wine industries.

    Commercial Wine Production and Grape Growers Workshop Is Nov. 15 in Southern Ohio

    PIKETON, Ohio – Wine grape growers, commercial wine operators, and those interested in becoming either one can learn the practical and essential skills needed to be successful in the industry at a workshop held by Ohio State University horticulture, viticulture and enology experts Nov. 15.  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 and winemakers, as well as to boost Ohio's wine industry, said Gary Gao, an Ohio State University Extension specialist and associate professor of small fruit crops at OSU South Centers at Piketon. “It’s good for grape growers to talk to winemakers, because you have to have good fruit in order to make good wine, so...
  20. Farm to School

    OSU Extension Celebrates Ohio Farm to School Month

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s school lunchrooms provide a great opportunity for Ohio farmers and other food producers looking to tap into the growing demand for local foods. And farmers and schools working together creates a great opportunity for Ohio’s students to gain access to fresh, healthy, local foods, an Ohio State University expert said. Thanks to the national Farm to School program, which in Ohio is led by Ohio State University Extension and operates in school districts throughout Ohio, students pre-K through college have increased access to nutritious food. In addition to providing young people with fresh, local food, Farm to School also helps them understand where their food comes from and how food choices affect their health, environment and community, said Julie...
  21. Calves

    OSU Extension: Producers Looking to Increase Calf Crop Value Could Turn to Surrogacy

    PIKETON, Ohio – Looking for a new way to add value to your calf crop? Try raising someone else’s calves instead of your own, an Ohio State University Extension beef expert said. Producers interested in maximizing income from their calf crop while controlling input costs can consider using their commercial cows as surrogate mothers to raise calves for other producers, said John Grimes, beef coordinator for OSU Extension. The process, which is called serving as a “cooperator herd,” allows a herd of commercial cows to function as surrogate mothers for another herd whose owner wants to produce additional calves from a desirable female through embryo transfer, he said. The concept can be profitable to all parties involved. “It’s one of the easiest ways...
  22. Apple

    Ohio Apple Crop: Smaller but More Flavorful

    WOOSTER, Ohio – Consumers may find that while the apple pickings in Ohio may be slimmer this year, the apple crop’s overall quality will be more flavorful, an Ohio State University Extension expert said. As a result of the extreme weather that the Buckeye state has experienced this year, including spring frosts, summer drought, extreme heat, high winds and hailstorms, the state’s apple crop this year is expected to be much smaller than in a typical year, said Diane Miller, an OSU Extension fruit-tree specialist. That means that while Ohio apples are available at markets and grocery stores, consumer will likely find a higher price tag on the shelves, she said. “Apple crops in Indiana, Michigan and northern Ohio are smaller this year,” Miller said. “No...
  23. Chickweed

    Producers: Still Time to Eliminate Weeds in Hay and Pasture Fields

    WOODSFIELD, Ohio – Farmers looking to grow highly productive pastures and hay fields still have time to fight weeds in their fields to prevent reduced forage quality and quantity, an Ohio State University Extension expert said. Fall can be a good time to eliminate hard-to-control perennial weeds because many of the plants are feeding their root systems, which allows applied herbicide to reach the root system to effectively kill the weeds, said Mark Landefeld, an OSU Extension educator in Monroe County. “Farmers should monitor their fields regularly to identify weeds in their hay and pasture fields and deal with them in a timely manner,” he said.  “Not only can weeds decrease forage quality, but some can be invasive and reduce the tonnage of the forage that...
  24. view of a farm

    OSU Farm Policy Expert: Not Surprising Farm Bill Expired Before New Bill Passed

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 2008 Farm Bill expired this week, a move that was not unexpected by many in the industry, an Ohio State University farm policy expert said. It’s not surprising the 2012 Farm Bill didn’t pass before the current farm bill expired in such a politically divided Congress, which in turn reflects a divided country and a divided farm bill constituency, said Carl Zulauf, an agricultural economics professor at Ohio State and a farm policy expert. And the drought of 2012,which is one of the worst in the last 50 years, may have played a role in the bill’s failure to pass, he said. “The drought didn’t begin until relatively late into the (farm bill debate) process,” Zulauf said. “Disagreement may exist as to what kind of disaster...
  25. Bacon

    Drought: No Bacon Shortage, But Consumers Can Likely Expect Higher Prices for Pork Next Year

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – No need to go hog wild. Despite a report from Britain’s National Pig Association last week predicting a worldwide shortage of bacon due to drought, the U.S. is not experiencing a pork shortage, an Ohio State University Extension specialist said. But consumers can expect to pay higher prices at the grocery counter next year thanks to a decrease in pork supplies as a result of the drought of 2012, which has been the worst in decades, said Steve Moeller, an OSU Extension swine specialist. The drought, which severely impacted growers and producers nationwide, particularly in Midwest states including Ohio, is resulting in a 13 percent drop in corn production, the lowest production since 2006, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. As of Sept. 25, the...

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