Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. 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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. Corn stalks

    Drought: Corn Stalks Can Stretch Forage

    WOOSTER, Ohio –Ohio growers may find that after they’ve harvested their corn, there still may be some value left in the residue, an Ohio State University Extension educator said.  With forage supplies tight this year, the cornstalks and grain residue that remains in the field after harvest can provide feed for livestock, said Rory Lewandowski, an agricultural and natural resources educator for OSU Extension. Considering that an estimated 50 percent of the total corn plant yield remains in the field after harvest, those acres harvested for corn can represent a potential forage source that is often overlooked, he said. That is significant, since the drought of 2012 has been one of the worst on record in Ohio, leaving many livestock producers short on...
  14. water control structure

    Farm Science Review: Water Control Structure Benefits Farmers and Environment

    LONDON, Ohio – A new field drainage technology could help reduce runoff from farm fields and reduce the risk of harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie and other Ohio lakes.  The system, called an Inline Water Level Control Structure, is designed to keep water and nutrients such as nitrates and phosphorus on the land where they can be used by crops, Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review organizers said. Working with the Ohio Land Improvement Contractors Association (OLICA), two new water control structures were installed at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center during Farm Science Review last week. The new installations bring the total number of the systems in use there to eight, said Matt Sullivan, Farm Science Review assistant manager.   He said the Molly...
  15. Sorghum Sundangrass

    OSU Extension: Fall Frost Increases the Potential for Toxicity in Livestock

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – While fall frost is an annual concern for livestock producers because of the potential for prussic acid poisoning, the potential for toxicity in livestock is perhaps of wider concern this year because of the drought that many livestock producers suffered, according to an Ohio State University Extension specialist. The drought of 2012 has been one of the worst on record in Ohio, leaving many livestock producers short on hay and silage supplies. The lack of substantial rainfall, extreme heat and dryness left many producers looking for any alternative forages they can plant to make up for the shortages, said Mark Sulc, an OSU Extension forage specialist. “This year especially with the dry weather, people were looking for ways to grow supplemental forage,...
  16. Sorghum Sundangrass

    OSU Extension: Fall Frost Increases the Potential for Toxicity in Livestock

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – While fall frost is an annual concern for livestock producers because of the potential for prussic acid poisoning, the potential for toxicity in livestock is perhaps of wider concern this year because of the drought that many livestock producers suffered, according to an Ohio State University Extension specialist. The drought of 2012 has been one of the worst on record in Ohio, leaving many livestock producers short on hay and silage supplies. The lack of substantial rainfall, extreme heat and dryness left many producers looking for any alternative forages they can plant to make up for the shortages, said Mark Sulc, an OSU Extension forage specialist. “This year especially with the dry weather, people were looking for ways to grow supplemental forage,...

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