As I sit at my desk preparing to write this week’s agriculture column, I too have fallen into the trap that so many of you have fallen into called “frustration.”
If you recall last week, I mentioned that the Southwest Ohio Corn Growers and Fayette County Agronomy field day scheduled for Aug. 18 was still going to happen. Well, as of Wednesday of this week, that has now become one more worthy event getting gobbled up by the COVID-19 saga.
Due to the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and recommendations from the Fayette County Health Department, it was decided to cancel the event for 2020.
As we move forward, we ask that you please follow the Southwest Ohio Corn Growers Facebook page and the Clinton and Fayette County Extension websites at clinton.osu.edu and fayette.osu.edu for additional updates about a virtual program that will take place on or around Aug. 18.
Without wallowing in self-pity, I’m looking at what silver linings are out there, and it was obvious on Thursday while writing this column my silver lining was the fact we were getting some much-needed rain. The rain may not be a lot, but we will take what we can get at this point as our corn and soybeans fields really need it.
I can partially thank my in-laws, Dick and Sharon Gray from the Wilmington area, for the rain. They had hay down this week, and of course it was ready to bale on Thursday. So if you see them this weekend, tell them thanks. I am sure they’re disappointed they didn’t get it baled before the rain, but they too needed the rain as well.
At this time we also ask not to forget that if you have agricultural chemicals you would like to dispose of, to bring your old and unused agricultural chemicals to the upcoming “Clean Sweep” event sponsored by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. It is scheduled for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18.
The pick-up location will be at the Fayette County Research and Demonstration Farm, 2770 Old Rt. 38 NE, Washington C.H., OH 43160. For questions about the “Clean Sweep” disposal program, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6987.
Seeds in the mail
Finally, I would like to know if anyone in the Clinton County community received any of those mysterious seed packets through the mail. If so, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) along with the assistance of Ohio State University Extension is asking that Ohioans please send in unsolicited seeds.
According to a release this week, after increasing reports of Ohio citizens receiving packages of unsolicited seeds in the mail, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is urging the public to report and submit any unsolicited seed packets to ODA.
In partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine Office, ODA is working to investigate the number of seed packets sent to Ohio, what type of seeds they are, and where they were mailed from.
The USDA-APHIS and ODA are asking Ohioans who have received these unsolicited packages not to open, plant, or throw them away. Instead, citizens should report receiving seeds and then submit the packages to USDA using one of the following methods:
If possible, place the materials including the seeds, original packaging material and your contact information in a resealable plastic bag and mail them to USDA-APHIS, Attn: USDA -SITC, 8995 E. Main St., Building 23, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068; or … place the materials including the seeds, original packaging material and your contact information in a resealable plastic bag and drop them off at your county’s OSU Extension Office during business hours.
Please note that the Clinton County Extension office has open hours to the public during the COVID-19 situation on Tuesdays and Thursday each week. Our office is at 111, S. Nelson Ave.in Wilmington.
If you have questions, I can be contacted by calling me at 937-382-0901 or at 740-606-0031 or by email at email@example.com.
Once again we ask you be aware that any unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species and noxious weeds can displace native plants and increase costs of food production.
All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.
Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.