As I sit at my makeshift office at home for yet another week, I have to admit I am one of thousands that want to get back to normal. I realize we don’t know exactly what that really means, but it will sure be nice once we get there.
As I stated last week, find a silver lining. As we move forward know that the Clinton County Extension office is here to work with you.
Until then, in accordance to the guidance of Ohio State University:
1) We will still be in telework status through July 6, unless the university lifts the requirement sooner.
2) We have a transition team at the university and within OSU Extension planning a comprehensive and phased return to work.
3) We will still be incredibly responsive to our clientele and are providing lots of virtual programming and responding to all calls.
4) We are still on target to have our 4-H youth ready for fairs, should they continue within each county.
5) Even though we are teleworking from home, I have exemption status to travel throughout the county to scout and evaluate crop conditions throughout the growing season. So, be sure to contact me if you would like me to stop by to look at potential crop season issues.
Whether it is agriculture or horticulture, 4-H and youth development, nutrition, community development and anything else you can think of you may contact us still by way of phone at 937-382-0901, or by email for each of us in the Clinton extension office at the following: Candy Mathews, Office Associate at firstname.lastname@example.org; Ann Foxworthy, Jr. Fair Coordinator at email@example.com; Kacey Burns, SNAP-Ed program at firstname.lastname@example.org; Tracie Montague, Extension 4-H and Youth Development Educator at email@example.com; and Tony Nye, Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource Educator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now on to agriculture. I want to remind everyone to join us for a weekly opportunity for you to meet, discuss and ask questions virtually about issues that are affecting Agriculture during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This weekly, virtual Coffee Talk meeting is being hosted by county Extension Educators and Field Specialist from Clinton, Fayette, and Greene Counties. We are planning to offer this opportunity as we continue to have interest from our audience.
Feel free to add your topics of interest, questions, concerns and basically “What’s on your Mind?” at this anonymous link: go.osu.edu/TalkTopic.
This opportunity begins each Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. To join us each week you may log in at: https://go.osu.edu\swohcoffeetalk or call in to join us at 1-253-215-8782 or 1-301-715-8592. Once into the call type in the meeting number 458-381-886.
I am hopeful by the time you read this week’s column we have farmers back in the field working hard to get this year’s crops planted.
Be aware if you are traveling our county roadways that you may come up on slower moving farm machinery. Remember that much of our farm equipment travels at speed less than 25 mph, so be aware, be patient, and please be safe.
Finally, this week, are you interested in Soil Health? OSU Extension has an opportunity for you to learn together. Improving soil health (SH) can provide a variety of benefits including improved water infiltration, increased water holding capacity, and increased nutrient availability.
However, it can be challenging to quantify these benefits in the field.
In 2020, the eFields program is kicking off an effort to help better understand how management practices influence soil health and ultimately water quality. OSU Extension has worked to identify a few soil tests that can provide helpful indicators of improved soil health.
Though several health tests exist, we focused on tests that are simple, economical, and repeatable. We are looking for farmers interested in soil health and who want to participate in a statewide field survey collecting soil health data from fields under various management practices, specifically conventional tillage, no-till, organic nutrient management, and cover cropping.
The results from this effort will be used to guide recommendations for improving soil health on Ohio farms. Soil health indicators are also being added to selected eFields trials including nitrogen rate and manure sidedress.
If you are interested in learning more about participating in eFields trials focused on soil health, I have the information to get started so, reach out to me at email@example.com or call me direct at 740-606-0031.
You can also get more information about the soil health indicators and how to use them by visiting: go.osu.edu/MeasureSH.
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.