Well, the weather experts tell us winter is back and maybe this time it will stay around for a while. Don’t get in a big hurry to start complaining, though. We have been very lucky, unlike many other areas of the U.S.
On a positive weather note, with all the rain we have certainly recharged our ground water levels and should be in very good shape going into the planting season.
While TV channel surfing this past weekend, I came across a PBS program regarding the Blizzard of ’78.
The anniversary of this history-making event was Jan. 25-27, 1978. If you are not old enough to remember I recommend you do your history lesson. It is an event I hope I never experience again. The event left us with many stories we can recount for years to come.
It is reminder to us all that Mother Nature has the upper hand and can unleash her wrath at any time and all we can do is hope and pray we survive. So, if you don’t like the weather, just know it could be a lot worse.
Dale Hertlein of the Clinton County Farm Service Agency (FSA) 2017 asked that I remind producers that the ARC/PLC Enrollment Underway.
Producers on farms with base acres under the safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs can visit FSA county offices to sign contracts and enroll for the 2017 crop year. The enrollment period will continue until Aug. 1.
Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers on the farm must enroll by signing a contract each program year.
If a farm is not enrolled during the 2017 enrollment period, the producers on that farm will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2017 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program. Producers who made their program elections in 2015 must still enroll during the 2017 enrollment period.
The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to agricultural producers when there is a substantial drop in prices or revenues for covered commodities. Covered commodities include barley, corn, grain sorghum, oats, soybeans, and wheat. For more details regarding these programs, go to www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.
The staff at the Clinton County FSA Office want me to pass along to you their encouragement to not wait until the last minute to get your farms enrolled. While this time of year can be a little slower, the local FSA staff recommends not waiting until the last minute. Give them a call and set up an appointment now.
Something for the Specialty crop enthusiast is the Southwestern Ohio Specialty Crop Conference for fruit and vegetable growers February 7, 2017 at the Oasis Conference Center, 902 Loveland-Miamiville Road in Loveland.
The conference, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., offers five concurrent sessions in fruit production, vegetable production, specialty cropping systems, pesticide safety and farm management, and marketing and food safety.
In addition, some sessions offer private pesticide applicator credits in three categories, Core, 3 (Fruits and Vegetables) and 5 (Greenhouse). If you attend you encouraged to bring your applicator license to the conference.
Sessions at the conference include:
• Growing Fruit in Containers
• Pumpkin Pest Management
• Aquaponics: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
• Strawberry Production Opportunities: Extending the Marketing Season
• Tomato and Pepper Trial Results for Early and Late Blight Resistance
• Establishing Insecticide Rotations that Work for Vegetables in High Tunnels
• How to Monitor for Insect and Mite Pests in Apples
• Minimizing Risks to Pollinators in Specialty Cropping Systems
• Dealing with the New Worker Protection Standards
• How to Develop a Marketing Plan That Works for You and Your Business
• Identifying Your Target Market
Preregistration is required by Feb. 3 and is available online at regonline.com/swspecialtycropconf. The $50 fee includes a continental breakfast, buffet lunch and a USB memory stick containing handouts.
Anyone with questions may contact Greg Meyer, Warren County ANR Extension Educator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-695-1311.
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 29 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.