Bee Buffer Strip Initiative Seeks 100 Ohio Farmers


The U.S. Bee Buffer Project, an initiative of the Pollinator Partnership (P2), Burt’s Bees and The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, is immediately seeking 100 Ohio farmers, ranchers and orchardists to set aside small plots of land as bee buffer zones. Once established, the nectar-rich honey bee forage will support pollinator- dependent crops, which represents one-third of the food we eat.

“Offering the U.S. Bee Buffer Project in Ohio supports the state’s farmers and honey bee population; both play an integral role in the success of American agriculture,” says Laurie Davies Adams, Executive Director of the Pollinator Partnership. “By fostering the health and growth of honey bee colonies, farmers are helping to enrich their crops and, ultimately, improve their bottom line.”

This is year-two for the U.S. Bee Buffer Project; last year the program launched exclusively in California and North Carolina – where now 200 bee buffer zones are established. Bee buffer zones help offset losses for the bee industry while improving the health of crops and orchards within four miles of the buffer site.

Honey bees are valuable to the nation’s crops and economics, contributing approximately $24 billion to the U.S. economy each year. Still, U.S. honey bees are struggling to find food to store for winter months, and our goal is to reduce their stress. In 2014, Ohio’s high-value crops requiring pollination had a production value of more than $66 million, which includes the following crops. “We are excited to be a partner with the U. S. Bee Buffer Project and to work with Ohio’s many farmers providing nutritious forage for Ohio’s honey bees,” says Kim Flottum, Editor of Bee Culture magazine in Medina, Ohio. “Habitats created by these buffers go a long way in ensuring a sustainable future for not only Ohio’s honeybees, but all of Ohio’s pollinators … which in turn ensures a diverse and healthy future of our agricultural environment.”

Ohio farmers, ranchers and orchardists willing to dedicate and maintain .25 to 3 acres – collectively impacting 6,000 acres – can apply for the U.S. Bee Buffer Project until December 15, 2015. Those selected will receive free bee buffer seed kits to plant in their buffers.

What Is A Bee Buffer?

A strip of land alongside crops full of nectar-rich plants – creating vital, nutritious honey bee habitats. The buffer allows bees to forage on the plentiful nutrition in the diverse buffer areas, while also pollinating adjacent crops. Research has shown a little Bee Buffer can go a long way—just one acre of pollinator-friendly plants is enough to impact 33 acres of farmland, together offering bees a broad expanse of diverse forage.

To learn more, reference the U.S. Bee Buffer Frequently Asked Questions. To review the eligibility requirements and complete participant application, visit

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Great Bulbs of Garlic Workshop to be held on September 10, 2015 in Ashtabula County

Join OSU Extension and the Ashtabula County Master Gardeners as they host an educational seminar titled “Great Bulbs of Garlic” on Thursday, September 10, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ashtabula County Extension office located at 39 Wall Street in Jefferson, Ohio.This program will offer the opportunity for home gardeners to learn how to plant, maintain, and harvest garlic. Learn the common pests and diseases of garlic and their solutions. Participants will also learn fun facts about garlic through the ages and highlights of cooking with garlic. This class is geared to the home gardener. The registration fee for this workshop is $3 per person and registration is limited to the first 30 persons. Light refreshments will be served. More information about this program can be obtained by calling the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008. A program flyer can be found at:

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Meat Cutting Demonstration to be held on August 22 at Smokin T’s

Meat Cutting Demonstration to be held on August 22 at Smokin T’s

OSU Extension and the Ashtabula County Cattlemen’s Association would like to invite beef producers to a “Meat Cutting Demonstration” on Saturday, August 22, 2015 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Smokin’ Ts located at 1550 Stanhope Kelloggsville Road in Pierpont Township (Ashtabula County).

This program will feature Dr. Lyda Garcia, OSU Extension Meat Science Specialist and Assistant Professor. During this hands-on workshop, Dr. Garcia will process a ½ beef carcass to teach producers more about the various cuts and grades of beef. Learn more about carcass quality, leanness, and beef carcass grading. Learn about the different meat cuts which can be offered to beef consumers.

Dr. Garcia joined the Department of Animal Sciences in February 2015. Prior to joining the Buckeye Family, Dr. Garcia was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University where she taught an undergraduate meat science course. At OSU, Dr. Garcia is responsible for teaching undergraduate courses in meat science, advises undergraduate Animal Sciences students, and supervises the Meat Judging Team.

This workshop is free and open to the cattle producers. Registration is limited to the first 25 producers. Please reserve your spot by calling Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008, extension 101. Hairnets and disposal aprons will be provided. Producers are asked to wear clean clothing & shoes to ensure biosecurity. Reservations will be taken on a first come—first served basis.

David L. Marrison
Associate Professor
Agricultural & Natural Resources Extension Educator
OSU Extension Ashtabula & Trumbull Counties
39 Wall Street, Jefferson, OH 44047
440-576-9008 Office / 440-576-5821 Fax

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OSU Extension to host Northeast Ohio Grape Field Day on Thursday, August 27

OSU Extension will be hosting the Northeast Ohio Grape Field Day on Thursday, August 27 in Harpersfield, Ohio. This field day has been developed to increase the management skills of commercial juice and wine grape growers.

The afternoon session titled, “Strategies for Managing Winter Injured Vines” will be held from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

at Ferrante Winery & Ristorante located at 5585 State Route 307, Harpersfield, Ohio and at M Cellars located at 6193 South River Road, Harpersfield, Ohio. This session will continue the grape industry’s focus on recovering from two severe winter injury events in 2014 & 2015.

At Stop #1 at Ferrante Winery & Ristorante, Dr. Imed Dami and Nick Ferrante will present information on how the Ohio grape industry is adapting to winter injury concerns. Learn more about the Ferrante’s hilling & dehilling practices. Participants will also learn more about OARDC’s retraining trials which are being conducted in this vineayard.

Participants will then travel to Stop #2 at M Cellars on South River Road. Matt Meineke will present information on how M Cellars has changed their winter protection strategies for vine protection through the practice of burying canes. Learn the when, how and the outcomes of burying canes. It will be a great chance for producers to see how the grapes at this location were able to survive through the 2015 winter.

Following the afternoon portion, participants will travel a short distance to Kosicek Vineyards located at 636 State Route 534, Harpersfield, OH 44041. A picnic style dinner will be served prior to the sprayer calibration workshop at Kosicek Vineyards from 5:3- to 6:00 p.m. The dinner fee will be $5 per person. In order to ensure a meal, we must have reservations by Thursday, August 20. Reservations can be made by calling the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008.

Following the picnic dinner, growers will participate in a “Preparing and Calibrating Air Blast Sprayers” session from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Kosicek Vineyards​. Dr. Erdal Ozkan, from OSU’s Department of Food, Agriculture, and Biological Engineering, will lead an air blast sprayer calibration session and update growers on optimizing spray coverage for better control of pests and diseases. This workshop will help save you MONEY and make you a more effective, efficient spray applicator. Learn more about calibration, how to use water sensitive paper strips, and learn about enhanced coverage and drift reduction through recent nozzle advancements. Dr. Ozkan will also recommend improvements to equipment, GPA, pressure, nozzle selection, and speed to maximize coverage and control. A special thank you is extended to Fred’s Water Service in Madison, Ohio for supplying the air blast sprayer for this workshop. Two hours of Commercial & Private CORE Pesticide Applicator Credits will be offered for attendees.

To register for this program, please contact the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008. A complete registration flyer can be found at:

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Northeast Ohio Cover Crops Field Night Scheduled for Tuesday, August 18

OSU Extension is pleased to be offering a “Northeast Ohio Cover Crops Field Night” on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at Caroma Farms located at 9499 State Route 46 in North Bloomfield, Ohio from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. We are very appreciative of the Barnett family for hosting this field night. The family is one of the early adopters of the use of cover crops and this will be a great opportunity for area farmers to learn more about cover crops.

This field night will feature Jim Hoorman from OSU Extension. Jim is a nationally known speaker in cover crops and will be on hand to help producers learn how to successfully use cover crops. This will be a great opportunity for crop producers who are looking to use cover crops to improve soil fertility, improve soil structure and increase the capacity of soil drainage.

During the field night Jim will discuss the basics of how cover crops increase soil organic matter and improve nutrient recycling and how roots change soil structure and improve drainage. Jim will share details of the major cover crops and how they are used in crop rotations such as corn and soybean. Each cover crop has a niche or special purpose. Legume cover crops are typically used to produce homegrown nitrogen. Grass cover crops are used to increase soil organic matter, recycle excess nutrients, and reduce soil compaction. Brassica crops are grown to loosen the soil, recycle nutrients, and suppress weeds. Some other cover crops are grown to suppress insects, disease, weeds, or attract beneficial insects.

Jim will also share how cover crops may be used to supplement forages for dairy, beef, and sheep. Attendees will also learn more about the economics of using and purchasing cover crops. Discussion will also be held on how cover crops may increase soil productivity and decrease chemical input costs through reduced herbicides, less fungicides, and improved nutrient efficiency.

The use of cover crops should be strongly considered in 2015 as we have thousands of acres which were not planted due to the extremely wet weather. Now is a great chance to plant a cover crop, or two, to help improve and protect our heavy soils here in Ashtabula County.

This workshop is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Participants are requested to dress for the weather as it will be held rain or shine. Participants are asked to bring a lawn chair. More information about this program can be obtained by calling the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008. A program flyer can be found at:

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Pesticide Disposal Day to be held on August 13 in Canfield, Ohio

The Ohio Department of Agriculture will be sponsoring a collection for farmers wishing to dispose of unwanted pesticides on August 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mahoning County Fairgrounds, 7625 Columbiana‐Canfield Road, Canfield, OH 44406. The pesticide collection and disposal service is free of charge, but only farm chemicals will be accepted. Paint, antifreeze, solvents, and household or non‐farm pesticides will not be accepted. Pesticide collections are sponsored by the department in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To pre‐register, or for more information, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614‐728‐6987.

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Enrollment for the 2016 Dairy Margin Protection Program to Begin July 1, 2015

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced that starting July 1, 2015, dairy farmers can enroll in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy operations when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. Harden made the announcement while visiting Wolfe’s Neck Farm and dairy school in Freeport, Maine.

"More than half of our nation’s dairy producers enrolled in the 2015 program, which exceeded our expectations for the first year of the program," said Harden. "We are confident that dairy farmers across the country will again take advantage of this safety net program for 2016. USDA will continue outreach efforts, including partnering with cooperative extension services, to ensure dairy producers are fully informed about the protections that this safety net program can provide during periods of market downturns."

The Margin Protection Program gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. Enrollment begins July 1 and ends on Sept. 30, 2015, for coverage in 2016. Participating farmers will remain in the program through 2018 and pay a $100 administrative fee each year. Producers also have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year. Margin Protection Program payments are based on an operation’s historical production. An operation’s historical production will increase by 2.61 percent in 2016 if the operation participated in 2015, providing a stronger safety net.

USDA also has an online resource available to help dairy producers decide which level of coverage will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The enhanced Web tool, available at, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine their unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections. The secure site can be accessed via computer, mobile phone, or tablet, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dairy operations enrolling in the program must meet conservation compliance provisions. Producers participating in the Livestock Gross Margin insurance program may register for the Margin Protection Program, but this new margin program will only begin once their Livestock dairy insurance coverage has ended. Producers must also submit form CCC-782 for 2016, confirming their Margin Protection Program coverage level selection, to the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. If electing higher coverage for 2016, dairy producers can either pay the premium in full at the time of enrollment or pay a minimum of 25 percent of the premium by Feb. 1, 2016.

The Margin Protection Program was established by the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit

For more information, visit FSA online at for more information, or stop by a local FSA office to learn more about the Margin Protection Program. To find a local FSA office in your area, visit

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