Purdue Extension, Delaware County
Delaware County Ag News
Michael O’Donnell, Extension Educator, ANR
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Go to Upcoming Events
Farming for Soil Health - Soil Health Meeting Recap
On Tuesday, February 26th, a Soil Health meeting was co-hosted by Purdue Extension, NRCS, and SWCD (Delaware and Blackford Counties) at the Eaton Community Building. The program drew well over 70 attendees from the East Central Indiana region. We had the privilege of hearing from Hans Kok, Indiana Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) Coordinator, about Soil Health and Using Cover Crops as a Management Tool.
Hans opened by reminding us that we are no longer farming "grandpa's farm," meaning that we are farming a degraded soil resource. He went on to explain the importance of soil health in keeping our farming operations sustainable, and even moving towards restoration of our soil resource. Although the CCSI promotes a systematic approach to field crop agriculture, encompassing (1) continuous no-till, (2) cover crops, (3) precision farming, and (4) nutrient and pest management, the focus of the presentation was on cover crops.
Keeping the soil covered with cover crops (or designer weeds, as Hans calls them), instead of leaving the soil bare during the cold months (the so-called "brown gap"), feeds the soil biology for more months of the year, protects the soil from erosion, provides weed control, and carries-over residual nutrients. Hans wonders why farmers are willing to pay upwards of $10,000 per acre, yet only have something growing for a handful of months each year. By utilizing cover crops, we are capturing solar energy for more months, and thereby feeding the soil biology and continuously building soil health. Hans covered the many benefits of cover crops and some basics of cover crop management, including varieties, seeding methods and timing, termination methods and timing, and on-farm research results.
Based on feedback from program participants, we hope to offer more programs and/or field days this year on topics related to soil health and conservation agriculture. Please watch for more information in the near future.
Interested in learning more? Below is a short list of resources related to soil health and cover crops:
Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI)
Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition
Plant Cover Crops
Midwest Cover Crops Council
Presentation by Gabe Brown about his farming operation in North Dakota
Private Applicator Recertification Program
The Delaware County Extension Office offered two PARP events recently. On January 16th, the PARP included a presentation by Michael O'Donnell and Larry Temple, Extension Educators from Delaware and Jay Counties, on the New Fertilizer Regulations (see below) and a Weed Control Update from Bill Johnson, Weed Science Extension Specialist (several of the weed control publications referenced by Bill can be found below). On February 26th, in conjuction with the soil health meeting described above, participants learned about the Clean Sweep Pesticide Disposal Program from Michael O'Donnell, and received updates from FSA, NRCS, and SWCD offices in Delaware and Blackford Counties.
Please watch for information on upcoming PARP (and CCH) events offered in Delaware and surrounding counties. You can check out the PARP events calendar (http://btny.agriculture.purdue.edu/parpevents/) for a listing of programs offered statewide. Applicators can also call 800-319-3090 and listen to a recorded message of upcoming programs.
2013 Davis Purdue Ag Center (DPAC) Annual Field Day - Mark Your Calendar and Sponsorship Request
Mark your calendars for the 2013 DPAC Field Day! This popular annual field day will be held on Tuesday, August 27 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at DPAC, 6230 North State Road 1, Farmland, IN. The tentative schedule of topics includes: herbicide demonstration plots in corn and soybeans, manure management research, fertilizer applicator regulations, insecticide residues and honey bees, and and climate change effects on agriculture. Private Pesticide and Commercial Pesticide Applicator Credits will be available. The day will also include a free health fair for those in attendance. Lunch is also provided.
We are asking for support with sponsorship of this educational event. Sponsorships of $300 or more are available. We will put your company information and logo on advertisements for the event. Sponsors will be recognized the day of the event with signs and special announcements. Only with your support and contributions can this event by provided at no cost. Your support is very much appreciated. To register for sponsorship, please complete and return the registration form as soon as possible.
New Fertilizer Regulations Apply to Most Growers - NOT Just Licensed Applicators!
Do you use or distribute fertilizer material (commercial fertilizer or manure) for the purposes of producing an agricultural crop? Do you apply more than 10 cubic yards or 4,000 gallons of these materials each year (this amounts to approximately 3 pickup truck loads)? If you answered yes to these questions, then keep reading...
Indiana law required the Office of the Indiana State Chemist (OISC) to develop a rule to ensure the effective and safe use of plant nutrients in a manner that protects water quality. Full compliance started on February 16, 2013. The rule requires you to develop a fertilizer application plan, sets restrictions on staging and applying fertilizers, and includes additional record keeping requirements for licensed applicators and distributors. Please reference the following documents for details about the regulations, in order to ensure that your farm is in compliance:
2 page summary from Purdue Extension
You may find the following Purdue Extension publication useful when determining manure application rates based on sound agronomic principles:
Animal Manure As a Plant Nutrient Resource, ID-101
Food Hub in Central Indiana - Hoosier Harvest Market
The Central Indiana Food Hub, mentioned in the November newsletter, is now known as the Hoosier Harvest Market. The Hoosier Harvest Market (HHM) is hoping to launch its virtual (online) market in April! The HHM "connects Indiana food producers with Indiana consumers for locally grown food products." It is a membership-based cooperative that will take the form of an online or virtual farmers' market, at least initially. You can learn more about the HHM mission, purpose, cooperative structure, and more in the HHM promotional brochure.
For more information, contact Roy Ballard at (317) 987-2168 or firstname.lastname@example.org
First Annual Indiana Small Farm Conference a Success
The 1st Annual Indiana Small Farm Conference was held the first weekend of March in Danville at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds, and saw in excess of 250 particpants. The conference celebrated the recent rapid growth in small farms and local food production throughout the Hoosier state.
During the two-day event, attendees were offered a plethora of educational and networking opportunities through five educational tracks each offering 9 sessions, an exhibitor hall, three catered meals featuring (nearly all) Indiana-sourced food, keynote speakers, a poster session, and even a seed swap event. The sessions covered crop and livestock production, small farm energy, marketing and processing, and farm managment. Speakers included Purdue Extension educators and specialists, USDA staff, consultants, researchers, and, most importantly, farmers from around Indiana and neighboring states.
Based on the success of this event, we are looking forward to the 2nd Annual Indiana Small Farm Conference in February/March of 2014. Keep up to date with the Purdue Extension Small Farm and Sustainable Agriculture (SARE) Team here: http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/smallfarms/Pages/default.aspx
Food Safety Critical for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Growers and Distributors
A GAPs training workshop was hosted by the Delaware County Extension office in February for fresh fruit and vegetable growers and distributors. GAPs, or Good Agricultural Practices, is a set of best agricultural practices used in the production, packing, handling, and storage of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts in order to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. Many large buyers, such as Walmart, require their suppliers to be GAPs audited, ensuring that they have implemented GAPs in their operations. Recent regulatory activities at the state and federal levels are making these food safety practices increasingly important:
The Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2011 requires the FDA to draft new rules aimed at reducing the risk of food contamination, and is the "most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years". The proposed rulemaking is currently open for public comment. Comments will be accepted online or in writing until May 16: http://www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/fsma/default.htm.
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has implemented a new food safety initiative for wholesale produce farms in Indiana. The initiative seeks to reduce the number of produce-related illnesses originating from Indiana farm produce through three objectives: (1) maintain a wholesale farm registration through the Indiana State Food Protection office, (2) Indiana food safety farm consultants will provide technical assistance to produce operations growing and selling produce that will be consumed raw, (3) Indiana farms will embrace GAPs. If you are a fresh fruit and/or vegetable grower operating in Indiana, please check out the Farm Produce Safety Initiative website: http://www.state.in.us/isdh/25773.htm
Learn more about GAPs:
Climate Change and Agriculture
The USDA published a report in February on the impacts of climate change on agriculture in the US. You can find a summary, FAQs, and the full report at the USDA website provided below. A companion report, published in December, reports on the impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems.
Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States:
Effects of Climate Variability and Change on Forest Ecosystems:
Interested in On-Farm Research?
Partner with Purdue Extension, Delaware County, to support Purdue Ag research and move ag productivity, profitability, and sustainability forward in Indiana. We can work with existing on-farm research protocols, or propose our own research projects. Below you can find more information about an opportunity utilizing the Adapt-N Tool.
Adapt-N Tool Helps Farmers Better Predict N Needs of Corn Crop
Cornell University's Adapt-N is an online tool for adaptive nitrogen management in corn production systems. It uses a well-calibrated corn-growth computer model, high resolution weather information, cropping history, and yield goals for your fields to predict N needs more precisely. The tool was recently awarded AgProfessional's 2012 Readers' Choice Top Product of the Year. To learn more about Adapt-N, visit http://adapt-n.cals.cornell.edu/ . Purdue Extension is seeking farmer collaborators interested in conducting on-farm research utilizing the Adapt-N Tool in N rate strip trials.
The window of opportunity for getting involved with on-farm research for the 2013 season is quickly closing. Contact Michael O’Donnell at (765) 747-7732 or email@example.com for more information and to discuss on-farm research possibilities. Visit the Purdue Collaborative On-Farm Research website, http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/ofr/ for more information.
Need Help with Weed Control Strategies in Field Crops?
Below you'll find a list of recently published Purdue Extension publications on weed control strategies in field crops:
2013 Weed Control Guide for Ohio and Indiana
To purchase a hard copy, contact the Delaware County Extension office at (765) 747-7732 or visit https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?itemID=20952#.UUDIgzCG2So
Corn and Soybean Herbicide Chart
Palmer Amaranth Biology, Identification, and Management in Indiana
Control of Marestail in No-till Soybeans
Herbicide Rotation Restrictions for Cover Crops and Fall Forages
Proposed Sheep and Wool Market Development Council -
Deadline Extended for Voter Registration
Are you a commercial sheep producer? If so, please read the following Purdue Agriculture News column regarding the proposed Sheep and Wool Market Development Council. Voter registration forms are due by March 30 and can be requested from Jerry Fankhauser at (765) 494-8368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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35th Annual Delaware County Farm Fest, Featuring Dr. Chris Hurt
March 19-20, 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM each day
Delaware County 4-H Fairgrounds
Dr. Chris Hurt, Professor of Agricultural Economics, will be sharing his latest Ag Market Outlook presentation at 11:00AM on Wednesday, March 20. Join us for the talk, and stick around for the chicken and noodle lunch.
Visit http://www.farmfestival.org/ for more information about this annual celebration of our county's farming traditions.
2013 Ohio River Valley Woodlands and Wildlife Workshop
March 23, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Clifty Falls State Park, Madison, IN
11371 East Purdue Farm Road, Dubois, IN 47527
Visit https://ag.purdue.edu/fnr/Documents/OhioRiverValleyWoodlandWildlifeWkshop2013.pdf for more information and to register. You can also contact Purdue Extension FNR at (765) 494-3583 with questions.
Native Trees and Shrubs - Lenny Farlee
March 27, 6:30 PM
Minnetrisa Cultural Center, Muncie
Join the Delaware County Master Gardener Association (DCMGA) in welcoming Lenny Farlee, Purdue Extension Forester, for a presentation on Native Trees and Shrubs.
Backyard Fruit Growing - Dr. Bruce Bordelon
April 24, 6:30 PM
Minnetrisa Cultural Center, Muncie
Join the Delaware County Master Gardener Association (DCMGA) in welcoming Dr. Bruce Bordelon, Purdue Extension Horticulture Specialist, for a presentation on Backyard Fruit Growing.
IBEP Open House and 71st Annual Bull Sale
April 11, 4:00 - 7:30 PM
IBEP Test Station, Feldun-Purdue Ag Center
Visit http://www.ansc.purdue.edu/ibep/Winter12/OpenHouse2013.pdf for more information about the program.
April 18, 6:00 PM
Springville Feeder Auction with five remote viewing sites
Visit http://www.ansc.purdue.edu/ibep/ for more information about the sale.
Southern Indiana Purdue Ag Center (SIPAC)
11371 East Purdue Farm Road, Dubois, IN 47527
Reservations for the training are available through the Purdue Extension - Dubois County office, with fees being $50.00, with $25.00 for each additional person. Full details and mailing address for registration are available here.
For additional information contact Jason Tower at 812-678-4427 or email@example.com
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Do you have suggestions for Agriculture and Natural Resources programming here in Delaware County? Please contact Michael O’Donnell at (765) 747-7732 or firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts and feedback.