By Jerry Mahan

Around the Home and Farm

Greene County Farm Forum is offering up to $4,000 in scholarships to deserving current year graduating students or college freshmen pursuing higher education in a field related to agriculture.

Copies of the application are available from the Greene County Ext. Office at 100 Fairground Road in Xenia and they can be downloaded from the 4-H section of the Extension website at: Deadline for applications is April 21.

Greene County Farm Bureau is offering a $500 scholarship to a deserving graduating senior planning to pursue an agriculture education in a two to four year program. College students who are continuing their education may apply for the Cecil Huston Farm Bureau $500 Scholarship up to a maximum of four years.

Applicant must be attending/or be a graduate of a Greene County high school and preference will be given to students whose parents or grandparents are Farm Bureau members.

Application deadline is April 15 and applications can be downloaded from and scroll down to the story related to the scholarship program posted in Jan. of 2015 or contact the Farm Bureau office at 1-800-443-6830. Their address is Greene Co. Farm Bureau, P.O. Box 906, Wilmington, Ohio 45177.

Crabgrass control

We are coming up on the time (early April) when homeowners normally apply crabgrass control products to the lawn. However 2016 is different! Crabgrass control products are designed to prevent crabgrass seed from germinating. Each year is different in terms of soil temperature at the end of March and first week or two in April. We normally look at applying preemergent crabgrass control products around April 10 but soil temperature dictates when crabgrass seed will germinate.

For example in 2012 we had an unusually warm spring and April 10th was too late as the crabgrass seed had already germinated.

Crabgrass is an annual grass and germination is tied to soil temperature. Crabgrass seed will germinate when we have the nighttime soil temperature not dropping below 52-54 degrees F. for five evenings in a row. You can track our soil temperatures at this Michigan State University website: Use this website to track the amount of warmth the soil has accumulated in growing degree days (GDD) using 32 degrees F. as the base temperature.

This website also tracks growing degree days using other temperatures as a base so watch which you use. Another way to determine when to apply pre-emergent crabgrass control is to link it to the blooming time of forsythia or ornamental pear trees. Since 2013 I have seen preemergent crabgrass control products on the market which do not contain fertilizer. If you have a lawn in a high fertility area which may not need as much fertilizer this may be something to try.

Sadly, the more fertilizer you apply this time of year with high nitrogen content (the first number on the bag analysis) the more often you have to mow as most of the nutrients go to the growth of the grass leaf blades and not into the root system.

Remember the clock starts ticking with reference to the length of time the crabgrass control product will work after you apply it. Applying preemergent crabgrass material earlier than April depending on soil temperatures may shorten the time the product is effective and permit crabgrass to germinate later in the season depending on the product you are using.

Now to the job at hand. With the temperatures predicted I am suggesting you apply the preemergent crabgrass material by April 1.

Another million acres lost

According to the 2015 USDA report the U.S. lost 18,000 farms and a million acres of farmland. To put this in perspective that would be equal to four counties the size of Greene. The top seven states losing 100,000 acres or more of farmland includes Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Virginia. Surprisingly Ohio saw no large decrease from 2014.For more details on this report log on to:

Farm Bureau membership

Current Farm Bureau members are urged to renew their memberships and new members can log on to the county website at: Farm Bureau has been instrumental in getting CAUV rates changed and dealing with many other farm issues. For more information call 800-443-6830. Cost is $85 per year.

Farm Forum

Remember the Greene County Farm Forum is March 28 at the Union United Methodist Church, 393 Washington Road in Xenia. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. and reservations are required, cost $10. No reservations are necessary if you just wish to attend the meeting. For reservations contact Paul Ayres at 937-352-6379 or email him at [email protected].

Jerry Mahan is a retired OSU Extension Educator Agriculture and Natural Resources for Greene County. He can be reached by email at: [email protected].