I was fortunate to be in the audience at the Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada, Ohio on March 7 to witness two outstanding area farmers being honored as Master Farmers by the Ohio Farmer Magazine. These farmers included Mark Guess and Alan Thompson.
Both farm in several counties and have rebooted their operations over the years by adopting new technology and never being hesitant to ask for help in how to deal with problems in their farming operation. Both know each other well and talk frequently about how to farm better and solve problems in their operation. Mark farms over 8000 acres in the eastern part of Greene county and adjoining counties while Alan farms over 8000 acres in Clark, Champaign, Fayette, Greene and Madison counties.
Mark and Alan have been fortunate to have the help of family members and their spouses in farming and have been able to bring family members into the farming operation. Both were nominated by well-known conservation tillage farmer Bill Richards. Congratulations to both farmers and their families.
Ag scholarships available
Greene County Farm Forum will be awarding up to $5,000 in scholarships to deserving current year graduating students or college freshmen pursuing higher education in a field related to agriculture. Those applying must be a resident of Greene Co. or have attended Greene County schools.
Applications are due April 20 and for an application email scholarship chair Jim Byrd for Greene County Farm Forum at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 937-429-1805. Over the past eight years Greene County Farm Forum has awarded over $14,600 to deserving recipients studying programs in agriculture.
I talked recently with a homeowner in another county about a health problem they experienced as a result of having their submersible pump in their well replaced. The pump was replaced and soon after one of the people living in the household became violently ill. After a couple of days in the hospital it was determined the person was suffering from E. coli poisoning caused by bacteria being introduced into the drinking water source (well).
As the pipe and pump etc. were repaired and replaced some dirt or other material on the ground was dragged into the well and resulted in contamination of the water. After the well pump was changed the well was not shock chlorinated and the bacteria caused health problems for the homeowners. The plumber was brought back to take care of this job immediately.
If you want more info on shock chlorination of a well, spring or cistern log on to the website of the Greene Co. Combined Health Dept. at www.gcph.info/ and look at “private water systems” for related fact sheets.
We welcome one of our own members Doug Dawkins to the podium at our Monday March 27 Greene County Farm Forum meeting to share his experiences in “Raising a Few Beef Cattle” on his Tennessee farm.
The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. and be held at Union United Methodist Church located at 393 Washington Road, Xenia. A meal will be served prior to the program at a cost of $10 per person. RSVP Paul Ayres by Friday March 24 if you intend to have dinner. 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@example.com. The meeting is open to the public and is sponsored by Greene Co. Farm Forum.
This spring is very different in terms of weather and lawn grass growth is about two to three weeks behind where we were in 2016. Now is the time to apply pre-emergent crabgrass control products if crabgrass is a concern in your lawn. For a more definitive picture of soil temperatures log on to the Michigan State Growing Degree Tracker at www.gddtracker.net/. Type in your zip code and it will show you the current heat units accumulated.
Note whether you are checking heat units at 32 degrees F. or at 50 degrees F. Crabgrass germinates at a soil temperature of around 50 degrees F. while pre-emergent crabgrass application is based on a soil temp of 32 degrees F. We want to be ahead of the 50 degree F. soil temperature with our application of pre-emergent crabgrass control products if that is your concern.
Jerry Mahan is a retired OSU Extension Educator Agriculture and Natural Resources for Greene County. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.