Here are this week’s top stories from Farm and Dairy:
1. Holmes Co. fire results in total loss of barn
On November 17, a fire destroyed a bank barn at the farm of Barb and Loren Lang in Ripley Township, Holmes County. The fire was caused by a skid loader that backed up too closely to a dry round bale of hay. The skid loader’s hot muffler is what caught the hay on fire.
The dairy cows housed in the barn had just been released to the pasture, but a half dozen heifers were in the adjoining freestall barn at the time of the fire. There were no human or livestock injuries.
2. Pursue a career in wine industry
The majority of Ohio’s wine is produced in the northeast region, so it’s fitting that Kent State University Ashtabula offers two-year programs in enology (the science of winemaking) and viticulture (the growing and harvesting of grapevines).
There are currently 26 students in the program. The program’s seven graduates have all obtained employment in the industry.
3. Space invaders are everywhere: What to do about invasive species
The existence non-native plants in Ohio’s landscape threatens native vegetation and can cause economic harm. Invasive species like multiflora rose were introduced as a way to keep livestock in pastures. Autumn olive was introduced as a landscaping shrub but has since spread to natural areas.
Mechanical and chemical methods can control invasive species, but prevention and early detection are key to beating them.
4. Lower commodity prices temper farmland values
AgriBank has released its report for the 15-state district spanning Ohio to Wyoming and Minnesota to Arkansas. Due to lower commodity prices, average cropland and pastureland values slowed in growth in 2015, but they didn’t decline.
For the first time in over 20 years, district average cash rents for cropland declined while average cash rents for pastureland increased. Another highlight from the report is that real estate values changed over the 12-month period ending June 30, 2015.
5. DairyPalooza promotes life skills
After recognizing a gap in what dairy youth could access to continue in the field, a group of Ohio 4-H advisors formed DairyPalooza, a program that brings together kids of all backgrounds to learn more about the dairy industry.
The first DairyPalooza event was held in Mahoning County in 2011. Currently, there are two DairyPalooza events: one in Auglaize County in western Ohio and Trumbull County in Northeast Ohio.
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