Farm and Dairy’s week in review: 2/28

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Week in Review 2/28

Here are this week’s top stories from Farm and Dairy:

1. DIY seed starting projects

The end of February and beginning of March are the best times to start seeds indoors so that seedlings are strong enough to transplant after the first frost. Why not put your DIY skills to the test with seed starting pots and your own potting medium?

Seed starting pots can be created from newspaper and then set in plastic nursery trays. Potting medium can also be made from compost, potting mix and a few other supplies.

2. Columbiana County property owners negotiate new oil and gas lease terms

A four-year court battle between 25 property owners in Columbiana County and Chesapeake Exploration and Patriot Energy Partners has been resolved.

In 2008, the property owners signed oil and gas leases. The leases were sold to Patriot Energy Partners, and then the deep rights were sold to Chesapeake Exploration. The property owners sought to have the leases rescinded and declared null and void, while Patriot and Chesapeake sought to continue the leases. After mediation was reached in July 2014, the property owners have been permitted to renegotiate certain details of their leases.

3. Ohio fruit growers brace for winter, but are hopeful for spring yields

Ohio’s recent frigid temperatures are taking a toll on the state’s fruit crop, but producers remain hopeful that there won’t be long-term damage. Area peach growers have come to terms that this year’s yields will be low, while apple growers believe that some trees are able to withstand cold temperatures.

The worst thing that producers can do, though, is to plan too much for the worst.

4. Swapping seeds? There’s a law for that

Across the country, there are more than 300 seed library locations. As seed libraries are becoming more and more popular, there is an increased need for enforcement of seed swapping laws.

In Pennsylvania, the state’s 2004 Seed Act requires libraries to obtain seller’s licenses and have proper testing of the seeds. Seed laws exist to protect farmers and ensure that seeds are viable, will grow the intended plant and aren’t mixed with unwanted seeds for weeds or plants.

5. Update: FFA students and community rally behind teacher

The community of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, remains focused on 7-month-old Brett McKelvey, son of New Wilmington Area High School agriscience teacher and FFA advisor Joanna McKelvey.

FFA student Ty Phillips restored a John Deere 520 pedal tractor and is selling raffle tickets in order to raise funds for the McKelvey family’s medical expenses for Brett, who was born with a heart defect. So far, thousands of raffle tickets have been sold, distributed and ordered for the drawing in May. Read reporter Kristy Foster Seachrist’s original story here.

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