Recent extreme weather events have created difficulties for many Ohio farmers. Many fields were left unplanted, and many of the fields that were planted suffered drown outs, yield losses and delayed harvests as farmers waited for crops to reach maturity. That is why Ashland, Holmes, Richland and Wayne Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Farm Bureaus are working together to help farmers create a plan for these extreme weather events.
Extreme Farming: Farm Planning for Extreme Weather will be held at The Ohio Theatre in Loudonville on Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting is designed to help farmers form a game plan to prepare for and manage more frequent extreme weather events.
“The only way to manage these extreme weather events is through proactive planning,” said Jane Houin, Ashland SWCD district program administrator. “That’s why we’re bringing experts like Ohio State University’s Jeff Hatty and Adapt-N’s Matt Sweeney right here to Ashland County to talk to our producers about what steps they can take to proactively prepare for extreme weather events on their farms.”
Hatty will discuss how changing weather patterns can impact soil and water management.
“More frequent, higher intensity rain events have almost become the norm in recent years,” Houin said. “Farmers are facing shorter planting and harvest weather windows, and these intense, extreme rainfall events are playing havoc on their ability to not only get into their fields, but also to keep their valuable topsoil in place.”
Adapt-N is a precision nitrogen model that measures how nitrogen moves spatially through the soil over time. It gives farmers data on how much nitrogen is available for the crops.
“Adapt-N can be a huge asset to producers,” said Houin. “With nitrogen being so mobile in the soil, it is often difficult to gauge how much nitrogen is actually still available to the crop – especially when producers are looking at not only a wet planting season but also a wet harvest like we saw from harvest ’18 through plan ’19.
“Adapt-N helps farmers assess how much nitrogen they have available so that they can be more efficient with their in-season nitrogen applications, but also more profitable by increasing the efficiency of their nitrogen dollars.”
At the meeting’s conclusion, there will be a discussion of how SWCDs can help farmers prepare for those extreme weather events.
“Ashland SWCD is committed to helping farmers implement on-the-ground conservation practices on their farms, and in many cases, these conservation practices can also be used to minimize the negative impacts of extreme weather events,” said Houin.
The meeting will include free pizza and refreshments, but RSVPs are required by Thursday, Dec. 12 to Ashland SWCD via email or 419-281-7645. When sending in an RSVP, producers can send photos of farming in harsh weather conditions with captions to be shared before the meeting.
For questions regarding the Extreme Farming meeting or Ashland Soil and Water Conservation District, call the Ashland SWCD office at 419-281-7645.