Ultrasound scanning for better sheep

June 11.Sheep producers are invited to join Laura Minnig of The Spicy Lamb Farm, a Cuyahoga Valley National Park Countryside Conservancy farm, for a workshop on using ultrasound technology to select breeding stock and improve product quality. It’s from 2-4 p.m. June 11 at 6560 Akron-Peninsula Road in Peninsula and is part of the Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. Read more here on p. 17. CFAES’s Sustainable Agriculture Team is a co-presenter of the series.

Naturally raised Katahdin lambs

June 11.Find a Way Farm in Langville, Ohio, is hosting a free open house from 1-4 p.m. June 11 as part of the Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. The farm raises Katahdin lambs naturally. You can take in a two-fer: The farm is only about 15 miles west of Snowville Creamery in Pomeroy, which is hosting an open house at the same time, also as part of the series. Get details here on p. 15. CFAES’s Sustainable Agriculture Team is a co-presenter of the series.

Grass-grazed, non-GMO, A2 milk

June 11.Tour Pomeroy, Ohio’s Snowville Creamery, whose motto is “Milk the Way it Used to Be,” from 1-4 p.m. June 11 as part of the Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. The creamery processes grass-grazed, non-GMO, no-growth-hormone, A2 milk. You can learn more here on p. 15. Admission is free. CFAES’s Sustainable Agriculture Team is a co-presenter of the series.

No good flies? These flies good: Ohio’s natural pest controllers

Longlegged FlyNext in our look at Ohio’s beneficial predatory arthropods: Long-legged flies.

“Despite having a generally poor reputation,” their CFAES fact sheet says, “flies are a large and diverse order of insects with a diversity of feeding habits. This generally misunderstood group includes many species that are actually beneficial because of the pest control or pollination services they provide.

“The long-legged flies are just one such group of ‘good flies’ found commonly in Ohio landscapes.

“Long-legged fly larvae and adults feed on a variety of soft-bodied arthropods. They do not bite and pose no threat to humans.”

Read the fact sheet. Next: Harvestmen.

Lacy wings and all (or, I’m alright, nobody worry ’bout me): Ohio’s natural pest controllers

Image of lacewingNext in our look at Ohio’s beneficial predatory arthropods: Lacewings.

“Lacewings are named for the adults’ intricately veined wings, which appear lace-like,” says their CFAES fact sheet. “There are two families of lacewings commonly found in Ohio: green lacewings (Family Chrysopidae) and brown lacewings (Family Hemerobiidae).

“Many species of lacewings are considered beneficial insects due to their voracious appetite for insect pests.”

Read the fact sheet. Next: Long-legged flies. (Photo: Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org.)

Take an Organic Farm Stand Tour

June 7.At 2 p.m., June 7, at the longtime Bluebird Farm in Cadiz, Ohio. The farm grows organic vegetables, apples and wild crops, including ramps, berries and mushrooms, and is opposing the Utopia pipeline possibly crossing its land. Details here on p. 7. Part of the 2016 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. CFAES’s Sustainable Agriculture Team is a co-presenter of the series.

Spider’s all crabby: Ohio’s natural pest controllers

Image of crab spiderLet’s get to know some of Ohio’s beneficial predatory arthropods (insects, spiders and the like), which can help control pests in your yard and garden. First up: Crab spiders.

“Crab spiders are commonly found in home gardens and landscapes,” says their CFAES fact sheet. “They are generalist predators, meaning they feed on a diversity of arthropods.

“Crab spiders can be contributors to biological control, where feeding by natural enemies results in a reduction of pest populations.”

Read the fact sheet. Next: Lacewings.

A rose is a rose is sometimes a noxious weed that’s extremely difficult to eradicate

Image of multiflora roseIt’s a tough row to hoe trying to get rid of multiflora rose. It can almost be hand-to-hand combat. Or, at least, hand to thorn. Fortunately, CFAES has tips that can help you. Read Multiflora Rose Control, which you can get from our online bookstore. (Photo by Fredlyfish4 licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.)

Watch: Pigweed? Or pigweed on steroids? Here’s how to know

Watch the CFAES video above for tips on telling your pigweeds apart: redroot pigweed vs. the now-invading Palmer amaranth, which some experts call “pigweed on steroids,” and not as a compliment. Accurate identification of pigweeds, you could say, is the first step to sending them squealing. Beating problem weeds is important because troublemakers like pigweeds can reduce how much food a farm produces, how much money the farmer makes, and the farm’s overall success and sustainability.

Watch: How Ohio farmers, with CFAES’s help, are doing even more to protect water

CFAES experts recently posted videos of the commercial fertilizer training they’re providing. Completing this training in person is required of anyone who applies fertilizer on more than 50 acres in Ohio. Watching by video can give you an idea of what the training is about if you haven’t taken it yet, can be a refresher if you’ve already taken it, or simply can show you, if you’re interested, some of the research-based, forward-moving steps being taken to keep Ohio’s water clean. You can watch an example above.