Recent Updates

  1. Understanding Pesticides in Organic and Conventional Crop Production Systems

    In conversations about pesticides, certified organic agriculture, conventional production, and backyard gardening, questions are often raised concerning which pesticides can be used, where pesticides come from, and associated risks to people, pollinators, and the environment. Terms like “synthetic,” “toxicity,” “natural,” “organic,” and “chemicals” are sometimes used in confusing ways. The goal of this fact sheet is to provide an outline for understanding these and other terms as they relate to pesticides in organic and conventional crop production.    
  2. Protecting Pollinators While Using Pesticides

    Pollinators are animals that transfer pollen among flowers, which leads to the production of fruits and seeds. Butterflies, bees, flies, beetles, birds, and bats are examples of common pollinators. Pollination is a crucial step in the production of many fruits, nuts, and vegetables that people eat. Insect pollinators feed on nectar and pollen, and in the process, transfer pollen to other plants. Bees and other pollinators help increase yields of apples, peaches, melons, and other crops.
  3. Choosing a Pesticide Product

    Garden stores and online retailers often offer a variety of pesticide products for gardeners. How do you choose an appropriate product for your particular situation? What factors are important to consider? How do you know it will be safe and effective? To answer these questions, this factsheet provides an overview of five steps to follow and important information to look for on pesticide product labels in order to help you make an informed decision.
  4. Bumble Bees in Ohio: Natural History and Identification of Common Species

    A bumble bee flying from flower to flower is a common sight in the summer landscape. These large, fuzzy bees are sometimes called the teddy bears of the bee world because of their hairy bodies and bumbling flight patterns. North America is home to 45 species of native bumble bees, with about a dozen species seen in Ohio. These bees play an important role as pollinators of crops and wild plants.
  5. Bushels, Test Weights, and Calculations

    The objective of this fact sheet is to explain how and why grain test weight is used in the grain market, and how producers can ensure acceptable test weights from their crop production program.
  6. Useful Tables: Adjustments and Conversions on Corn and Soybean Parameters

    Expected Corn Yield Due to Various Planting Dates and Harvest Population Rates* Planting Date Plants per Acre at Harvest
  7. Predators of Poultry

    Predation is not common in commercial poultry production. However, predation is a big concern for backyard flocks and organic poultry producers. The reason for this difference is in the way flocks are housed and managed.
  8. Winter and Your Backyard Chickens

    Raising chickens during the winter has challenges: decreased egg production, frozen water, and possible frostbite. However, there are management strategies that will keep your flock safe during the winter. Winterizing your chicken coop and daily monitoring of your chickens will help to keep your flock healthy, happy, and warm. 
  9. Demonstrations for 4-H Members

    Me? Demonstrate how to make something in front of people? Successful 4-H demonstrations don’t have to be difficult or complicated. An idea for a demonstration does not have to be so new or so complex that no one in the audience has ever heard of it. In fact, the best demonstrations are usually done by talking about something with which you and the audience are already familiar.
  10. Facilitating Positive Behavior in 4-H

    A preschooler screaming while running laps around 4-H members; teens on their cell phones; friends having private conversations; a member having a meltdown; 4-H members missing meetings due to other activities—these are a few examples of behavior challenges that volunteers may need to address during 4-H meetings. The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide tips on facilitating behavior challenges.