December 17, 2021 - 9:13am --
New Educator

Have you met our new Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator for Fairfield County?

Carrie Brown is a long-time Fairfield County resident and thrilled to be part of the OSU Extension team. You may recognize her face from the time she spent at Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District where she worked to solve drainage issues and engineer conservation practices. With a background in classroom teaching, this position allows her to combine her past experience in education with her passion for natural resources.

Meet Carrie at our 2022 Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification sessions.

ARC/PLC Farm Program Enrollment

Enrollment for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2022 crop year is currently open at Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. The deadline to make amendments to program elections and enroll is March 15, 2022.

Producers have the option to enroll covered commodities in either ARC-County (ARC-CO), ARC-Individual (ARC-IC), or PLC. These are the same program options that were available to producers during the 2019, 2020 and 2021 crop years.

In some cases, producers may want to amend program elections to better manage the potential risks they face in the coming 2022 crop year. Also, it’s important to remember that even if producers don’t change their enrollment elections, they must still enroll annually at FSA offices by the March 15 deadline.

As 2022 enrollment is considered, little has changed from a year ago for producers with corn or soybean base acres. However, for producers with wheat base acres who enrolled in PLC in 2021, a case may be made for considering a change. Keep in mind regardless of whether presently planting a particular crop, ARC and PLC enrollment is based on the BASE acres that are assigned to the farm being considered.

As alternatives are considered it’s important to remember the ARC Program is an income support program that provides payments when crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. ARC-CO program payments are triggered when the actual county crop revenue of a covered commodity is less than the ARC-CO guarantee for the crop. The actual county revenue and the revenue guarantee are based on county level yield data for the physical location of the base acres on the farm and tract.

The PLC Program provides income support payments when the effective price for a covered commodity simply falls below its effective reference price. Reference prices for the crops that most commonly have BASE in Fairfield County are: Corn, $3.70/bu.; Soybeans, $8.40/bu and Wheat, $5.50/bu.

Only if the Marketing Year Average (MYA) price falls below these values nationwide will a PLC payment for the 2022 crop be earned. Wheat's marketing year for the 2022 program year, runs from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023. Corn and soybean crop marketing years, for 2022, run from September 1, 2022 to August 31, 2023. Considering those crop marketing year time frames, presently contract prices for all three commodities are well above the reference prices that can trigger PLC payments.

As one compares the risk management afforded by ACR-CO versus PLC, only if the producer has concern the MYA for a crop with base will fall below the reference prices listed previously will PLC trigger a payment. On the other hand, because the ARC-CO actual crop revenue is determined by multiplying the applicable actual county yield by the MYA price for the program year, a weather event that reduces yield has the potential to trigger an ARC-CO payment.

Because considerations for enrolling in ARC-IC are very unique they have not been discussed here. ARC-IC is a whole farm program option based on the average experience of all covered program commodities planted on the ARC-IC farm. If production of a particular farm is highly variable, prevented planting is of great concern, or fruits and vegetables are commercially produced on the farm, ARC-IC may be a consideration that should be explored.

- Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA

Master Gardener Training Set to Begin in February 2022

Do you want to learn more about gardening? Do you have extra time to volunteer? Would you like to be a part of a group that loves learning and teaching others?  Then it is time you considered being a part of the 2022 Fairfield County Master Gardener Training slated to begin on February 3, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.  For the first time ever, we will be holding our classes on-line thru the month of February and most of March. Classes will be held on Thursday evening for about 1.5 hours   We are hopeful once the weather breaks in March, we can have some in person classes at the Fairfield County Ag Center, located at 831 College Avenue in Lancaster, OH.     

You will have homework as we work our way thru the 270-page Master Gardener Manual, which covers everything from Soils to Woody Ornamentals, Fruit, Lawns and so much more.  Cost for the program is $150.00 which includes your online access as well as the Master Gardener binder.  Cost for the second participant from the same household is $70.00.   You will also be required to complete a background check thru the Ohio State University Provider Sterling Talent Solutions approximate cost is $50.00.

What is the volunteer commitment?  50 hours of volunteer service is required at any of the active projects Fairfield County MGV’s are involved with currently and we are always open to new ideas!!!   You have 2 years to complete your volunteer hours, but we would like to have at least 25 hours completed in 2022. You will have the opportunity to learn more about all our active projects during our training.  We will ask that you give back 20 hours of your volunteer work at the Ag Center Project, which is the “home” of the OSU Extension in Fairfield County as a part of your volunteer commitment.

Interested in learning more? Please contact Connie Smith, Master Gardener Coordinator, at or Carrie Brown, ANR Educator, at by January 10, 2022.

Find more local Master Gardener information at

Custom Rate Survey-2022

We request your assistance in securing up-to-date information about farm custom work rates and machinery rental rates in Ohio. This information is updated every-other year and published by OSU Extension. It is widely used across the state, so we need the best information available. Enclosed is a copy of the Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey for 2022. Please provide rates that are current including the latest price increases or planned increases. An online option for this survey is available at: or would ask you to please respond even if you know only have a few operations with data.  We want information on actual rates, either what you paid to hire work or what you charged to perform custom work. Deadline for Surveys to be completed/returned: March 31st, 2022

Further instructions on select sections:

Fuel At the beginning of the survey please indicate whether your survey responses (custom rate quotes) include fuel. Select “Include Fuel” if your custom services include fuel with the cost. Select “Do Not Include Fuel” if fuel is an additional charge/surcharge or the custom work client is required to provide fuel.

Silage Harvest (Pg.2, Middle of 1st Column) Please circle what type of storage that is used: 1.Upright, 2.Bunker or 3.Silage Bag.

Baling – Large Bale or Stack (Page 2, 2nd Column) Please circle what type of bale or stack you are completing the section for. 1. Large Round Bale – Approx. #1500, 2. Large Round Bale – Approx. #600-1000, 3. Large Square Bale, 4. Stack

Drainage Installation (Page 3, Top of 1st Column) Please circle what type of Installation Method is being used: 1. Ditching Machine, 2. Drainage Plow.

Download complete newsletter: Agriculture and Natural Resources 2022 Update