OSU Extension Blogs

Diagnosing Plant Problems

Small Farms Events - 6 hours 37 min ago
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

As people grow different crops, these crops magically have a lot of different problems appear. This class will help you diagnosis plant problems. We will be looking at the myriad of insects, weeds, diseases, viruses that can affect the tree fruits, berries, vegetables and ornamental plants.

The classes will be held at the LCC campus at 4000 East 30th Avenue, Building 17, Room 310 in Eugene, Oregon.

Full Class Descriptions 
Registration for these classes will be handled through Lane Community College.  You may download and mail-in the registration form or call (541) 463-6200 or (541) 463-6211
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

OSU Forage Management Series

Small Farms Events - 6 hours 37 min ago
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

This is a multi-part series including sessions on forage assessment, harvest management, irrigation, renovation techniques, and fertility and includes indoor meetings as well as outdoor to demonstrate the principles of the series.  We will have a "project ranch" that we work on together, including site visits and an on-line document sharing blog.  The project ranch will be the Wilson Farm, the OSU sheep facility with sheep and cattle grazing the pastures.  You can also work on your own ranch as a side project if desired.  The object of the series is to improve knowledge about managing forage on properties in the Willamette Valley.

Instructors:  Shelby Filley and other OSU faculty and local experts

Fee:  $25 per evening per individual or ranch/family group and $100 for the series of five sessions.

Please pre-register by completing the registration form

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages

Small Farms Events - 6 hours 37 min ago
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Living On the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages

There are 4 classes included for one low price. Sponsored by the Southern Willamette Valley Groundwater Management Program, & the OSU Extension Service Small Farms Program.

May 6th - Setting Goals, Identify Resources and Manage Your Soil  Identify resources on your farm.  Learn about soil types, erosion, sampling, soil fertility, and how to evaluate your soil quality.    Bring a soil sample for in class activity.    

May 13th -  Managing Your Vegetation and Wintertime Mud   Learn about vegetation and forage management, principles of rotational grazing, improving productivity, winter-time mud management, and more.    

May 20th - Understanding Your Water: Wells, Septic Systems, & Water Rights  Bring well water for free nitrate screening. Learn about well and septic system maintenance, water conservation and the basics of water rights. Included is information about the Southern Willamette Valley Groundwater Management Area, why we have one, and what it means to you.      

June 3rd - What to do About Weeds & Other Opportunities for Your Land  Bring weeds for identification.  Learn about invasive weeds, biology and control.  Local opportunities for potential cost share and other programs for small acreage landowners. Learn about future programming.  

Class topics may shift throughout the series depending on participants interest. and speaker schedules May 6th is confirmed. 

 

 $20 per person or $30 for a couple from the same farm for the entire series (includes learning materials and light referehments)

REGISTER HERE

 

 

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

OSU Forage Management Series

Small Farms Events - 6 hours 37 min ago
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:30 PM - Friday, May 9, 2014 8:30 PM

This is a multi-part series including sessions on forage assessment, harvest management, irrigation, renovation techniques, and fertility and includes indoor meetings as well as outdoor to demonstrate the principles of the series.  We will have a "project ranch" that we work on together, including site visits and an on-line document sharing blog.  The project ranch will be the Wilson Farm, the OSU sheep facility with sheep and cattle grazing the pastures.  You can also work on your own ranch as a side project if desired.  The object of the series is to improve knowledge about managing forage on properties in the Willamette Valley.

Instructors:  Shelby Filley and other OSU faculty and local experts

Fee:  $25 per evening per individual or ranch/family group and $100 for the series of five sessions.

Please pre-register by completing the registration form

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Marketing and Processing your Farm Products

Small Farms Events - 6 hours 37 min ago
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Come away with an understanding of wholesale and direct marketing channel options for the crops and livestock you produce. Case studies will show how some local farmers use multiple marketing opportunities. Learn about some of the food safety, licensing, and processing requirements for selling agricultural products. Develop some next steps for your farming venture.

The classes will be held at the LCC campus at 4000 East 30th Avenue, Building 17, Room 310 in Eugene, Oregon

Full Class Descriptions 
Registration for these classes will be handled through Lane Community College.  You may download and mail-in the registration form or call (541) 463-6200 or (541) 463-6211.

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Well Water Screening Clinic

Small Farms Events - 6 hours 37 min ago
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The OSU Extension Service is offering free well water nitrate screenings for well owners.

A portion of the Southern Willamette Valley has been designated as a Groundwater Management Area by the Department of Environmental Quality due to elevated nitrate levels in well water. While it is especially important for households with pregnant women or newborns to test for nitrate because of a rare type of blue-baby syndrome, all homes with private wells should be aware of their nitrate level. 

For a free nitrate screening, bring ½ cup of untreated well water in a clean, water-tight container. You may either wait for your results (the test takes 5 to 10 minutes if the well water clinic is not busy), or leave your contact information for the results to be delivered after the clinic date.

Clinics are currently scheduled for:
  • April 12th at the Junction City Community Showcase,  1755 Juniper St, Junction City from 10:00am to 3:00pm
  • April 30th at the Monroe High School, 365 North 5th Street, Monroe from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.

A water quality educator will be available during clinic times to answer questions about well water and septic tank issues. For additional information on well water and septic systems, free Rural Living Basics classes, and other nitrate screening events visit the OSU Extension Service websitehttp://extension.oregonstate.edu/benton

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Will 2014 be the year of the Ips?

Amy Grotta's Tree Topics - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 5:05pm
Winter storm damage

Storm damage may lead to beetle problems in ponderosa pine

By Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension – Benton, Linn & Polk Counties

 

Not to be a fear-monger, but there is talk about last winter’s storm damage leading to some future beetle problems for ponderosa pine in the Valley.

Now, bark beetles are generally weak predators of trees.  Damage is often limited to marginal sites, with beetles usually attacking trees weakened by other stresses, such as drought or flooding.  Generally this does not pose a great  threat to the other, healthier trees in the area.

But I recently spoke to a couple landowners concerned about bark beetle attacks in their ponderosa pine.  Their thinking goes as follows: storm events that cause blowdown can create lots of weak or dying trees- prime beetle rearing habitat!-which sometimes allow beetle populations to grow to a point that they are numerous enough to attack adjacent healthy trees.  This is particularly true of the  California fivespined Ips (Ips paraconfusus) in ponderosa pine.  The tiny Ips beetle needs weak or dying trees to rear brood and is very fond of fresh storm damage just 3 inches in diameter and up.  And because Ips have two generations a year in the Willamette Valley, they can have explosive population increases when conditions are right.

Their logic is good, and the landowners I was talking to were worried that conditions this year are lining up for an Ips beetle increase that might harm their young ponderosa pine plantings.  I have not seen much storm damage directly to the ponderosa pine plantings, but I have seen some of scots pine plantings which sustained significant damage.  Much of it is above 3 inches, freshly down and so potentially ideal breeding material.

Why “potentially?”  Well, it is certainly the right size wood to cause problems, and Ips have been collected from many non-native ornamental pine species (including scots pine) here in the Valley.  But Rob Flowers, ODF State Entomologist tells me it is not clear how well scots or other exotic pine species support Ips brood production.  Nonetheless, he expects we may see an up-tick in Ips damage here and there in the Valley where there was storm damage.

Here is why.  The first IPs flight of the year is probably about to start as the overwintering generation of Ips emerges to look for breeding sites.  Their flight generally peaks around early-May here in the Valley.   If there is lots of down breeding material laying around for too long, we might see a large emergence of the first summer generation in early-mid July, and the second flight period of the year. It is this generation that could pose a significant threat to even healthy ponderosa pine stands in the neighborhood.  The July beetles cannot find any fresh slash, so they are more likely to attack standing green trees, just when trees are typically starting to be under some drought stress. This flight will in turn lead to the second generation of the summer, emerging around mid-October to be the overwintering generation.

Generally, the key to preventing large brood build ups  of the California fivespined Ips is to clean up damaged stands early.  Trunks should be cut from the roots, made into firewood, and stacked to encourage rapid drying.  Larger slash needs to be chipped, burned or spread out to dry, rather than left in slow-drying piles. Timeliness is important to prevent larvae from completing their development in June.  Rob figures one could theoretically stretch the clean-up period until then, but cautions that every year is different, and our understanding and prediction of development rates and emergence dates is not an exact science.

There may still be time to disrupt Ips brood development in storm damage material

 

I’ll close by referring you to this WSU Pest Watch publication  for more information about the bug and slash treatment recommendations, which are generally the same as for the Willamette Valley.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Agricultural Composting Resources & Education Series

Small Farms Events - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 6:22am
Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Thursday, May 1, 2014 (all day event)
Agricultural Composting Resources & Education Series

OSU Extension, Clackamas County SWCD, and the Western SARE Program are co-sponsoring Agricultural Composting Resource and Education Series (ACRES), a two-day hands-on workshop. The course is designed for agricultural professionals and agricultural composters.

The workshop is held at Oregon State University's new Agricultural Composting Facility at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center. The course will include hands-on and classroom activities. Participants will learn about different composting methods, facility design and location, environmental and regulatory concerns, equipment for agricultural composting, developingcompost recipes, using compost, and more. The registation fee covers resource notebook, lunch and workshop materials. Sample Course Agenda

2014 ACRES Workshop

Week one: classroom activities and construct compost pile

Week two: classroom activities and evaluate compost pile

Thursday, April 24 and Thursday, May 1 at NWREC in Aurora

Registration fee: $90 per person

REGISTER HERE

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Researcher: Changes in processing, handling could cut commercial fishing injuries

Breaking Waves - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 8:48am

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Handling frozen fish caused nearly half of all injuries aboard commercial freezer-trawlers and about a quarter of the injuries on freezer-longliner vessels operating off the coast of Alaska, new research from Oregon State University shows.

Many of those injuries and others aboard the two types of vessels could be prevented with the right interventions, and the research methods used in the study could help identify and reduce injuries and fatalities in other types of commercial fishing, said researcher Devin Lucas. His findings were published in the “American Journal of Industrial Medicine.”

“We’ve drilled down to such a detailed level in the injury data that we can actually address specific hazards and develop prevention strategies,” said Lucas, who recently received his Ph.D. in public health from OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and works for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the Alaska Pacific office.

Lucas’ study is the first scientific assessment of the risk of fishing on freezer-trawlers and freezer-longliners. In both types of vessels, the processing of fish is handled on-board. The vessels had reputations for being among the most dangerous in commercial fishing in part because of a few incidents that resulted in multiple fatalities.

However, an analysis of 12 years of injury data showed that fishing on the freezer vessels was less risky than many other types of commercial fishing, which is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, Lucas said. The rate of injury on freezer-trawlers was about the same as the national average for commercial fishing, while the rate aboard freezer-longliners was about half of the national average.

“The reality is that many fisheries elsewhere in the U.S., including Oregon Dungeness crabbing, are much more dangerous,” Lucas said.

Learn more:
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Well Water Screening Clinic

Small Farms Events - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 4:25pm
Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

The OSU Extension Service is offering free well water nitrate screenings for well owners.

A portion of the Southern Willamette Valley has been designated as a Groundwater Management Area by the Department of Environmental Quality due to elevated nitrate levels in well water. While it is especially important for households with pregnant women or newborns to test for nitrate because of a rare type of blue-baby syndrome, all homes with private wells should be aware of their nitrate level. 

For a free nitrate screening, bring ½ cup of untreated well water in a clean, water-tight container. You may either wait for your results (the test takes 5 to 10 minutes if the well water clinic is not busy), or leave your contact information for the results to be delivered after the clinic date.

Clinics are currently scheduled for:
  • April 12th at the Junction City Community Showcase,  1755 Juniper St, Junction City from 10:00am to 3:00pm
  • April 30th at the Monroe High School, 365 North 5th Street, Monroe from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.

A water quality educator will be available during clinic times to answer questions about well water and septic tank issues. For additional information on well water and septic systems, free Rural Living Basics classes, and other nitrate screening events visit the OSU Extension Service websitehttp://extension.oregonstate.edu/benton

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

GROWING AGRIPRENEURS CLASS SERIES

Small Farms Events - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 6:32am
Thursday, April 10, 2014 6:00 PM - Sunday, October 5, 2014 9:00 PM

Beginning farmers interested in pursuing a farming career will have the opportunity to experience a farming season and receive direct consultation on their own projects. Classes begin on Thursday, April 10, at 6 pm
PROGRAM FLYER

Schedule of 12 Classes

REGISTER ON LINE-CLASS IS FULL

Contact Maud Powell at maud.powell@oregonstate.edu 
or 541-776-7371, ext. 208

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Growing Vegetables

Small Farms Events - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 4:37pm
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

A gardening class that goes deeper. From variety selection to planting and from fertilizing to harvesting, discover all that goes into growing vegetables. The information from this class can be easily transferred to those interested in diversified fresh vegetable production as a small business venture.

The classes will be held at the LCC campus at 4000 East 30th Avenue, Building 17, Room 310 in Eugene, Oregon.

Full Class Descriptions 
Registration for these classes will be handled through Lane Community College.  You may download and mail-in the registration form or call (541) 463-6200 or (541) 463-6211.

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Learn About Raising Pigs

Small Farms Events - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 4:41pm
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

If you are new to raising pigs or planning to get started soon, this is the class for you. 

Gene Pirelli, Swine Specialist and Dr. Charles Estill, VMD both with OSU Extension Service will be teaching about basic health topics including vaccinations, diseases to be aware of, feeding and nutrition.  There will be plenty of time built in specifically for addressing your questions, so don’t miss this opportunity to get the answers you’ve been looking for. 

The class will be held Tuesday, April 8 at the Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility in Corvallis from 6:30 to 9:00 pm.  The cost of the class is $5 and pre-registration is requested.  Online registration is available at:  http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/south-valley/events or by contacting Chrissy Lucas at (541) 766-3556.

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

HMSC hosts Marine Science Day April 12

Breaking Waves - Wed, 04/02/2014 - 10:44am

NEWPORT – OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center throws open its doors on Saturday, April 12 for Marine Science Day, a behind-the-scenes peek at the center’s marine research labs, education programs and family activities.

The free, public event runs from 10 am to 4 pm, and includes meet-the-scientist tours of many of the Oregon State University, state and federal labs based at the Newport campus. The public will get a chance to explore cutting-edge ocean science via interactive displays presented by researchers, along with family-friendly fun activities led by staff from Oregon Sea Grant, the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The day includes interactive exhibits all day long about larval fish ecology, the bioacoustics of whales, volcanoes and deep ocean vents and oceanographic tools.

Activities for children include the Bird Beak Buffet from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and a Fossil Dig with Oregon Sea Grant, the OSU-based program which operates the HMSC’s public Visitor Center.

The event also marks the 25th Anniversary of OSU’s Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, and visitors are invited to celebrate with special exhibits and research highlights from COMES’ quarter century as the nation’s first university experiment station dedicated to the marine sciences.

The neighboring Oregon Coast Aquarium will present a program on seals and sea lions in the Visitor Center’s Hennings Auditorium at 11 am and 2 pm, and at 1:30, visitors can watch, ask questions and learn as the center’s aquarists feed the resident giant Pacific octopus.

For a complete schedule, visit http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/marinescienceday/schedule

Learn more:

 

 

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Sea Grant “Stone Soup” lesson plan featured in national science ed newsletter

Breaking Waves - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 10:31am

click to enlarge

A new Sea Grant lesson plan that employs lessons from a popular comic strip to teach middle-school and elementary students about the perils of releasing classroom pets into the wild is featured in the spring newsletter of FOSS, a nationally prominent program of research-based science learning for elementary and middle-school classrooms based at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley.

The newsletter has been mailed to subscribers, and will be featured at a National Science Teachers Association meeting later this week.

Developed by Oregon Sea Grant’s invasive species team and collaborators in Oregon, Washington and California, the Stone Soup Cartooning and Invasive Species lesson encourages youngsters to use art and language skills to learn about biology, ecology, invasive species, and the importance of learning from one’s actions. Students study and discuss the cartoon, and then write and illustrate their own comics about some aspect of invasive species.

The idea for the lesson plan was born from a series of comics drawn last year by Jan Eliot, the Oregon artist who writes and draws the popular, nationally syndicated Stone Soup strip. Eliot, who once wanted to study marine biology, wanted to call attention to the ecological damage that can happen when well-meaning teachers and students release classroom pets such as crayfish and turtles into the wild. She called on Oregon Sea Grant’s invasive species specialist, Sam Chan, to make sure she got the science right.

The result was an entire storyline, which ran in newspapers across the country last September, featuring ongoing Stone Soup character Alix – a budding child scientist who doesn’t always consider the consequences of her acts – and a pet crayfish named Pinchy.

With the blessing of Eliot (and her syndication service) Chan and his partners in the West Coast Sea Grant Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Alliance developed the new lesson plan and associated learning activities to build on the cartoons’ success, and provide teachers with tools to incorporate the subject into their science teaching. The plan is part of a nationwide project to educate teachers – and suppliers of classroom animals – about the ecosystem damage released non-native pets and cause, and other humane alternatives to freeing them in the wild.

Besides conducting ongoing research to improving the learning and teaching of science, FOSS is one of two major US suppliers of K-8 science kits that bases its STEM curricula on learning with live specimens.

Learn more

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Planning and Record Keeping for a Better Growing Season: Oregon City

Small Farms Events - Thu, 03/27/2014 - 4:38pm
Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Learn how to use AgSquared’s online software at an all-day workshop that will teach you how to easily gather the information you need to better manage your farm and make both day-to-day and strategic farm management decisions. The workshop will be led by AgSquared staff and an Oregon farmer currently using AgSquared and will take place in Oregon City, OR, at Clackamas Community College on Thursday, March 27th.

 

This workshop is being sponsored by the OSU Small Farms Team. You can read the full announcement and register here.

 

If would like to attend the workshop, sign up today - space is limited!

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Western Agricultual Conservation Practices Short Course

Small Farms Events - Thu, 03/27/2014 - 4:38pm
Thursday, March 27, 2014 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Learn the latest applied biodiversity enhancing practices and how to implement them!  This winter short course will:

- build basic skills in beneficial organism and native plant identification

- explain key relationships among crop pests, beneficial insects and native pollinators

- teach habitat assessment, mapping and how to integrate conservation practices into your farm producion plan

This course is free for farmers and agricultural professionals.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

NOAA scientist to lead Oregon Sea Grant program

Breaking Waves - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 3:24pm

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Shelby Walker, a marine scientist and administrative leader with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has been named director of Oregon Sea Grant.

She will assume leadership of Oregon Sea Grant, the Oregon State University-based marine research, outreach, education and communication program, on July 7.

Walker has been the strategic planning team leader for the Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation in NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research since August 2009. In that role, she has been responsible for the agency’s research and development planning efforts.

She also has been associate director for the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program, an initiative funded through civil penalties resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that aims to increase scientific understanding of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and improve the region’s sustainability.

Based at OSU, Oregon Sea Grant is one of the oldest programs in a national network of NOAA Sea Grant College Programs, dedicated to promoting environmental stewardship, long-term economic development and responsible use of America’s coastal, ocean and Great Lakes resources.

Learn more:
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Tsunami Preparedness Week – Are You Prepared?

Breaking Waves - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 10:51am

It’s Tsunami Preparedness Week, and Pat Corcoran wants to make sure people who live on -and visit – the seismically active coast know what to do when the big wave hits.

Corcoran, Oregon Sea Grant’s coastal hazards specialist, is featured this week on the NOAA Sea Grant home page, and says the single most important thing to know about tsunamis is that they can happen unexpectedly. “Whenever visiting the ocean shore, be prepared to move to high ground if you experience an earthquake,” says Corcoran. “Also important to know, is the earthquake and tsunami experience is different depending on where you are in the world. In the Pacific Northwest of the USA, our natural warning for a big tsunami is a big earthquake.” Elsewhere in the world, people may not even feel the ground shake.

Corcoran has spent more than a decade educating and working with coastal residents and communities to help them prepare for coastal hazards, from storms to the inevitability that a large earthquake – likely with an accompanying tsunami – will strike the region in the not-too-distant future. The challenge, he says, is getting people to understand that they need to prepare now for an event that has never happened in their lifetimes, or perhaps those of their parents or grandparents.

Learn more

 

 

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Fossil Fest rescheduled for April 26

Sea Grant - Mon, 03/10/2014 - 10:10am

NEWPORT -  Guy “Oregon Fossil Guy” DiTorrice returns OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center on Saturday, April 26, for this year’s edition of the popular Fossil Fest – rescheduled from early February due to snow.

DiTorrice, a longtime fossil hunter and lecturer, joins Dr. William Orr for special presentations about fossil finds in Oregon and elsewhere. Mike Full, a local Pleistocene fossil hound, and Newport’s own Kent Gibson will show exhibits of amazing Oregon fossils, and the American Research Group will host additional displays and hands-on activities for the whole family. Visitors are invited to bring their own “mystery fossils” for expert identification.

Schedule:

  • 11:30 am – Guy DiTorrice speaks about seeking and finding dinosaur fossils at the Montana ranch where parts of Jurassic Park were filmed, including Duckbill (Hadrosaurus) dig sites .
  • 1:30 pm – Dr. Bill Orr, “In Search of the Conodont Animal” – a talk about the recent discovery of a small fish-like animal that has for 150 years been a mystery to the paleontology community. The Conodonts are one of the most important guide fossils to the entire Paleozoic interval of time: a duration of 300 million years, and the discovery has stirred immense interest among paleontologists.

All day:

  • Mike Full’s “Willamette Valley Pleistocene Project” display captures a glimpse of 50,000 years of prehistory in our own backyard. Giant bison and wooly mammoth fossils will be on display.
  • Kent Gibson, who has provided fossils to the Smithsonian’s collection will display a cross-section of fossils found in Lincoln County, including dolphin skulls, scallops, and whale vertebrata.

All events take place in the HMSC Visitor Center, which is open to the public from 10 am to 4 pm.

For more information, visit the HMSC Visitor Center Website.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs