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October 11, 2017

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C-8 Purdue Extension | Pike County October 2017 The Press-Dispatch Agriculture and Natural Resources PARP TRAINING WEDNESDAY, NOV. 15 4-H BUILDING AT HORNADY PARK Watch for more details in the November Newsletter Save the Date Purdue online tool to help farmers make precision decisions and keep data An innovative online tool developed by a Purdue Uni- versity engineering professor will allow farmers to process data collected from their fields without requiring them to share it with third-party companies. "The Purdue Agricultur- al Data Engine (PADE) em- powers farmers to derive value from the huge amounts of data they routinely collect," said its developer, Dharmen- dra Saraswat, associate pro- fessor of agricultural and bi- ological engineering. PADE, which is free to use, is available at precision. It will help farmers make precision man- agement decisions, Saraswat said. Data gathered from har- vesters can show high- and low-yielding sections of a field, and soil tests can iden- tify variable pH and nutrient levels in the soil. Such data is valuable in precision agri- culture because it signals to farmers where nutrient defi- ciencies exist, allowing them to determine which man- agement practices may be helpful. Making sense of it, however, usually requires up- loading the data to an online tool developed and owned by a company that then has access to it and may require pay- ments. Farmers that operate as small businesses may be reluctant to share such data outside trusted circles. PADE will help them address these issues by combining ease of use with privacy of data. Saraswat said numerous desktop-based and online tools currently available to farmers are different from one another, requiring significant time to learn how to use them. "Big data is something that is becoming an issue in agri- culture, but one thing seems to have not changed in all this while," Saraswat said. "Farmers are cooperative yet conservative. They don't want to be a part of a situation where, on one hand, they are sharing their trade secrets but on the other hand also making payments to get insights of their own data." PADE does not require users to log in or identify themselves or their farms. Users simply upload data to create bar charts, scatter plots and maps to visualize the data. One of the functions allows them to draw shapes in the farm – that represent areas with special varieties or nutrient treatments – to reveal average yields and ar- ea-related information. They also can obtain soil data from the Soil Data Access portal of the U.S. Department of Agri- culture (USDA) Natural Re- sources Conservation Service and historical weather in- formation from the Nation- al Weather Service to learn how soil variability, tempera- ture and precipitation are af- fecting their soils or crops. Farmers also can create man- agement zones based on vari- ability expressed in the yield data and thus manage their farms better. "Once users have created their maps or manipulated the data, they can download all of it to their computers," Saras- wat said. Jeff Boyer, superintendent of the Davis Purdue Agricul- tural Center, helped Saraswat fine-tune the final product. Boyer said the tool can help Purdue scientists analyze site-specific data from field research throughout the state. "Within the university system, we've needed some- thing like this for a long time because we're always creat- ing large datasets," Boyer said. "We can generate mounds of data and pretty maps, but if you're going to be able to use any of that, you have to analyze it, look at it area by area in a field and look for trends, which this tool can do." Armyworm marching its way across Southwest Indiana By Amanda M. Mosiman Extension Educator Agriculture & Natural Resources Last week, extension educators in SW Indiana started received calls from clients concerning "worms" devouring hay and alfalfa fields. Upon diagnosis, it looks like we might be in for a hearty population of fall armyworm (FAW ) this season. Just like a very similar species, the armyworm, the behavior is much the same in that they can consume large amounts of foliage as they move enmasse. One major difference, is that fall armyworm feeds on both grasses and broadleaves. Those with late season crops (ANY- THING GREEN) should be inspecting for feeding damage. This is very impor- tant for newly seeded forages. Below is listing of high-risk situations until a killing freeze occurs: Newly seeded grasses of any kind, including but not limited to grass and mixed grass/alfalfa hay fields, and early planted wheat. • Established mixed grass and alfalfa hay, grass forages, lawns, parks and playing fields, etc. This insect really likes Bermuda grass, but fescue as well. Several alfalfa fields locally have been dam aged. • Cover crops of ALL types, includ- ing cereal rye and crucifers. • Fall armyworm are attracted to extremely late planted corn. Because of the late arrival that means that we are mostly concerned about feeding on kernels in the ear. Because of the higher value of the crop, sweet corn, seed corn, and popcorn growers should be partic- ularly observant for possible fall army- worm infestations. Fall armyworm, unlike armyworm, are typically found damaging corn in patches throughout a field. • Possibly very late double crops beans. Soybean is not a preferred food, but FAW will feed on them. The most likely places and the first to be noticed are field edges and waterways of grass, as well as interior of soybean fields that have a significant grass weed popula- tion. If the caterpillars are already feeding on grass weeds within a field and the weeds are killed, the caterpil- lars will move to the beans. Palatable or not, these insects will try to eat any- thing to stay alive! Several species of armyworms can be found in the Midwest each year. However, the development of econom- ically damaging populations depends on a number of factors such as; crop- ping practices, date of planting, insect migration patterns, parasites and pred- ators, weather conditions, etc. The fall armyworm moth has dark gray, mottled forewings with light and dark splotch- es, and a noticeable white spot near the extreme end of each. Newly hatched larvae are green in color and move in a looping motion. Fall armyworm larvae are smooth-skinned and vary in color from light tan or green to nearly black. They have three yellow-white hair- lines down their backs. On each side of their bodies and next to the yellow lines is a wider dark stripe. Next to that is an equally wide, wavy, yellow stripe, splotched with red. Full-grown larvae are about 1-1/2 inches (38 mm) long. To differentiate this larva from other armyworm species or corn earworm one needs to look at the head of the insect. The fall armyworm's head has a predominant white, inverted Y-shaped suture between the eyes. (See Picture below) Producers with potential sen- sitive crops need to begin a scouting program immediately. Larvae feeding can exponentially increase in just a few day's time. Control recommendations / deci- sions need to made based on the se- verity of infestation and the crop in- volved. Generally, the pyrethroid in- secticides still provide good control of fall armyworm in the US, although re- sistance has been observed in Puerto Rico. Livestock producers will need to watch grazing restrictions carefully on fields and hay crops. Alfalfa control rec- ommendations can be found at the fol- lowing website: October Yard and Garden Calendar By B. Rosie Lerner Purdue Extension Consumer Horticulturist HOME Indoor plants and activities • Keep poinsettia in complete darkness for 15 hours each day – for example, between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. – for eight to 10 weeks until red bracts begin to show. • Pot spring-flowering bulbs to force into bloom indoors. Moisten soil and refrigerate 10 to 13 weeks. Transfer to a cool, sunny location, and allow an additional three to four weeks for blooming. • Houseplants, es- pecially those grown outdoors during the summer, commonly drop some or many of their leaves in response to the lower natural light intensity in autumn and reduced light intensity indoors. • Water indoor plants less frequently, and dis- continue fertilizer as plants slow down or stop growing for the winter season. YARD Lawns, woody ornamentals and fruits • Keep plants, es- pecially newly planted stock, well watered until ground freezes. • Have soil ready to mound roses for winter protection. Do not mound or cover roses until after leaves drop and soil is near freezing, usually late November or early December. • Strawberry plants need protection from win- ter's extremes, but apply- ing winter mulch too early may cause crowns to rot. Apply winter protection when plants are dormant but before temperatures drop below 20 degrees F, usually late November or early December. • Rake or shred large, fallen tree leaves such as maple, to prevent them from matting down and smothering grass. Raking smaller leaves, such as honey locust, is optional. • September and October are good months to apply broadleaf weed killers. Be sure to follow all label directions, and choose a calm day to prevent spray drift. • Continue mowing lawn as needed. GARDEN Flowers, vegetables and small fruits • Harvest root crops and store in a cold (32 degrees F), humid loca- tion. Storing produce in perforated, plastic bags is a convenient, easy way to increase humidity. • Harvest Brussels sprouts as they develop in the axils of the leaves from the bottom of the stem. Brussels sprouts will continue to develop up the stem. • Harvest pumpkins and winter squash before frost, but when rind is hard and fully colored. Store in a cool location until ready to use. • Harvest gourds when stems begin to brown and dry. Cure at 70 -80 degrees F for two to four weeks. • Harvest green to- matoes before frost and ripen indoors in the dark. Warmer temperatures lead to faster ripening. • Asparagus top growth should not be removed until foliage yellows. Let foliage stand over winter to collect snows for insulation and moisture. • Remove plant debris from the garden to protect next year's planting from insect and disease buildup. Compost plant refuse by alternating layers of soil, plant mate- rial, and manure or com- mercial fertilizer. • Have garden soil tested for fertilizer needs every three to five years. • Plowing and incorpo- rating organic matter in the fall avoids the rush of garden activities and wa- terlogged soil in spring. Fall- prepared soils also tend to warm faster and allow earlier planting in spring. • Dig tender, garden flower bulbs for winter storage. Gladiolus corms should be dug when leaves begin turning yellow. Ca- ladiums, geraniums and tuberous begonias should be lifted before killing frost. Dig canna and dahlia roots after a heavy frost. Allow to air dry, then pack in dry peat moss or vermiculite, and store in a cool location. • Complete planting of spring-flowering bulbs. • Carve a Halloween jack-o'-lantern. Family Nutrition Education Program By Jenny Ridao, NEP Assistant Six reasons why family mealtime goes beyond the meal Busy schedules for kids and parents make family mealtime a challenge. With our hectic modern lifestyles, this can leave little room in our schedules for family meals. This time together pro- vides important benefits for everyone in the family. Research suggests that children who take part in regular family meals eat healthier foods, have fewer problems with delinquency and expe- rience greater academic achievement. Family meals also support improved psychological well-being and positive family interactions. Family meals are a wonderful oppor- tunity for parents or caregivers to share stories about their day, memories of their own family traditions, and model healthy behaviors. Here are six key reasons why family mealtime should be included in your schedule. Family mealtime is where families create their identity; it's where family happens and it's critical to our wellbe- ing. 1. Kids eat more healthy foods. Kids who regularly eat family meals with their parents or caregivers consume more fruits and veggies and less soda and fried foods, according to research. This results in higher consumption of key nutrients such as calcium, iron and fiber, which are essen- tial for growth and development. 2. Family mealtime is a perfect setting for introducing new foods. Incorporating new foods into meals not only expands kids' knowledge, but also their tastes or desire for new foods. In a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children were offered pieces of sweet red bell pepper and asked to rate how much they liked it. Every school day for the next two weeks, the children could eat as many pieces of sweet red bell pepper as they wanted. At the end of each week, the kids were asked again to rate how much they liked the peppers. The study concluded that children rated the peppers more highly and were eating more of them – even more so than another group of children who were offered a reward for eating the peppers. The results of the study suggest that a little more exposure and less co- ercion to "Finish your vegetables! " will teach kids to enjoy new foods, even if they don't like them at first. Be sure to offer new foods frequently and often. 3. You control the portions. Amer- icans spend a large portion of their food budget on meals outside the home. Al- though grabbing take-out or dining out can be convenient, it comes with a price and that price is higher calories in the form of large portion sizes. Average res- taurant meals contain 60 percent more calories than a homemade meal. When you prepare meals at home, you not only control the ingredients, you can control the portion sizes. This can go a long way toward weight maintenance and overall good health for the whole family. 4. Healthy meals mean healthy kids. Many studies have shown that kids who eat family meals regularly are less likely to suffer from depres- sion, experience eating disorders or become overweight. They are also less likely to consider suicide and more likely to delay sexual activity, alcohol consumption and other risky behaviors. Kids who eat family meals will more frequently report that their parents are proud of them. This is an opportu- nity when parents are able to identify feelings of depression or sadness and provide support for their child. Think of family mealtime as a way to reconnect with each other. 5. Family dinners help kids say "no." As mentioned earlier, frequent family dinners dramatically lower a teen's chances of smoking, drinking, and using drugs. The act of sitting down to a family meal together, multiple times per week, can be a simple yet effective tool to prevent risky behaviors among teens. Family meals help kids feel safe, listened to and closer to their parents, which results in more sharing about what is happening in their lives. 6. Better food equals better report cards. Family meals provide opportunities for conversation with adults, which can result in improved vo- cabulary. Improved vocabulary impact reading scores, resulting in improved grades in other subjects. Serving kids foods that are nutrient rich, meaning they include vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients vital for health, leads to better academic achievement. HOW TO ENCOURAGE FAMILY MEALS AT HOME Family mealtime matters. It is an opportunity for family members to build strong bonds by connecting with each other through conversations about the day, sharing traditions and making memories. Here are a few sug- gestions to help make family mealtime happen for your family: Schedule family meals. Set aside time on the calendar for family meals just like you schedule other impor- tant activities, appointments and events. Make it non-negotiable. If you must cancel for a very good reason, make sure to reschedule the meal for another time during the same week. Plan ahead. Use make-ahead recipes that you can freeze – or use the slow cooker or pressure cooker. Combination slow cooker/pressure cookers can help you get a healthy meal on the table in no time. Keep meals simple. Family meals don't have to be big grand affairs. Choose a protein, whole grain, vege- table and/or fruit and you will have a balanced healthy meal to serve to your family. Plan family meals besides dinner. You may still find it a chal- lenge to incorporate family mealtime into your schedule. If this is the case, find 15 to 30 minutes when you and your family can sit together to recap the day. Maybe it is during a bedtime snack or a picnic in the park before soccer practice. Do keep in mind that as a parent, you do not have to do ev- erything. Get the kids involved in the planning, shopping, preparing and clean-up of meals. When kids are in- volved in the process, they are more likely to consume the foods you offer them. Eliminate distractions. Turn off all electronic devices, including the television and focus on each other. This should be a time to relax, share and reconnect. The YouTube video, "Who would you most like to have dinner with? " is a powerful video that demonstrates how important family meals are and how they affect our children. The video begins with asking only the parents "Who would you most like to have dinner with? " Their responses varied from Nelson Mandela to Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian. Next, children are brought into the room with their parents watching from a separate room. The children are asked the same question, keeping in mind that the kids have not heard what their parents shared. The children all respond that they would like to have dinner with family, their parents and extended family. Many of the parents became emotional to hear that what their children wanted was to spend mealtime together. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE SURE FAMILY MEALTIME BECOMES A TRADITION AT YOUR HOUSE? Sit down with your family to find times that work for family meals. Keep in mind that family meals can be at breakfast, lunch or dinner – during the week or on weekends. Find a time that works for your family, put it on the calendar and stick to it. Try using open- ended questions to start family conver- sations. One question to ask could be, "What was the most interesting thing that happened today? " This is different than asking, "Did you have a good day? " because it prompts your children to share more than a "yes" or "no" answer. If you are in an Indiana 4-H Club or are a 4-H Club leader in Indiana, con- sider incorporating information regard- ing the benefits of family mealtime into your club meetings and consider sched- uling club meetings before or after typical family mealtimes. If you are interested in addition- al family mealtime resources, contact Indiana 4-H Healthy Living Specialist Angie Frost at for more information. Visit our Indiana 4-H Facebook page (@Indiana4H) and tell us how you incorporate family mealtime into your busy schedule. Angie Frost is a 4-H Extension Special- ist for Purdue Extension and registered dieti- tian. She leads a team of county Purdue Ex- tension staff, and collaborates with campus specialists and faculty to provide opportu- nities for Indiana 4-H youth to learn about healthy living. Arin Weidner is a 4-H Extension Spe- cialist for Purdue Extension. She supports Indiana 4-H programming by creating tech- nology-facilitated curriculum and learning opportunities. She collaborates with Purdue Extension staff and faculty to develop new ideas for learning in 4-H for youth and adults.

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