FARM SCIENCE REVIEW WORKSHOP ON ALTERNATIVE CROPS OFFERED – Wondering if you should add goji berry production to your farm operation? Or how about adding hops to your production lineup? Maybe fish farming is a good option?

Before answering yes to adding these or other in-demand crops to a farm business, producers should make sure they are aware of all the requirements that go with adding alternative agriculture enterprises to their farm operations, said Mike Hogan, an Ohio State University Extension educator who is also the coordinator of the university’s Sustainable Agriculture Team.

While alternative crops such as hops, super berries and aquaponics are great ways to generate additional farm income, farmers need to be clear first how the additional crops fit into their business’s overall objectives, he said.

“While some may think in terms of what’s ‘hot’ in agriculture now, it’s more important to think about how a potential crop may fit into your farm operation and whether adding it really fits the business objective that you’ve set for your farm and your family,” Hogan said.

“There are different requirements for alternative agriculture enterprises including management, labor and financial metrics that need to be considered in addition to understanding what resources and marketing plans will be needed in order to be successful,” he said. “Farmers could make a mistake if they put all their eggs in one basket without carefully evaluating how that will impact them and if they are prepared.”

Hogan will discuss the issues producers should consider when evaluating whether adding alternative agriculture enterprises to their farm operations at a workshop Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. in the Small Farms Center Tent during the 2015 Farm Science Review at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio.

Sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, Farm Science Review is Sept. 22-24 and will feature presentations from experts from OSU Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and Purdue University. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.

More information can be found at

UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS AND VEHICLES TO TAKE FLIGHT AT 2015 FARM SCIENCE REVIEW – Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have taken the agriculture industry by storm and will soon be taking flight at the 2015 Farm Science Review.

Collaborative efforts between the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, which sponsors the Farm Science Review, and the Ohio/Indiana UAS Center will be on display and in the air during the three-day annual farm show, Sept. 22-24 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

UAS have been one of the fastest-growing areas of interest for farmers and growers across the nation over the past couple of years and hold great potential for data collection in agriculture, said Ryan Smith, director of the UAS Center. Based in Springfield, Ohio, the center offers resources to support research, development, testing and evaluation of UAS technologies for academics, businesses and government.

FARM SCIENCE REVIEW: GOOD GREEN REASONS TO GO TO THE GWYNNE – Farm Science Review features more than farm science.

The Sept. 22-24 event in London, Ohio, also will highlight the conservation of natural resources at a demonstration and education site called the Gwynne Conservation Area. The area is at the west end of the Review’s home, the 2,100-acre Molly Caren Agricultural Center.

Called “the Gwynne” for short, the site’s 67 acres of prairie, woods and waters showcase a range of conservation practices year-round and, during the Review, will host dozens of talks and exhibits on trees, ponds, wildlife and similar topics.

Visiting the Gwynne and attending the talks is included with admission to the Review. Free shuttle wagon rides are available to and from the Gwynne.

Staff report