Ag & Natural Resources Information

What We Do

The Putnam County Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) program extends Purdue University research to residents to assist agricultural producers, woodland owners, gardeners, and homeowners. Educational opportunities include in-person and virtual programs/meetings, personal consultations, newspaper articles,  websites, and social media. See Facebook pages for Purdue Extension-Putnam County and Putnam County Master Gardener Association.

Below you will find information that may help answer questions you have. If you need to talk to a real person, we're also available at the number to the right.

Contact Us

Purdue Putnam County Extension

Jenna Nees, ANR Educator
smith535@purdue.edu

12 Central Square (mailing addresses)
152 E Columbia Street (physical address)
Greencastle, IN 46135

Phone #: (765) 653-8411


County offices

Putnam County Staff

Meet your ANR Educator

Jenna Nees

Jenna Nees

Extension
Ag & Natural Resources (ANR) Educator
7656538411

Hello! My name is Jenna Nees and I am the Ag & Natural Resources (ANR) Extension Educator at the Putnam County office. I have been in this role since February 2015. I have experience raising cattle and sheep. My educational background focused on agribusiness and farm management.   

Please take a moment to see what Purdue Extension has to offer. If you have any questions, or would like more specific information, go ahead and give me a call or send me an email.

Strategic Marketing for Your Farm's Future

“Strategic Marketing for Your Farm’s Future” addresses the marketing and production risks associated with commodity marketing and niche marketing to increase farm income. These resources will help producers with risk management by enhancing their marketing and production skills.

Strategic Marketing for Your Farm's Future Resources

Putnam County Ag & Natural Resource News

corn field
Digging Deeper Into Land Leases

Just over 60% of U.S. land in farms are owner-operated, according to the 2017 Census of...

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corn growing in a field
Purdue Extension to Host Workshop for Next Generation of Farmland Seekers

Ready to grow your farm operation, but unsure how to acquire more land? During the Farmland for...

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soybean harvest
Land Lease Agreements

Setting the rental amount is just one of the components of leasing farmland that can be...

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corn field
Annual Land Rent Survey Saw Increases In 2022

Throughout the year, many individuals ask what the “going rate” is for farmland...

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tomato with cracks on it
Common Tomato Problems

No one enjoys dutifully tending to their garden all growing season and ultimately ending up with...

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flyer for the becoming the employer of choice
Program to Help Businesses to Become the ‘Employer of Choice’

In addition to the daily responsibilities of keeping an agricultural operation running, farm...

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Frequently Asked Questions

One area of interest for producers is commodity marketing.  Purdue Extension has a variety of resources related to commodity marketing available on the Strategic Marketing for Your Farm's Future webpage.

Occasionally individuals would like to know how much to charge or receive for doing custom farm work. That work could involve planting a crop, harvesting, etc.  Purdue University surveys individuals involved in doing custom farm work every couple of years to provide data on how much you may want to charge in the future.  That survey can be found at the 2021 Indian Farm Custom Rate website.

Many individuals have questions concerning farm land leasing.  Those questions include what is the going rate for cash rent, do you have a lease template, what information is there ability terminating a land lease, and much more.  Below you will find some information about these topics, but you can contact Purdue Extension for more detailed information.

Land Rental Values
Purdue Extension encourages you to not simply select a rental rate value off from these data sources.  Instead, use this information as a starting point and adjust the value based off of your individual situation. Landlords and tenants should decide on a final rental amount that is adjusted based on numerous items including the size of the field, drainage, soil fertility, ease of access for farm equipment, and much more. 

Lease Forms
With land leases, we do recommend always putting them in writing. This is one way you can protect your investment.  Additionally, if you are using a sample lease form, please adjust it for your needs. 

Types of Leases
There are three main types of leases.  They include cash lease, crop share lease, and flexible lease. 

Termination Information
Ideally, we would like all lease agreements to specify when termination notice must be given.  This helps avoid disputes.  If this is not in writing, things can get complicated and confusing because you need to ensure that timely notice is given for when a lease is terminated.

 

Invasive species are any plant, animal, insect or plant disease not native to a specific location that can cause harm to the environment, impact the diversity of native species, reduce wildlife habitat or disrupt important ecosystem functions. There is a growing interest in controlling invasive species within the state of Indiana.  Purdue Extension can help identify invasive species and help educate individuals about invasive species control.

Here are some resources to help individuals understand what invasive species currently exist in Indiana and how to control them.

The Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program is an integral part of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service and provides the citizens of Indiana a chance to grow. The original Master Gardener program was created in 1972 in Seattle, Washington in response to the overwhelming demand for home gardening information. Indiana’s program began in 1978 with 4 participating counties. Currently, over 50 Indiana counties have active Extension Master Gardener programs.

The Program provides a learning framework for participants to increase their knowledge on a wide variety of horticultural subjects. In turn, participants volunteer and help others grow by sharing knowledge while providing leadership and service in educational gardening activities within their communities.

Interested in becoming a Purdue Extension Master Gardener?  Contact Jenna Nees (765-653-8411) to find our more information and to join our wait list for the next course offering.

 

Resources for Current Purdue Extension Master Gardeners

Many times individuals contact Purdue Extension because they are having issues with a plant or an insect.  We are happy to help solve these issues for free, but would greatly appreciate it if you can provide the following information when seeking help.

  1. Client Contact Information (phone # & e-mail address)
  2. Description of the problem/insect (Please including when you first noticed it, how bad it currently is, and any recent changes to the environment.)
  3. Photo or video of the problem/insect

Physical samples can be brought to the Purdue Extension Putnam County office during normal business hours or you can e-mail information/photos directly to Jenna Nees.

Often times, we may not know the answer the question immediately, but can contact our fellow Extension Educators and Extension Specialists for assistance. Occasionally, we may need to send a sample of the item to the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory (PPDL).  The cost associated with sending the sample is $11.00.  A sample submission form will need to be submitted with the sample.

Additional Resources Include

Individuals need to keep an eye out for poisonous plants in their pastures, forage ground, and landscape.  Poisonous plants can cause human and livestock health issues and potentially death, depending on what plant is involved.  Below are two resources that can come in handy when you are concerned about poisonous plants.

Individuals interested in applying restricted use pesticides or fertilizers either on a personal or commercial basis needs to be familiar with the following resources. To apply restricted use pesticides on your personal property, you will need a Private Applicator License.  If you are going to apply restricted use pesticides on a for hire basis, then you will need a Commercial Applicator License.  Here is more information on how to obtain a pesticide license.

 

Office of the Indiana State Chemist

On the Office of the Indiana State Chemist website, you will find out the current status of your license, how many educational classes/credits you have, and latest news and topics related to pesticide usage. This is also where individuals can file complaints.

 

Purdue Pesticide Programs

The Purdue Pesticide Programs website has a variety of publications along with information about future PARP classes.

 

If you have a concern about your soil, the best way to address it would be to do a soil test.  Purdue Extension does not offer soil testing, but we do advise individuals on how to take the test and how to understand the results. 

 

How to Take a Soil Test

You would take several scoops of soil from your field/garden, mix them in a plastic bucket, and then collect your sample from the mixture.  If there is an area that is very different from the rest of the garden (i.e. a low spot that stands in water, etc), then it needs to be sampled separately from the rest of the garden.  We do have a soil probe that you can borrow in the Extension Office; however, a sample can easily be obtained with a spade. If you would want to borrow the soil probe, please contact Purdue Extension.

 

Locally, you can take the soil sample to any of the local co-ops and have it tested.  Tests usually the cost around $15 to $20.  You need about a sandwich size bag of soil.  You do not want to put it in a metal container because it can impact the test. 

 

When you receive the results, it may include some information on amendments to add to your soil.  You are welcome to follow those or you can have Purdue Extension evaluate and discuss the results further.

 

Additional Soil Testing Information

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2022 Scholarships Available from the Putnam County Master Gardener Association

The Putnam County Master Gardener Association is committed to sustainable gardening, soil health, environmental soundness, and community involvement.  They support education and outreach to local growers fo food, flowers, shrubs, and trees.  In offering these scholarships, they hope to further the education of young people who share these same values.

The Putnam County Master Gardener Association has two $1,000 scholarships available.  Scholarships are available for current Putnam County high school seniors who are preparing to enter post-seconary education in the fall of 2022 or a current college student who is enrolled for fall of 2022.  Home-schooled stduents are welcome to apply.  Applicants need to be majoring in horticulture, agriculture, plant science, botany, forestry, landscape architecture/design, or another gardening-related field.

If you would like to apply for these scholarships, please complete and submit the application below by April 1, 2022.  Please pay attention to which application you are completing because there are slight difference between the high school senior application and the current college student application.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jenna Nees.

Exhibiting Open Class at the 2022 Putnam County 4-H Fair!

If you are interested in exhibiting cut flowers, agriculture goods (hay, eggs, honey, etc.), vegetables, herbs, and/or artistic flower arrangements at the Putnam County 4-H Fair, then please check out the link at the website below for more information.

2022 Putnam County 4-H Fair Open Class