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.
Meet your ANR Educator
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
Purdue Extension Master Gardeners (EMG) receive training in horticulture to equip them to...
Three big items that should be included in a timber sale contract include the length of the...
In April, Purdue Extension and the Putnam County Soil & Water Conservation District hosted a...
It isn’t uncommon for someone to call the Purdue Extension Office stating they saw...
You may not be aware of this, but most states have laws regarding fences. We have a fence law in...
Exhibiting Open Class at the 2023 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.2023 Putnam County 4-H Fair Open Class
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 2023 Indiana 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.
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.
- Purdue University Cash Lease Information
- Purdue University Crop Share Lease Information
- Purdue University Land Leasing Articles
- Ag Lease 101
- Ag Decision Maker
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.
- Expert: Consider Legalities When Terminating, Renegotiation Farmland Leases (Purdue Extension article)
- Indiana Farm Land Leases - Key Considerations and Laws (Purdue Extension article)
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.
- Indiana Invasive Species Council
- Indiana Terrestrial Plant Rule
- Purdue University Report Invasives
- Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management (SICIM)
- You can schedule to have you property surveyed by a regional specialist with SICIM. The regional specialist that covers Putnam County is Amber Slaughterbeck.
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.
- Client Contact Information (phone # & e-mail address)
- Description of the problem/insect (Please including when you first noticed it, how bad it currently is, and any recent changes to the environment.)
- 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.
- Guide to Toxic Plants in Forages
- Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Poisonous Plant Database
- In this database, you can look up which plants are poisonous to specific livestock species.
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.
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.
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