Skip to Main Content

Purdue Extension Martin County Blast September 5, 2022


Static Projects, prizes and associated awards are ready for pick up from the Extension Office now through September 23, 2022 during normal office hours, 8 am – 4 pm Monday through Friday. Individual scheduling beyond those hours is available by calling 812-295-2412 or emailing   Items not claimed by September 23rd will be repurposed or thrown away.

Twenty Terrific Days of 4-H Enrollment Martin County!

4-H is open to ALL youth in grades 3-12 ($20 enrollment fee) and Mini 4-H is grades Kindergarten -2nd (no enrollment fee.) Here is the great opportunity!  Enroll from October 1 – October 20 the $20 enrollment fee is paid by the Martin County 4-H Council! Starting October 1st, plan to enroll at Call 812-295-2412 with any questions!

2023 Martin county 4-H fair – date changed!  Friday, July 7 to Tuesday, July 11, 2023

 Leadership 4-H Leadership Summit and Foundation Scholarship Luncheon SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29:  SAVE THE DATE

Mark your calendar and get ready to meet future leaders and National 4-H Hall of Fame inductees Dr. Norm Long and Jeff Holland. Also, enjoy lunch from a Hoosier favorite – Jonathan Byrd’s Catering! RSVP’s due by October 14.

 AgrAbility National Training Workshop Encore Webinars
Register below for any or all of the webinars.
Each webinar begins at 2:00 p.m. EDT on the given Thursday. For session descriptions and more information, visit

  • September 15: "Managing Stress on the Farm"
  • September 29: "Making Lemonade When Outreach Events Hand You LEMONS!"
  • October 13: "Build Resilience into Your Farm: Let Nature do the Heavy Lifting"
  • October 27: "Low Stress Marketing for Farmers"

A question & answer period is scheduled for each presentation. To participate in any of these free webinars, click here to access the online registration form. Please pass on this invitation to others you believe may be interested. Contact AgrAbility at 800-825-4264, visit, or email if you have questions.


2022 Hoosier Hay Contest

All are encouraged to check into the 2022 Hoosier Hay Contest!  For rules and entry form go to:

Entry deadline: September 30, 2022

Overall awards given in categories of dry hay and baleage

First place: $250 and one-year IFC membership

Second place: $150

Third place: $100



The Diverse Corn Belt project—a multidisciplinary project exploring alternative crops, longer rotations, integrating livestock and perennials that could help increase resilience in Midwest agriculture—is seeking farmer input through focus groups and in-field research. The project's 30 partners are exploring diversification at the farm, market and landscape level that can broaden new opportunities for Midwest farmers and rural communities, says Dr. Linda S. Prokopy of Purdue University, who leads the five-year, $10 million project.

 The study focuses on Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. The team will conduct research, extension and modeling in all three states.

 "We are seeking farmer involvement at every stage of the Diverse Corn Belt project, starting with understanding how different producers define diversity, and getting their direction on the questions they want us to explore," Prokopy says. "We want to know what is working for them in the current system and what the barriers are to diversification.

 "Guided by wha farmers tell us they're facing and what they need, we will be exploring a wide range of approaches to diversification of production systems and markets that can help producers and rural communities become more economically and environmentally resilient in the future," she adds. "This project goes beyond delving into the production aspects of various options for diversification—the agronomics, economics, and animal productivity angles. We will also be exploring the social, infrastructure and policy changes needed to make them viable."

 Help Wanted

 Prokopy says farmers can participate in the Diverse Corn Belt in a variety of ways, including:

 Focus groups, in which producers with a wide range of approaches—from traditional corn/soybean rotations to highly diversified operations—gather to discuss the challenges and opportunities posed by diversification.

 Hosting in-field research, allowing agronomists, entomologists, hydrologists and soil scientists to study farmers' existing management systems, ranging from conventional corn/soybean rotations to more complex cropping and/or grazing programs. Host producers will not be asked to change their management; researchers will share and help interpret data produced on participating farms.

 Joining Reimagining Agricultural Diversification (RAD) Teams, engaged conversations among producers, agricultural advisors, community leaders, and others. RAD Team members will work closely with the research team—and each other—over the next five years to share their insight on research findings, explore policy implications, and envision what the agricultural landscape of the Midwest should look like in the future.

 "We are developing a vision of a Corn Belt beyond the corn/soybean system and its infrastructure, a future that provides farmers and communities with a more profitable and resilient agriculture," notes J. Arbuckle at Iowa State University. "To do that, we're working with farmers with highly specialized systems that are prevalent today and with highly diversified farmers who provide examples of what's possible.

 "Of course, context is critical, so we will also be researching ways to facilitate markets, infrastructure, social networks and policy for diverse systems, as well as modeling a wide range of systems," he adds. "This holistic approach will help us map pathways to more diverse, prosperous and resilient farms and rural communities."

 The Diverse Corn Belt project is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative competitive grant. Members of the research team represent land grant institutions, federal agencies, and non-profit organizations.

 Interested farmers and other stakeholders can learn more about the Diverse Corn Belt project at, and volunteer to participate at

 For more information, contact:

Emily Usher (765) 496-0997;

Steve Werblow (541) 951-4212;


Indiana Hunter Education Course

Where: Faith Baptist Church, Loogootee, IN

When: Friday, September 16 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm; Saturday, September 17 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

Topics: Safe Firearm Use, Hunter Ethics, Conservation Management, Game Identification, Archery, Tree Stand Safety, and more.

Classes are offered by knowledgeable and dedicated volunteer instructors and Indiana Conservation Officers. Most classes offered are 1 to 3 sessions. In order to be certified, students must attend the entire class including all sessions. Anyone born after December 31, 1986 is required to be certified in Hunter Education before they can purchase a hunting license.

For more information: Kendrick Fuhrman, Tony Mann 812 837-9536

To register:


Heartsaver CPR AED Class

When: Thursday, September 22 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, lunch will be provided

Where: Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds, Community Learning Center Room 100 & Conference Room, 2666 US Hwy 50, Loogootee, Indiana

Class is limited to 12 individuals who live or work in Martin County, Indiana. Cost is $65 per person (due at event). Pre-registration is required.

This American Heart Association course is designed for those who serve as rescuers as part of job responsibilities or for the general public and have direct access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Skills taught include CPR, AED use, relief of choking in adults, children and infants. In order to complete the course and receive the course completion card, participants must successfully complete a skills evaluation.

To register please visit: or contact 812-996-5622 or Deadline to register is September 19.


Southern Indiana Area Cattleman's Beef Tour

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Gate opens at 1 p.m. EDT

Program begins at 2 p.m. EDT

Registrations are currently being accepted for the Southern Indiana Area Cattleman's Beef Tour at the Greg & Angela Hoagland & Family Ranch in Eckerty, Indiana. The event is being organized by local area Cattleman's Associations from Crawford, Dubois, Harrison, Orange & Perry Counties in partnership with Elanco, Purdue Extension, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Superior Ag, Crawford County Soil and Water Conservation, Lost River Water Shed, Orange County Soil and Water Conservation, Farm Credit Mid-America, St. Anthony Mill and Schnellville Mill, INC.

 Topics for the field day include viewing the Hoaglands’ cow herd and pastures; “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” cooking demonstration; and “Current Beef Industry Trends” with keynote speaker Dr. Robin Falkner DVM, from Elanco.

The field day, scheduled for October 1st begins at 2:00 p.m. EDT and is free to all. Ribeye dinner is included in the event. Program partner will have vendor tables setup for viewing at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

To learn more and register call Purdue Extension Crawford County at 812-338-5466 or email Molley Hasenour, 4-H Youth/Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator at


Southern Indiana Purdue Ag Center (SIPAC) Fall Field Days 2022

Where: 11371 East Purdue Farm Road, Dubois, IN 47527

When: September 17 – Pond Management Field Day, October 8 – Purdue Fencing School

For more information: Purdue Extension Dubois County 812-482-1782, Jason Tower 812-678-4427


Indiana Watershed Leadership Program

The Academy, organized by Purdue University with support from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and other Indiana conservation agencies and organizations, gives participants the chance to:  

  • Engage in basic and advanced level watershed topics covering leadership principles, conservation, education and outreach, watershed science, organization and communication, technology and GIS, stakeholder involvement techniques and policy skills
  • Meet, learn from, and engage with others who work in watershed management
  • Interact with topic experts
  • Gain strategies, skills, and resources for successful watershed management
  • Earn a Professional Certificate in Watershed Management 

Enrollment deadline: November 4, 2022

Web site: For the online application and information about the Academy, visit:

 Recognition: Participants who complete all requirements earn a Purdue University Continuing Education Professional Certificate in Watershed Management.

For more information, please contact Sara Peel,

Small Ruminant Lunch & Learn Webinar: Fencing & Housing for Sheep and Goats
When: September 22, 2022 at 12:00 pm EST
The webinar is free. To join go to:


Look Below Before Blaming Above

By: Lee Miller

 Recently, home lawns have been maligned in several media outlets as a waste of time and resources. Mismanagement by using too much water or misplacing fertilizer may compound the issue by straining environmental resources or serving as pollutants. While not going into all the defenses for turfgrass use on home lawns, (remember “right plant, right place”), one of the major benefits lies a little further beneath your feet… the soil.

 With its dense cover and extensive fibrous root system, turfgrass is undoubtedly one of the best defenses against soil erosion. Much publicity goes to human-applied pesticides and fertilizers as major contributors to environmental pollution, but often overlooked is the actual movement of soil. When soil moves, all of its properties – including pollutants, move along with it. Combined with its low growth habit, reduced cover for pests like rodents, ticks and mosquitoes, and lower heat retention compared to concrete, grass is the logical choice as a base plant species for open areas like roadsides and lawns to prevent soil erosion.

 As a turfgrass pathologist, my position is partly to serve as a coroner. Working with the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab, we investigate various cases of decline of turfgrass from golf courses, sports fields and home lawns. Surprising to some, the primary cause in most of these instances is not a turfgrass disease, but is instead an abiotic disorder such as lack of fertility, mowing during drought, traffic, compaction, salt, etc. Many of these issues tie back to the soil – the foundation of the plant itself.

 Nitrogen (N), is the most limiting nutrient for turfgrass, and in many cases home lawn submissions are deficient. Nitrogen is dynamic in the soil and constantly removed by mowing, so unfortunately can’t be guided effectively by soil tests. Instead, on older lawns consider applying 1.5 – 2 lb N/1000 sq ft a year to match growth and N removal by mowing. Critics may balk that this fertilizer amount is excessive, but required N amounts for corn and soybean are often 200-250 lb N/A depending on yield goal, which equates to approximately 4.5 – 5.7 lb N/1000 sq ft. A bit more N (0.5 – 1 lb) may be needed the first few years on younger seeded lawns to make up for the lack of microbial activity and nitrogen cycling. If the lawn is sodded, this may be overcome by the residual nitrogen applied at the sod farm and microbial activity brought in with the adhering topsoil.

 In new home construction, much of the topsoil is removed, and if the homeowner is fortunate a portion of it may be returned. Life was lived in this topsoil, meaning organic matter, nutrient cycling and the microbial community primed it for the success of plant growth. These characters are devoid in a subsoil, which is often gray or light colored, clayey, resists water infiltration, has severe nutrient deficiencies and is susceptible to compaction. That turfgrass often overcomes these deficiencies in any capacity is a testament to its resiliency, (also witnessed recently in regard to drought tolerance). The plant itself becomes the driver of organic matter accumulation and topsoil regeneration.

 Soil testing is a step often neglected by homeowners regarding lawn care. A soil test can guide application of phosphorous, potassium, calcium and other macro and micronutrients, as well as give important information regarding soil pH, CEC and organic matter amount. A soil test may indicate that a subsoil type still persists in the lawn, and light applications (e.g. topdressing) of organic matter or topsoil may aid in rebuilding the soil and turfgrass density.

 If your lawn continually struggles, consider getting a soil test to determine if a major nutrient deficiency or chemical/physical parameter is an underlying cause.


Dubois Martin County 4-H Leader Training Series

 All are invited to the following Professional Development 4-H Leader Training Series.  Current leaders and prospective new leaders are targeted, but anyone with an interest is welcome to attend! RSVP requested but not required: Dena Held at or 812-295-2412 or Lauren Fenneman at or 812-482-1782.    

 Wednesday, September 14, 2022 6:30 pm – 8 pm: Belonging: Positive Relationship with an adult, Inclusive environment, safe emotional and physical environment and will include tips and tricks regarding communication to families, back to basics about 4-H, and information regarding parent meetings and expectations.

Location: Cedar Crest Intermediate School Cafeteria, 4770 South State Road 162, Huntingburg, IN 47542

 Wednesday, October 12, 2022 6:30 pm – 8 pm: Mastery: Opportunity for Mastery, Engagement in Learning including What makes 4-H FUN, Hands on activities.

Location: Cedar Crest Intermediate School Cafeteria, 4770 South State Road 162, Huntingburg, IN 47542

 Wednesday, November 9, 2022 6:30 pm – 8 pm: Independence: Opportunity to see oneself as a participant in the future, Opportunity for self-determination and will include information about 4-H Online and Fair Entry, Officer Trainings, Executive Committee Meetings in the club and information about Camps and Trips.

Location: Cedar Crest Intermediate School Cafeteria, 4770 South State Road 162, Huntingburg, IN 47542

 December 2022 (date pending) 6:30 pm – 8 pm: Generosity: Opportunity to value and practice service to others and includes community service ideas, best practices for kicking off the 4-H year in January and best practices to close out the 4-H year from June to September.

Location: Cedar Crest Intermediate School Cafeteria, 4770 South State Road 162, Huntingburg, IN 47542

 January, February, March & April Sessions: SAVE THE DATES!   

Thursday, January 26, 2023 6 pm

Thursday, February 23, 2023 6 pm

Thursday, March 9, 2023 6 pm

Thursday, March 30, 2023 6 pm

Location: Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds, Community Learning Center, 2666 US Hwy 50, Loogootee, IN

To Top