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Purdue Extension Martin County Blast October 30, 2023

The Purdue Extension Martin County weekly column is provided to help all learn

about programs & opportunities. We highlight events from Purdue University & Extension

where we hope you will choose to be part of Extension…..  where there is Opportunity4All! 



Martin County Extension Board: Accepting New Member Nominations & Annual Meeting

The Martin County Extension Board is the advisory and advocacy body of the overall Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service in Martin County. The Board provides an organized way for the county to be represented by local people in its relationship with Extension.  It is an unincorporated association serving in advisory capacities.


New member nominations, including high school youth representation, are being sought for consideration at the Annual Meeting. Please contact Dena with recommendations or if you would like to serve and become more involved with Extension! 


The Annual Meeting will be Thursday, November 16 at 6:30 pm, Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds, Community Building, 2666 US Hwy 50, Loogootee, IN.  In conjunction with the Annual Meeting, a special program regarding Artificial Intelligence will be presented. All those interested in more information may contact the Martin County Extension Office.  RSVP by November 9th is appreciated but not required: a meal will be provided. All are invited. Youth who are interested in Artificial Intelligence as a college and career pathway are particularly encouraged to attend!



The Purdue Broadband Team & The Loogootee Public Library has teamed up to offer a seminar to Tackle the Digital Divide. Come learn about broadband, how to complete internet connection speed tests, and why it REALLY matters NOW! 


join us on Monday, November 27th at 6 pm.


Adults & youth third grade & up encouraged to attend.  #helping the state of Indiana close the #digitaldivide


Indiana is receiving close to $870 million for broadband. How much Martin County gets is up to us and our neighbors!


A huge investment is underway to make sure rural and underserved communities have equal access to broadband. Where the money goes will be based on data collected.


We need as many people as possible to submit information about their internet in order for Martin County to get the most funds possible.


You may have completed similar speed tests over the past year or two – but this is the one that will determine where the most need is and where the money will go.


Here’s what to do to make sure your location is counted:

  • If you do not have internet, email you address to (Updated as of 11-1-23) In Martin County, you may call 812-295-2412 and provide your address and we will email the information in for you. 
  • If you do have internet of any kind (excluding cell data):
    1. Visit to submit a speed test
      • Make sure you are connected to your home (or business) internet and not to cellular data.
      • It is important to do this multiple times at different times of the day
    2. Visit, enter your address and look to see which internet providers are listed as available for your address
      • Make sure the “fixed broadband” tab is selected
      • If your address comes up at the wrong spot, click on the dot that is closest to the address pin and verify that it is the correct address. If it is not, click location challenge on the right
      • If your provider availability list is incorrect, click availability challenge on the right


A couple of important notes:

  • If your tested internet speed is less than 100Mbps download and 20Mbps upload (aka 100/20) you are considered underserved
  • If your only internet option is satellite – you are considered
  • If you have dedicated wireless (not cell phone data) that is considered served.
  • This is not for cellular data. However, you can follow step 2 above and select the “mobile broadband” tab to see which services are listed as available for your address.


For step by step instructions with screen shots visit:


IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO INTERNET OR YOUR SPEED IS LESS THAN 100/20, you should also visit and click at the top where it says “click here to register” This will allow you to call special attention to your address. If you don’t know all the questions, that is ok. What is most important is your name, phone number, physical address, email address if you have one, and county. The rest can be left blank if you don’t know the answer.


Financial assistance is available to those within certain income levels. Visit to learn more and apply for assistance.


Purdue Extension staff are here and happy to help, if you need assistance, please call 812-295-2412 or text 812-653-2089.


calling all 4-H members:  become an Indiana Broadband Influencer

Do you want to help bring broadband to every person in Indiana?


Indiana will be receiving $870 million dollars to bring broadband to areas where connectivity is low or non-existent. The FCC will use the map to determine what areas will be prioritized. Our job is to make sure that the map is correct.  


Will you help correct that important map?  If you choose to report your help, you will receive a broadband influencer pin and enter your essay in the contest to win an iPad. 

Go to enter your address and answer the questions. It is a good idea to take a screenshot of your results, especially if you are unserved.


Then verify your address at  If it is incorrect, or if the information about your speed is incorrect, please submit a challenge. If you do need to issue a challenge, it helps to have multiple screenshots of speed tests over time to upload. 


Next, write one paragraph explaining why ensuring that everyone in your community has broadband internet will help your community and make it a better place to live. 


Once you have done these three things, go to 4-H Online and register for the Indiana Broadband Influencer event. You will find instructions attached. Then, just wait for your pin. They will be sent after the first of the year, so make sure you do this early.  



Martin County Extension is accepting applications for youth 8-12 grade to serve on the Martin County Teens as Teachers STEM Team.  This team will present the Power Protectors curriculum to younger students.

How to apply: Express interest via email to or via text 812-653-2089 by answering these five simple questions:

  1. Name
  2. Grade
  3. School attended
  4. Why is STEM important?
  5. Where might the Power Protectors activities be taught at?

Power Protectors is a National STEM curriculum developed by 4-H educators from Cornell University, University of Illinois, Utah State University and West Virginia University and a collection that teaches kids how to address real-world issues and explore careers in energy.  The Power Protectors STEM Challenge kit includes three activities designed for individuals or groups and are adaptable for after-school programs, 4-H clubs, classrooms, home use, and more. The activities are:

  1. Superhero Hideout–  Kids will learn about renewable energy and design an electrifying Power Protector hideout!
  2. Amped Up Engineering– Acting as engineers, kids will design and build a model of a renewable energy source to help Energy Island survive and thrive!
  3. Energy Island Adventure– Playing this collaborative board game, kids work as a SUPER team using solar, wind and hydropower to save endangered Energy Island!


You now have an option to text with Extension staff.  Text 812-653-2089 to reach Purdue Extension Martin County.


All are invited to send a text with your name and in return a full detailed contact card will be texted back for you to save in your device contacts. The contact card will include helpful links will be easy for you to save in your contacts for future use. Then, going forward, you may text as a straight communication option for your Purdue Extension needs!



2024 martin county 4-h fair 

July 11-16, 2024



The 167th Great Indiana State Fair will be Friday, August 2nd to Sunday, August 18th, 2024; closed on Mondays.


Applications will be accepted for the 2024 Junior & Senior Boiler Vet Camp until February 1st, 2024. 


The Junior Camp will run from June 2-8 and Senior Camp will run from June 9-15.


The only camp of its kind in Indiana, Boiler Vet Camp gives want-to-be veterinarians or veterinary nurses the chance to live out their dreams. This camp is designed for students who are interested in becoming veterinary healthcare professionals and provides a preview into the real and vast fields of veterinary medicine. Students who attended a previous camp cannot repeat the same camp.


Through presentations, demonstrations, laboratories, visits and in-depth, hands-on activities, students will discover what modern veterinary medicine is all about. Students will gain personal experience of what it is like to attend vet school and what it takes to become a veterinarian or veterinary nurse through this seven day on-campus experience at one of the premier veterinary schools in the country. Students entering 8th and 9th grades are eligible to attend Junior Camp and students entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades are eligible to attend the Senior Camp. The minimum age required to attend Vet Camp is 12 years of age.


Many partnering organizations have joined with the College of Veterinary Medicine to provide financial assistance for both camps. Partial scholarships are available. Camp fees are all-inclusive for the hands-on in-residence camps.


Learn more and apply now at



Monday, November 13, 2023 10 am – 12 pm EST

Knox County Fairgrounds, Bicknell, IN

Topic: Fungicide, Regulatory Update

Contact: Valerie Clingerman 812-882-3509



     Monday, November 13, 2023 6 pm – 8 pm EST

Hornady Park, Petersburg, IN

Topic: Fungicide, Regulatory Update

Dinner served

Contact: Valerie Clingerman 812-882-3509



You can’t take care of your farm, your livestock or your family if you don’t first take care of yourself.


The Purdue Farm Stress team is part of a 12-state collaborative effort that was awarded the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network grant administered by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  The goal is to create/expand stress management and mental health resources and services to agricultural producers/stakeholders in the North Central region.  Listen to the podcast!  Tools For Today’s Farmer.   Featuring interviews with leaders in the agriculture industry.  Find it anywhere you listen to podcasts or simply google search “Tools for Today’s Farmer Podcast.” 


Resources for Farm Families:

Need help and don’t know where to start:

Call:  211 OR

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Call: 988 OR

Be Well Indiana

Call: 211 OR 1-866-211-9966 OR https//


Concern Line for Farmers (Hosted by Iowa)

Call:  1-800-477-1985

Farm Aide Hotline

Call:  1-800-327-6243

Strong Couples Project (Partnership with IL)



Check the website for more resources and information:



February 28, 2024

Beck Agricultural Center, West Lafayette,  IN

The Indiana Organic Grain Farmer meeting increases participant understanding of organic transition, certification and cropping systems through peer learning and networking.  This annual event includes education and workshops on transitioning to organic grain, breakout sessions, farmer panels, networking time and an industry trade show.

For more information contact:  Ashley Adair - Extension Organic Agriculture Specialist  Email:


2024 Indiana Small Farm Conference

WHEN:  Thursday, February 29, 2024 – March 1, 2024

WHERE:  Hendricks County Fairgrounds, Danville,  Indiana

The Indiana Small Farm Conference is a unique space to learn new techniques, see what works, and network with others.  Over 400 attendees, 40 + exhibitors and a vendor trade show along with several national speakers.

To learn more about the conference and the work that the Purdue team does to make your small farming program work.  Contact Information: Amy Thompson,

If you are interested in being a show vendor, contact:  Phil Cox at



Adapted from:

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture is seeking applicants for a new soil sampling program. The program called, Indiana’s Mississippi River Basin Soil Sampling program, is free to applicants. This seeks to encourage farmers to include soil sampling in their plans for nutrient management.

This program will provide soil sampling and analysis at no cost to the producer along with lab recommendations for nutrient applications based on yield goals and soil test results.

Producers will work with ISDA staff to coordinate soil sampling and to provide the best available information for the most accurate recommendations. Soil sampling will take place prior to fertilizer application.

Samples will be submitted to contracted labs for routine soil fertility testing.

This program includes row crop fields, pastures, and specialty crops located within Indiana’s portion of the Mississippi River Basin.

Participating growers will be prioritized by:

  • Fields that have never been sampled before, or
  • Fields that haven’t been sampled regularly (i.e., not sampled within the last 3-4 years), and
  • New program enrollments.

Further prioritization may be implemented based on interest in the program.

Producers can register via the online form, by reaching out to their Resource Specialist, by reaching out to the Program Manager at or 317-605-0701.




The IBCA area meetings are open to all beef producers and feature great food, valuable information on beef issues, policies, programs, and fellowship. There will also be updates on current news& events from Indiana Beef Cattle Association and Indiana Beef Council, Indiana State Board of Animal Health, National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Purdue University Ext * Indicates an election to be held for Area Director.

If you want an opportunity to be more involved in the beef industry within Indiana, we encourage you to run for an Area Director position! If you would like more information of what the role entails, please Contact Brian Shuter or call our office! (317)293-2333

Please check the schedule for your area and mark your calendar now!


Area 1: Thursday, December 7, 2023 at 6:00 pm; South East Purdue Ag Center (SEPAC), Butlerville

RSVP to Jennings County Extension office at 812-352-3033 by 11/30/23.

Current IBCA Director: Vacant


Area 2: Saturday, December 9, 2023 at Noon; Pewter Hall, Brownstown

RSVP to the Lawrence County Extension Office at 812-275-4623 by 12/1/23.

Current IBCA Director: Steve Ritter


Area 3: Wednesday, December 13,  2023 at 7:00 pm. ET / 6:00 p.m. CT; The Village Inn, Petersburg

RSVP to the Gibson County Extension office at 812-385-3491 by 12/6/23.

Current IBCA Director: Mick Douglas


Area 5: Monday, December 11, 2023 at 6:30 pm; Harmony Community Center, Brazil

RSVP to Owen County Extension office at 812-829-5020 by 12/4/23.

Current IBCA Director: J.D. Faulk


Area 6: Sunday, December 10, 2023 at 6:30 pm;

Elanco Animal Health, Greenfield

RSVP to Hancock County Extension office at 317-462-1113 by 12/4/23.

Current IBCA Director: Deryl Hunt


Area 7: Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 6:30 pm; Willie & Red’s Buffet, Hagerstown

RSVP to the Madison Co. Extension Office at 765-641-9514 by 12/7/23.

Current IBCA Director: Dan Chesnut


Area 8: Monday, December 18, 2023 at 6pm; The Peoples Winery, Logansport

RSVP to the Cass Co. Extension Office at 574-753-7750 by 12/11/23.

Current IBCA Director: David Helms


Area 9: Monday, December 11, 2023 at 6:00 pm.; McGraw’s Steakhouse, West Lafayette

RSVP to at the Fountain County Extension office at 765-793-2297 by 12/4/23.

Current IBCA Director: Dr. Dave Dixon


Area 10: Tuesday December 12, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 pm CT; Christo’s Banquet Center, Plymouth

RSVP to Kosciusko Co. Extension at 574-372-2340 by 12/5/2023.

Current IBCA Director: Bob Dragani


Area 11: Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at 6:30 pm.; Whitley Co. Ag Museum, Columbia City

RSVP to the Whitley County Extension office at 260-244-7615 by 12/6/23.

Current IBCA Director: Jacob Pettigrew




This is a four-week course offered virtually November 28, December 5, 12, and 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST. This is a discussion-based workshop to connect women and subject-matter experts in the areas of financial records and interpreting results.  Participants should plan on attending each of the four workshop dates. The course requires participants to have an internet connection.  Women will find many opportunities for questions, sharing, and connecting with the presenters and other participants.  Upon completion of this program, participants will have a better understanding of how financial records can be used to make decisions.

Session highlights:
Week 1 - Balance sheet construction and interpretation
Week 2 – Cash flow and income statement fundamentals
Week 3 – Ratios, lease evaluations and negotiations
Week 4 - Know Your Numbers Know Your Options

Registration is $20 per participant and class size is limited to 20.

Register by November 22 at: .

Class material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2020-70028-32728 (Cooperating with University of Nebraska Extension). For more information, or if you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Mathias Ingle  or 765-456-2313 by November 22, 2023.





Please join us for the 2023 Regional Ag Forum Wednesday, November 29th at the Toyota Events Center 709 N Embree Street Princeton, IN 47670.


Good information and great opportunity for networking with other producers in the region.  Panel of regionals farmers discussing relevant topics as well as up to date information on climate smart funding.  Adam Daughtery will speak on beginning cover crops, followed by a farmer panel.  At 11am, there will be climate smart funding speed talks.  Lunch is provided free of charge, but registration is required.  After lunch, Adam Daughtery will speak again on a more advanced topic.  The day will start at 7:30am CST with registration, doughnuts, coffee and networking and should wrap up around 2pm CST.  Registration




Adapted from:

By R.L. (Bob) Nielsen

Quite a few farmers throughout the northern half of Indiana are frustrated with the slow drydown of the 2023 corn crop, especially since some grain elevators are refusing to accept grain deliveries with moistures above certain levels, e.g., 27%. Some have also complained about corn not maturing (black layer) as soon as they think it should have. What's going on this fall?

Some scuttlebutt down at the Chat 'n Chew Cafe suggests both the slow maturation and drydown in the field this fall were caused by all those smoky hazey days back in early to mid-summer, courtesy of the wild fires in parts of Canada. I don't buy into that theory. While it may be true that smoky haze (or cloudy haze for that matter) influences plant photosynthesis (and thus potentially grain yield), it does not DIRECTLY influence the rate of plant development (i.e., how fast plants mature).

Rather, it is primarily temperature that drives the rate of plant development (Nielsen, 2020). The warmer it is, the faster corn progresses through its growth stages. The cooler it is, the more slowly corn progresses. The smoky days may have INDIRECTLY contributed to the slower maturity if they contributed to cooler temperatures. However even if that was true, the cooler temperatures did not occur ONLY on those smoky days.

The climatological evidence suggests that the 2023 growing season was generally cooler than normal throughout and not just due to smoky days. The accompanying chart comes from the GDD Corn Tool developed by the "Useful to Useable" USDA-funded project ( To create the chart, I chose Blackford Co. in east central Indiana, a 109-day hybrid maturity, and a May 19th planting (background information for one of our on-farm sulfur trials that is still running about 30% grain moisture as of about Oct. 23rd). The GDD Tool estimated that black layer did not occur until Oct 4th, which was exactly what our cooperator told us happened.

Fig. 1. GDD Accumulation Blackford Co 2023 for a 109-day relative maturity hybrid planted May 19th.
Source: U2U - Corn GDD Tool (

The upper, purple, line represents normal GDD accumulations for that location and the black line represents GDD accumulations this year. The chart illustrates the below normal GDD accumulations for this location throughout the season. Cooler temperatures in mid-June put us behind normal early on and then around mid-Aug cooler than normal temperatures again expanded that deviation further. Continued cooler than normal weather at this location since black layer development has further slowed the in-field drying of the grain.

Thomison (2017) stated... "Generally, it takes about 30 GDDs to lower grain moisture each point from 30% down to 25%. Drying from 25 to 20 percent requires about 45 GDDs per point of moisture." The GDD accumulation for this location tends to support that statement if one makes an assumption that grain moisture at kernel black layer was a little higher than normal to begin with, say about 35%. Between Oct. 4th (black layer) and Oct. 23rd at this location, GDD accumulation was about 150. That total divided by 30 equals "5", meaning one would expect grain moisture on Oct. 23rd to be about 5 points drier, or about 30%, which is exactly what our cooperator told us it was running.

The bottom line that one can derive from the preceding rambling thoughts is that the slow grain drydown in parts of Indiana in 2023 is primarily due to a combination of later than desired planting plus cooler than normal temperatures throughout the whole season and not due to the relatively few number of smoky hazey days we experienced. In fact, about 50% of Indiana's corn crop in 2023 was planted after mid-May so it may not be surprising that so many farmers are complaining about this issue.

References & Related Reading

Jeschke, Mark. 2023. Is Smoke from Wildfires Affecting Crop Yields? Pioneer Agronomy, Corteva AgriScience. [accessed Oct 2023].

Nielsen, R.L. (Bob). 2018. Field Drydown of Mature Corn Grain. Corny News Network, Purdue Univ. Extension. [accessed Oct 2023].

Nielsen, R.L. (Bob). 2020. Heat Unit Concepts Related to Corn Development. Corny News Network, Purdue Univ. Extension. [accessed Oct 2023].

Quinn, Dan. 2023. How Does Wildfire Smoke Impact Corn Growth? The Kernel, Purdue Univ. Extension. [accessed Oct 2023].

Thomison, Peter. 2017. Cool Weather and Corn Dry Down. C.O.R.N. Newsletter, Agronomic Crops Network, Ohio State Univ. Extension. [accessed Oct 2023].

U2U Decision Support Tools - Corn GDD Tool. 2023. Useful to Useable Project. [accessed Oct 2023].



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