Cover art for podcast Extension Calling: advice for the farm, garden, and home

Extension Calling: advice for the farm, garden, and home

111 EpisodesProduced by Karen Cox and Dan LimaWebsite

Your source for research based information for the farm, garden, and home. These mini-trainings will give you easily digestible, timely information on topics ranging from soil health to integrated pest management. We discuss risk management for your business, your personal safety, and for your heal… read more

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Soil Compaction, Prevention and Repair

May 16th, 2021


Soil compaction is a long term problem that is best to be avoided.  Keeping heavy equipment off of saturated soils is a good start.  However, with clayey soils it is often hard to avoid compaction using tillage radishes …

Selecting and Establishing Cover Crops

May 9th, 2021


Establishing a cover crop can add valuable organic matter, protect your soil from erosion, and prevent valuable nutrients from leeching out of the soil. This show introduces you to grass and legume species that work …

Pasture Management for Weed Control

May 2nd, 2021


Many farmers struggle with persistent weed problems. We help you identify some of the biggest trouble makers and discuss how to best manage them.  …

Spring Forage - Protecting first cut hay

April 19th, 2021


Spring showers bring May flowers but they also bring saturated soils and a rush to get the first cutting.  Fallen trees and invasive weeds can taint your hay and make your cattle sick. Taking a walk through the field …

Multiflora Rose Control in Pastures and beyond

April 11th, 2021


Multiflora rose started out as a good idea. But we know where the road of good intentions leads... Multiflora rose is a nuisance in fields and …

Soil is the Foundation - don't let it wash away

April 4th, 2021


Erosion comes in many forms and costs associated with soil loss are undervalued. Join us and our special guest Joe Lehman from the USDA NRCS and learn about how to take care of your soil and keep our streams running …

Small changes can make a big difference

March 28th, 2021


Ergonomics is often looked at as silly fluff. But, what if your back could hurt just a little less after harvesting all day? Wouldn't that be nice?  …

Preventing Grass Tetany in Spring

March 24th, 2021


Potassium and Magnesium are important nutrients but they must be in balance to give a healthy diet to your livestock. Too much potassium in your fields from over fertilizing with manure can cause too little magnesium to …

Springing into Soil Nutrients

March 21st, 2021


April showers bring May flowers, but be careful with Nitrogen in the spring. Your choice of a Nitrogen source can impact plant uptake, runoff, and …

Repairing Wind and Ice Storm Damage: Trees and Forests

March 14th, 2021


The impacts of winter storms linger in city and forest trees alike. From broken limbs to damaged crowns, special guests Dave McGill and Greg Dahle discuss how to identify dangers associated with the aftermath of ice and …

Apple Varieties and Rootstocks

February 28th, 2021


Start your orchard off right or bring in stronger varieties as old trees phase out.  This week we discuss characteristics for a variety of apples …

Calf Health from birth to weaning

February 21st, 2021


Good nutrition, colostrum, and electrolytes are your best weapons to prevent and combat calf diseases like scours. By keeping a good vaccination …

Get Your Food Safety Plan working for you

February 14th, 2021


While we mostly hear about big farms in the news for outbreaks, food safety is important even in the back yard garden.  Washing your hands before harvesting is a critical first step in any food safety plan. But, it's …

Soil Testing, Fertilizing, and Lime

February 7th, 2021


Seed catalogs are enticing but if you don't know your soil nutrient levels your garden and pasture won't meet their potential.  If you didn't test last fall, get a sample in as soon as possible. We recommend soil …

Pruning and Prevention for Orchards and Vineyards

January 31st, 2021


Local fruit is delicious and nutritious. Make sure your crop is market ready. Take steps early to clean up your plants and use preventative measures …

Methods for Fruitful Frost Seeding

January 24th, 2021


With last year’s soggy spring followed by a dry summer, odds are good that you are looking at some pastures that need a little help. Frost seeding is …

May the New Year Bring Better Pastures

January 17th, 2021


Whether for your personal health or the health of your pastures, stick to your resolutions by having an overall plan and set smaller SMART goals.   …

The Poinsettia and Christmas cactus

December 27th, 2020


Winter blooms can light up rooms like nothing else. If you are thinking of keeping your poinsettia with the hopes of it blooming next year, tune in to find out what extra steps this unique plant will need.  We also talk …

Caring for Live Christmas Trees

December 6th, 2020


With Thanksgiving behind us Christmas trees are on the minds of many.  Keeping a live tree safe takes extra care including watering daily, getting a clean cut, and going easy on the lights.  Pick up more details …

Being thankful for our Soil Dwelling Friends

November 29th, 2020


While our area's plants are going into dormancy, and animals are seeking warmer places to spend the winter, our soils are still quite busy places.  Microbes may slow down in lower temperatures but healthy soil is never …

What you don't know can hurt you

November 22nd, 2020


Pesticides are an important tool in the home and on the farm.  It is important to know the signal words like caution, warning, and danger.  Let us …

Important Questions for Starting or Expanding a Farm Enterprise

November 15th, 2020


When starting a new business there are an overwhelming number of questions to answer.  When starting a new farm enterprise there are even more.  "Think about the different available markets and consider what your end …

Hunting Safety and Wildlife Management with Dr. Sheldon Owen

November 8th, 2020


It is hunting season, and a "great time to get out there and enjoy the outdoors," according to Dr. Sheldon Owen, WVU Extension's Wildlife Specialist.  He joins us to help review safety tips like letting someone know …

Fall Garden Clean Up

November 1st, 2020


Fall may feel like a time of ending but it is really a time of renewal.  Plants are preparing for winter, help them out by mulching.  As for your …

Hunting Leases

October 25th, 2020


Many landowners lease their lands to allow hunting.  Whether you are inviting people to your woodlands to hunt deer or mushrooms, there are a few …

Reduce streambank erosion with riparian buffers

October 18th, 2020


Good water quality benefits everyone.  Keeping your stream from eating away at your land helps too.  Learn the benefits of grassy strips and forested riparian buffers and how to install them.  Contact us for your very …

Maintaining Pasture Health with Ed Rayburn

October 11th, 2020


Most of you are taking the necessary steps to maintain your pasture's health, but sometimes the weather just doesn't cooperate.  Ed Rayburn, Forage Specialist from WVU Extension, joins our show to clarify when an open …

Fracking Water

September 27th, 2020


Testing your water is important for many reasons, to protect your family from biological contamination, to prevent blockages in irrigation lines, and …

Reducing Storage Losses for Hay

September 20th, 2020


Simple steps like storing hay on a well drained platform or covering it can reduce storage losses. Moisture content of your bales can not only lead …

Assessing Fall Risks at Home and On The Farm

September 13th, 2020


For Fall Prevention Month we invite Lorrissa Dunfee, Family and Consumer Science Educator from Belmont County to learn the risks associated with falls, at home and on the farm. Lorrissa shares that while aging plays a …

Storing and Curing Produce for Better Shelf Life

September 6th, 2020


Harvest season is in full swing, but do you know how to make the bounty last?  Tune in to this week's program to get the run down on how to store …

Produce Harvest and Storage: beans, broccoli, and tomatoes

August 30th, 2020


Whether you grew a garden for the first time or want to improve the shelf life of your market crops this show is going to help you out.  We cover …

Summer Pest Update

August 23rd, 2020


After a brief review of the livestock markets Dan and Karen dive into current pest forecasts.  We're starting to see Downy Mildew nearby so get your preventive spray program going.  We also cover many insects to watch …

Managing Pastures and Cattle in Drought Conditions

August 16th, 2020


It's hot, it's dry.  Neither make raising cattle easier.  Tune in for some tips on how to make the most of what you have, take an inventory, and plan for the winter. We toss in a few notes on keeping your lawn healthy …

Weed ID: Step 1 in weed control

August 2nd, 2020


You can't get rid of a weed if you don't know it's secrets.  Things like, does it have deep roots? and is it a biennial or an annual?  Just because it looks dead, doesn't mean you've rid yourself of the problem.  From …

Leasing Land for Agriculture

July 26th, 2020


Today we bring you the livestock report and a flashback to a show from 2018 on how to lease land for agriculture.  You shouldn't treat it like a …

What comes out must go in: keeping tabs on soil inputs

July 19th, 2020


Great job! You have your soil test results and you are following them to a T, but should you be?  If your harvest is less than the production …

Lessening the likelyhood of Lyme Disease

July 12th, 2020


Ticks are part of summer (well, all seasons really).  As people venture outdoors the risk of getting bitten increases.  Unfortunately, ticks carry several zoonotic diseases.  Today we discuss the most common one in this …

New Tomato Disease update and a look at kudzu and poison hemlock

July 5th, 2020


There's a new tomato virus, thankfully it's not in town.  Learn steps to help keep your tomatoes protected.  We'll also help you understand how to …

Financial help for Revenue loss and Controlling Knotweed

June 28th, 2020


Watching the prices plummet or sales completely stop caused many farmers more than one night of lost sleep.  We discuss the Corona Virus Food …

Managing Pasture Growth is Key For Animal Gains

June 23rd, 2020


A good beef farmer is a good grass farmer. This goes for all grazing animals. Quality food in sufficient quantities is important for the health of all living things. This week we discuss pasture management and it's …

Production and Processing: a plea for local meats

June 14th, 2020


Why is meat so expensive at the grocery store right now? How can I improve my local food security?  Can I buy meat right off of a farm?  What is the risk of getting Covid-19 from meat packing plants that got shut down? …

Do you know what the water is doing to your soil?

June 7th, 2020


This week Dan and Karen dive deep into how soil texture can tell you when and why to be worried about water.  Protect your soils from long term damage by learning danger signs for compaction and ideas on how to know …

Fungicides for Fighting Funky Fruits

May 31st, 2020


Quality Fruit production takes attention and time.  Monitoring temperatures, rainfall, and past disease issues are essential in developing a proper fungicide spray program.  But, don't skip sanitation as it is your …

Reducing the Risks of Rainy Days through planning, planting, and protecting

May 24th, 2020


Wild weather is something any farmer should plan for.  But, crops that will last 30 years or so like orchards present unique long term planning …

Getting Started with Sheep and Goats

May 17th, 2020


A special guest from OSU's sheep team, Christine Gelley, joins Dan and Karen to discuss the basics of raising sheep and goats. From foods and supplements to fencing and marketing let us help you get things started on …

Selling Safe Food at the Farmers Market

May 10th, 2020


Have you gotten really good at making bread while being locked in?  Did your victory garden get a bit out of hand? Just in time for farmers market …

Rainy Hay Seasons May Bring More Balage

May 3rd, 2020


This week Dan and Karen review putting up silage or balage as an alternative to hay when it just won't stop raining.  There are certain steps to harvest and prepare balage properly that you must take to avoid potential …

How to be happy with the tree you plant

April 26th, 2020


In honor of Arbor Day Karen and Dan discuss some of the often forgotten planning steps to consider when planting a tree and their disastrous impacts.

Weeds weeds weeds

April 20th, 2020


Weeds are a constant challenge in produce and pasture.  Today Karen and Dan discuss how different weeds require different strategies for control and …

So you brought home some peeps for Easter, now what?

April 12th, 2020


This week we take on the basics of raising backyard chickens.  From which type of bird would be best, to getting healthy peeps and feeding them …

Keeping food safe from farm to market

April 5th, 2020


Food safety is always a priority and farmers take many steps to stop food-borne illnesses. But what can we do to help farmers and consumers stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak? This episode answers questions like can …

Livestock auctions, soil tests , and growing blueberries

March 29th, 2020


Today we go over some of the changes livestock auctions are making to help keep you safe.  We also offer some tips about what you can do to help our soil test labs keep up.  Finally, we talk blueberries, our acid loving …

Grapes and their care

March 22nd, 2020


Recording off site but still going!  This we we'll give you the latest auction report and talk about growing grapes.

What do for the garden in March

March 8th, 2020


With days getting longer, many gardeners and farmers are getting the itch to get planting.  While starting seeds indoors and planting in greenhouses is well underway, we help you know what things can be done to get you …

Pruning Fruit Trees

March 1st, 2020


Whether you are starting an orchard or renovating grandma's prize winning apple tree there are good and bad ways to do it.  Listen in to save yourself trouble down the road.

Spotted Lantern Fly

February 23rd, 2020


It's coming!  Watch for it!  Smash it (but call someone first so we can positively ID it)!

Starting Seeds

February 16th, 2020


Learn best practices for starting seeds so your plants have a good healthy start!

Environmental Impacts

February 9th, 2020


Best Practices and ideas for managing environmental impacts on the farm.

Master Gardener Program

January 29th, 2020


Master Gardeners are one of the largest volunteer organizations in the country. That's especially amazing when you consider they have to take 40 …

Managing Forage

January 21st, 2020


Whether you graze in the winter or feed hay, there are steps you can take to improve your farm's success. This week we talk pasture management for healthy forages.

Soil Testing Why and How

November 20th, 2019


Check out our new shorter format as we dive into the benefits of soil testing and give some pointers on how to do it right. Transcripts available - please email

Got Woods? Protect them

November 3rd, 2019


In this episode we hope to help you identify what is most valuable about your woods for you and your family.  Whether it be an investment for retirement or for enjoying the health benefits of being outside, having a …

Feeder Calf Sales vs Auction - also forage testing

October 20th, 2019


Have you ever wondered if participating in feeder calf sales is really worth it?  We compare results from one of our local feeder calf sales with …

Common Questions about GMO's

October 13th, 2019


Yep, we're taking the plunge and talking Genetically Modified Organisms today.  What are they?  Why is it a big deal? And should you be worried.

Improve Sale Prices through Handling and Transportation

October 8th, 2019


Use low stress handling and good planning to improve your price at the market.  Always work and transport cattle in a calm manner, properly load your trailers, and watch your calendars.  We also discuss the importance a …

Using Nature to reduce pest pressure

September 29th, 2019


Ever wondered if there was another way to deal with mice, weeds and other pesky problems? Today we discuss different techniques for controlling both …

Cover Cropping

September 22nd, 2019


Should you use a cover crop? What cover crop meets your needs? What do I need to do before planting my next rotation if I use a cover crop? These …

Staying Safe Around Pipelines and Buried Utilities

September 15th, 2019


Tune in for this great interview with Brandon Sternadel from the Pipeline Ag Safety Alliance. We discuss when to call 811 and why.  Keep your farm and your family safe and save your bank account from a costly mistake by …

Water Quality for Fields and Irrigation

September 8th, 2019


What is in your water and why you need to know. From food safety aspects, to runoff problems, to irrigation and fertigation issues, it is important to know what is in the water you are using on the farm.

Fall Forage Management - Planning Ahead

September 1st, 2019


Is your pasture in need? Now is a great time to reseed, treat perennial weeds, fertilize winter pastures, and plan out your grazing paddocks for the winter. Download to learn more!

Sudden Oak Death - Should you be worried?

August 28th, 2019


Rhododendrons infected with Phytophthora ramorum or Sudden Oak Death were sold through big box stores in March and April of 2019.  Learn how to …


August 18th, 2019


From selection to planting to pruning to overwintering, we discuss how to care for roses.

Disasters and their effects on the beef market - Managing risk

August 18th, 2019


Dan and Karen share the local livestock prices and discuss potential causes for volatility in the market.  They also discuss a few risk management …

Healthy Living Episode - E-cigarettes and their impacts

August 16th, 2019


Dan and Marissa from the Belmont County Extension office discuss the marketing and health issues associated with E-cigarettes or vaping.

Beef health: use of antimicrobials and ionifores

July 28th, 2019


Get an update on proper usage of antibiotics to improve animal health while following VFD Regulations. BQA. Local livestock report through 3:22.

Handling Heat Stress in Livestock

July 18th, 2019


Special release for the heat wave: a review of precautions to keep yourself and your animals safe in the heat. More thorough information can be found here: Livestock Heat Stress: Recognition, Response and Prevention

Composting #2: Turning Manure into Gold

July 14th, 2019


Learn about steps for properly composting manure in windrows.  Improve nutrient content, reduce environmental impacts, remove weed issues, and …

Composting: A How To for Quality Results

July 7th, 2019


Composting helps to reduce waste going to landfills and convert trash to treasure.  We discuss how to balance carbon and nitrogen ratios for optimal decay and plant nutrient values as well as how to troubleshoot common …

Aquatic Weeds, Prevention and Treatment for Ponds

June 30th, 2019


Got a pond? Got weeds in your pond? Want them gone? This show is for you! We discuss why some ponds have more weed problems than others and ways to reduce nutrient loads, reduce weed development, and keep fish healthy.  …

Biosecurity, keeping animals healthy on the Farm

June 23rd, 2019


This week's hay and livestock report is from Mt. Hope Auction (through 5:55). Then we dive into what to know about African Swine Fever.  We spend most of this segment on biosecurity tips that will keep your pigs and …

Choosing and Planting Fruit Trees

June 16th, 2019


Increase your success with fruit trees by making the right choices up front.  We discuss variety, root stock, frost pockets, and more to help you get a good start to an orchard or small backyard fruit production.

Preventing seedling distress and failure

June 9th, 2019


From starting with quality seed to making sure you aren't transferring last years diseases, there are many steps you can take to get a good start to your crop. Listen in to find out more (livestock report runs through …

Quality Hay Production Part 2

June 2nd, 2019


Hay season has come to the Ohio Valley. Karen and Dan take discuss steps to help make sure your time and effort provide the greatest return. There is so much to discuss we had to break it into two shows, here is part …

Quality Hay Production Part I

May 26th, 2019


Hay season has come to the Ohio Valley.  Karen and Dan take discuss steps to help make sure your time and effort provide the greatest return.  There is so much to discuss we had to break it into two shows, this is part …

Extending the Market Growing Season

May 19th, 2019


Floating Row Cover, High Tunnels, and Shade Cloth are just a few options available for extending your growing season.  We offer a myriad of options to help you choose what's best for your farm.

Preventing Grass Tetany and Bloat

May 12th, 2019


After the local livestock auction report we review the causes, treatments, steps for preventing tetany and bloat when putting your ruminants out in spring pastures.  If you think your animal has a serious health issue …

Weed Control Done Right

May 10th, 2019


Learn proper pesticide application methods for controlling weeds while protecting the environment.  Also, tips for identifying poison hemlock a …

Arbor Day Special Keeping Urban and Yard Trees Healthy

April 28th, 2019


Karen interviews Brian Kralovic a local certified arborist.  We discuss good tree care, common tree care mistakes, and considerations for choosing and planting a new tree. For more info check out and …

Dealing with Farm Stress

April 22nd, 2019


Dan hosts special guest Christine Gelley from the Noble County Extension office to talk about strategies for dealing with farm stress.

How low should you go? Building Raised Bed Gardens

April 14th, 2019


When building your raised bed garden consider how low your roots need to go.  We go beyond the basic mix to discuss various success strategies and root depths. (Local livestock report through 2:45).

The role of Crop Rotation and Rest Periods in IPM

April 7th, 2019


Please enjoy this show from May 2017 where Dan and I talk about integrated pest management through crop rotation and resting the field.  We'll be back next week with a new show for you!

Is Management Intensive Grazing your solution to muddy pastures? And managing for good hay and bad hay.

March 31st, 2019


Last year's mud has carried over through the winter and we're looking at a rough start to spring grazing. With more rain expected, it may be time to reconsider how we pasture our livestock. Management intensive Grazing …

Repairing Ruts and Reclaiming Rootzones

March 24th, 2019


After the Parkersburg livestock prices (through 4:56) we talk about why it's important to pay attention to compaction and steps you can take to get a start on remediating ruts and get a good planting this spring. …

What's Your Mode of Action and other pesticide puzzlers

March 17th, 2019


Mode of Action vs. Site of Action, Restricted Use vs. Restricted Entry. This episode we work on deciphering all these things while helping you create a system to protect yourself and your farm when working with …

When was what pesticide sprayed where? Things you need to know.

March 10th, 2019


Keeping the right records for pesticide application is more than knowing the spray dates for your applicator license.  Spray records can help improve the efficacy of the application and save you money by not over or …

Preventing soil borne problems in the new growing season

March 3rd, 2019


After last year's rain every one is hoping to have a little less mud.  But, the rains did more than make mud. Soil nutrients were leached out, nitrogen building bacteria were drowned, and soil structure was …

Disease prevention steps for Tree fruit and Small Fruit

February 24th, 2019


Dan provides the local livestock prices (through 4:25). Then we get into some tips for keeping fruit diseases at bay as the end of our cold season …

Calf Health and Vaccinations

February 17th, 2019


Keep your calves healthy by making sure mamma is healthy at time of birth, making sure colostrum is received in the first hour, and consider a …

Meeting Nutrition Requirements of Beef Cows: hay and supplements

February 10th, 2019


If you are low on hay or feeding lower quality hay, you may need to supplement your cow's energy needs in this last trimester.  We discuss how to …

WV Mineral Tax Assessment and BQA Medication Recommendations

February 3rd, 2019


Join in for a glance at local livestock prices, how the state of WV assesses mineral taxes and royalty taxes, and recommendations for handling medication to meet Beef Quality Assurance standards.

Managing the finances and business during hard times

January 27th, 2019


This week we talk about tough decisions in tough financial times.  We review using records to make changes so business struggles don't become personal struggles.

What to put back in your pasture field if it ever stops raining

January 20th, 2019


This week we provide information about upcoming programs like the WV Small Farm Conference and Appalachian Grazing Conference as well as small local events.  Then we dive into important plant characteristics to consider …

Pre-calving steps & livestock health in wet conditions

January 13th, 2019


This week we help you get ready for calving season, review the local livestock report, and discuss some problems and solutions for muddy pastures.

The Farm Bill and what it means to new and existing farmers

January 6th, 2019


A quick overview of the potential impacts of the 2019 Farm Bill.  More information can be found at


Things you have to give up if you want to be successful

December 30th, 2018


We break out of the farm mold today to talk about the 13 things you need to do to be successful.  This show is based on Zdravko Cvijectic's post on …

What you need to know about feeding the birds, glyphosate resistance, and palmer amaranth

December 23rd, 2018


This week we discuss tips for feeding the birds this winter.  We also talk about glyphosate resistance in palmer amaranth and how to make sure your …

Don't Move Firewood and Chainsaw Safety

December 14th, 2018


Dan and Karen discuss Chainsaw safety and tips on choosing firewood to heat your home or have a pretty fire.

For transcripts or more information contact

Programs and activities offered by the …

Educational Opportunities and Tips for Growing Spinach in Winter

December 14th, 2018


Upcoming programs for the upper Ohio Valley Region announced. Tips on growing spinach in winter from row covers to high tunnels. If you would like a …

End of Year Farm Business Review Tips

October 19th, 2018


This week we encourage you to start gathering your farm business records early and give guidance on how to review your books so you know what steps to take before the fiscal year ends. We also review local livestock …

Home Canning Tips

October 12th, 2018


This week we we share the local livestock prices and welcome special guest Ms. Marnie Miller. She is a certified food preserver and we discuss home …

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