Ag Notes Feb. 21, 2022

Press Staff Writer

Ag-Link application opens
        To help Ohio farmers and agribusinesses finance the upfront costs of this year’s growing season, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague last week opened the Ag-LINK application period, which will now be open year-round.
        This year and for the first time ever, the application period will be open year-round and divided into four quarters. New reduced interest rate figures will be announced at the start of each quarter. For the quarter beginning last week, Ag-LINK will provide a 0.5 percent interest rate reduction on agriculture business operation loans at eligible banks, credit unions, and farm credit lenders.
        The treasurer’s office administers the Ag-LINK program to help Ohio farm operators and other agricultural businesses finance the upfront operating costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, equipment, and other costs.
        Eligible farm operators and agribusinesses:
        • Must be organized for profit;
        • Must have headquarters and 51 percent of operations maintained in Ohio;
        • Must use the loan exclusively for agricultural purposes; and
        • Must agree to comply with all program and financial institution regulations.
        The treasurer’s office is working with the Ohio legislature to make necessary statutory updates to Ag-LINK that will further help the program to keep pace with the diverse borrowing needs of the agriculture community. Sprague said he has proposed adding agricultural cooperatives as eligible borrowers and removing existing loan and program caps to provide borrowers with greater flexibility.
        Ag-LINK has been supporting Ohio’s farm community since 1986. In fiscal year 2021, the treasurer’s office helped 571 farmers and agribusinesses lower their interest rates for new loans totaling $63 million.
        Those interested in Ag-LINK should contact their financial institution to begin the online loan application process.
Spring tree sale
        The Ottawa Soil & Water Conservation District is taking orders for a wide variety of plants for spring delivery. Order and pay online or download a tree order form by visiting or call 419-898-1595 to request a form.
        The deadline for ordering is Thursday, March 31, however, supplies are limited, so early ordering is encouraged.
        Evergreen varieties are sold in packets of 10 and include Colorado Blue Spruce, and Norway Spruce. This year, OSWCD is again offering the fast-growing Green Rocket Cedar that will be sold individually. These cedars, which will grow up to 3 feet per year, are deer-resistant, have a strong root system and no major insect problems. They make a great windbreak or privacy screen.
        Also offered in the sale are Shellbark Hickory, Bald Cypress, Black Gum, Tulip Poplar, Sycamore, Bur Oak, Skyrise, Red Oak, White Oak, Sugar Maple, and Red Maple.
        Back by popular demand are the Wildlife Tree Pack, Pollinator Tree Pack and a Nut Tree Pack, which includes five different types of native trees,
        Prices range from $10-$35. To order or for more information, call the Ottawa SWCD office at 419-898-1595. Money raised from the program goes to support district education programs throughout the year.
Lucas SWCD tree sale
        The Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District (Lucas SWCD) is accepting orders for the Annual Tree, Shrub, and Garden Sale through Friday, March 25.
        Orders may be placed online at
        This year’s sale includes several hardwoods including American Sycamore, Tupelo Black Gum, and Eastern Redbud, as well as flowering shrubs like Sweet Shrub and Snowberry.
        Also available are four varieties of conifers as well as a Backyard Habitat Packet, Fruit Tree Packet and Native Seed Packets which contain seeds collected locally from the Oak Openings Region.
        “Each year, the Lucas SWCD offers a unique selection of native and habitat trees, shrubs and plants to promote conservation in the landscape,” said Jamie Kochensparger, the Lucas SWCD Educator and Outreach Director. “These plants are offered at a low cost to encourage residents to help wildlife, provide soil and water benefits, and improve their properties.”
        All orders must be picked up at the Lucas County Fairgrounds April 13 or April 14 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
        For more information, call 419-893-1966.


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