COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio farmers and agribusiness who turn to Ohio State University Extension's Crop Observation and Recommendation Network newsletter have used the information to boost their profits -- to the tune of nearly $10 million, according to a recent OSU Extension survey.
The newsletter, better known as C.O.R.N., has been providing timely and practical field crop production information to farmers and businesses throughout Ohio and the Midwest since 1996. The newsletter is managed by OSU Extension's Agronomic Crops Team and is available via a free e-mail subscription, by fax or online at http://agcrops.osu.edu.
Team members conducted an online survey in the fall of 2007 to gauge the newsletter's value and the overall economic impact to C.O.R.N. readers. Survey results indicated that Ohio farmers reported adding value of nearly $1.4 million to their farming operation by using C.O.R.N. That translates into over $8,600 per farm. Ohio agribusinesses reported adding value of over $8.2 million, translating into $341,000 per farm.
Over 70 percent of those surveyed reported an increase in yield or reduction in costs from using information from C.O.R.N. to make management decisions.
"Through evaluation or just comments at meetings from clientele, we hear about how they value C.O.R.N. as a decision-making tool that results in increased yields or reduced costs, and that adds to the bottom line," said Steve Prochaska, an OSU Extension educator in Crawford County and a newsletter editor. "Our job is to provide research-based information on problems and needs of our clientele in order for them to remain competitive, and C.O.R.N. offers that."
The latest survey is a follow-up to another survey conducted in 2001, which showed that Ohio farmers and agri-businesses saved over $11.2 million in reduced pesticide and herbicide costs and increased crop production with the help of C.O.R.N.
At that time, 800 individuals subscribed to the newsletter's listserv. Since then, subscription has increased 73 percent for a total of around 3,000 subscribers, and the average number of monthly visits to the Web site has increased 78 percent since 2002.
"C.O.R.N. has some very exemplary attributes: It's timely, it's on the cutting edge, and it's a team effort," said Prochaska. "Such a combination is very good for the Ohio farmer."
C.O.R.N. provides information on insect and disease management, crop production, pesticide/herbicide recommendations, research results and program/workshop information. The newsletter is produced 42 times a year and is shared by OSU Extension educators and program specialists throughout Ohio.