Farmers worried about heavy rain forecast

Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012 @ 9:56 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 @ 9:59 PM

The prospect of heavy rains this weekend is not filling every farmer’s heart with joy.

Winegrape growers in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio are watching the remnants of Hurricane Isaac with a wary eye, because heavy rains at or near harvest can wreak havoc on the quality of the grapes and on the taste of the resulting wines.

WHIO-TV Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson said even though the precise track of the former hurricane is not known, Isaac could dump two to five inches of rain on the area by the end of Labor Day. That would be a good first step toward easing the drought that has bedeviled farmers this summer.

But is also might complicate the harvest of certain varieties of wine grapes that are approaching peak maturity, Ohio winegrape specialists say. Prolonged rain at harvest time can cause thin-skinned grapes to expand and split their skins, which in turn can lead to rot or to unwanted attention from insects. And the water that gorges the grapes can knock the sugars and palate-friendly acids out of balance and dilute the flavors of the resulting wine.

Joe Schuchter, part of the third generation of the family that owns and operates Valley Vineyards near Morrow in Warren County, said vineyard workers there are accelerating the harvest of some grape varieties that have ripened sufficiently. “We’ll pick until the rain starts, and for a little while after, because it takes a while for the grapes to absorb the moisture,” Schuchter said.

The winery’s “vinifera” grapevines — varieties such as chardonnay and cabernet franc that are native to Europe and are most recognizable to consumers — ripen later in the fall and should weather this storm without damage, Schuchter said.

James Brandeberry, owner and winemaker of Brandeberry Winery in Clark County northwest of Yellow Springs, said he intends to leave his grapes on the vine. “They are not ready to pick yet,” Brandeberry said of his seyval blanc, vidal blanc and cayuga grape varieties growing in his estate vineyard. “I’ll take my chances.”

The ground is so dry that a heavy, brief rain may not soak into the ground enough to bloat the grapes, the winery owner said.

Todd Steiner, enology program manager and winemaking specialist at Ohio State University’s agricultural research center in Wooster, said the current rain forecast “is not a vintage-breaker” for Ohio winemakers and grape growers.

“But I wouldn’t want to see too many other Isaacs come through here and settle right over us” in the weeks ahead, Steiner said. “That would break the harvest.”

The Ohio wine and grape industry had an economic impact of $582.8 million, employed 4,000 people, provided a payroll of $124.2 million and contributed an estimated $62 million back in state, local and federal tax revenue, according to the industry’s 2008 Economic Impact report, its most recent impact report.

Dayton firm lands $20M sand bag contract

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 12:59 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 3:08 PM

            (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Teresa Aber/Released)

A Dayton company has landed a $20 million federal contract to supply acrylic sand bags to the military.

Dayton Bag & Burlap Co. was awarded the Defense Logistics Agency contract to produce bags for the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy units in New Jersey and Ohio, a report shows.

In 2014, the company was awarded a $74 million contract to supply sand bags to the military, newspaper archives show.

The company also sells burlap, wire baskets, twine and nursery supplies, among other products.

The firm has been in Dayton for more than a century.


Small business contracts up at Wright-Patterson

Longtime Beavercreek family doctor moving offices

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 4:19 PM

            Dr. Joseph Leithold

Dr. Joseph Leithold is moving from his current Beavercreek office to join Beavercreek Family Physicians on June 26.

Leithold most recently practiced at Woodcroft Family Practice, another Premier Physician Network primary care office in Beavercreek.

Leithold will partner with four other family physicians – Dr. Angela Kohnen, Dr. Mark Ringle, Dr. Andrew Schulz, and Dr. Richard Surowiec at Beavercreek Family Physicians. Beavercreek Family Physicians is located at 1244 Meadow Bridge Drive, Suite 100, in Beavercreek.

Premier Physician Network is one of the largest groups of primary and specialty care practices in Southwest Ohio. More than 600 physicians and advanced practice providers make up this network throughout Dayton and Northern Cincinnati.

Oscar Mayer unveils WienerDrone

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 11:41 AM

Hot dog fans may need to look skyward for their next order.

Oscar Mayer is expanding its WienerFleet this summer by adding a WienerDrone.

The WienerDrone is the "first unmanned hot dog-carrying aircraft designed for remote location delivery," according to Oscar Mayer

>> Read more trending news

Also debuting this summer is the WienerCycle, a three-wheeled moped designed for urban deliveries with a sidecar that doubles as a hot dog warming station, Oscar Mayer said in a news release.

The WienerDrone and WienerCycle join the iconic Wienermobile, the WienerMini and the WienerRover to help promote Oscar Mayer's recipe overhaul of its hot dog brands. Oscar Mayer claims to be the first national brand to remove all added nitrates and nitrites, by-products and artificial preservatives from its hot dogs.

Check out the redevelopment concepts for Dayton Mall area

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 1:03 PM

Renderings show what the Dayton Mall area could look like.

One-third of U.S. malls are projected to close in coming years, and it is imperative that the Dayton Mall adapt to a changing marketplace and industry consolidation, Chris Snyder, board member with the Miami Twp.-Dayton Mall Joint Economic Development District, said today.

With an occupancy rate between 95 to 98 percent, the Dayton Mall is far from dying, Snyder said, noting that malls on life support tend to have a rate of 70 percent or below.

But as consumer preferences and the marketplace change, the Dayton Mall area — recently rebranded as the Miami Crossing District — likely will need to add housing, offices, entertainment and other diverse uses that attract people and their dollars, Snyder said.

The redevelopment focus is on the area by the Sears on the eastern end of the mall. The proposal is to crate a main street corridor that stretches from Mall Ring Road to Lyons Road, with a variety of new uses.

RELATED: Group looks to lure more visitors to Miami Crossing District

Here’s a few things to know about the Dayton Mall area and some possible scenarios for its future.

1.  THE MALL, THE DISTRICT: The Dayton Mall has about $200 million in annual sales and 1.4 million square feet of retail space. The mall is home to more than 140 businesses, including a diverse mix of food, retail, electronics, department stores and plenty else. The Miami Crossing District is a marketing brand and plan for a 2.2-square-mile area around the mall. Miami Crossing is home to more than 400 businesses, 3.7 million square feet of retail space and 200,000 square feet of restaurant space. Miami Twp. and Miamisburg adopted a master plan for the area that calls for more than $200 million in investment.

2. THE RETAIL APOCALYPSE: Why adapt? Because malls have been hit hard in the last couple of years. Thousands of retail stores across the nation, many in malls, have closed as part of an upheaval dubbed the “retail apocalypse.” hhgregg in the Dayton Mall has closed and a Payless ShoeSource store across from the mall is closing, Snyder said. The Family Christian store near the mall also is gone. The United States is home to about 1,200 malls, and 20 percent of those facilities produce 72 percent of mall revenue, according to Snyder. Malls that are not high-performing on the revenue side are at real risk of closure. Individual store closures also can greatly harm malls. A 156,000-square foot Macy’s at the Upper Valley Mall, with a $5 million appraised value in 2012, was bought by the Clark County Land Bank for $200,000. The Macy’s at the Dayton Mall, which is 263,560 square feet, is valued at $7.5 million.

RELATED: To combat retail apocalypse, local malls push for shopping innovation

3. WHAT’S TO BE DONE: The Miami Crossing area would benefit from new community spaces, more diverse uses and improved pedestrian connectivity, Snyder said. The suburbs can be reinvented to feature pedestrian-friendly infrastructure elements that were left out during the original development, he said. The primary redevelopment focus is on the area south of Sears (the store sits on about 15 acres), which features is a large parking lot. Snyder shared four redevelopment scenarios.

RELATED: Dayton Mall area looks to adopt Miami Crossing brand

4. THE 4 SCENARIOS: The proposals are for between 300 to 500 residential units; between 25,000 to 45,000 square feet (SF) of retail; 15,000 to 95,000 SF of public green space; 25,000 to 100,000 SF of entertainment; 10,000 to 15,000 SF of office. All scenarios call for making Lyons Ridge Drive a main street. But one calls for creating a “Central Park” from Mall Ring Road to south of Kingsridge Drive (95 SF of green space). Another scenario calls for a new entertainment complex (80,000 to 100,000 SF). The plans are expected to change, but the market can support up to 1,200 new housing units in that immediate area, Snyder said.