Ohio State’s 2013 Manure Science Review is Aug. 6 near Bucyrus. It’s an educational program for farmers, livestock managers, certified crop advisers, professional engineers, and others. Its focus is how to improve soils, crops, and farm success while at the same time protecting water quality. Get more details here (pdf).
Sustainability... On The Farm
Giant reed can grow in Ohio. But should it? In a recent OARDC study (pdf; p. 35), the fast-growing plant survived winter, grew tall and thick, and gave “exceptional yields.” But the scientists said further research is needed on basic agronomy-related issues, such as weed control, and on whether the propagation methods used in the study will work on a field-scale level. There’s growing interest in giant reed as a big-producing biofuel crop. But there’s also concern about the risk it poses as a possible invasive species. Giant reed, which is native to Asia, has escaped and spread in the South and West. (Photo: Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org.)
As a followup to our previous post, here are the panelists for July 9′s Environmental Professionals Network breakfast:
• Ted Lozier, P.E., deputy chief, Division of Soil and Water Resources, Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Sponsoring this month’s program is Ohio State’s Ohio Water Resources Center.
More and more farms, schools, and businesses in Ohio are producing their own renewable energy — through onsite wind and solar systems, for instance, which collectively go by the name distributed energy. And more and more, CFAES’s statewide outreach arm, OSU Extension, is lending its expertise to help them do it. Read the story …
The Ohio Department of Agriculture last week announced more detections of the walnut twig beetle in Butler County in southwest Ohio. The tiny insect, some 10 of which are shown here fitting easily on a penny, carries a fungus that causes deadly thousand cankers disease (pdf) in walnut trees, although at this point the disease itself hasn’t been found in the county. If you’re a reporter or a blogger, get a list of CFAES experts you can talk to here. If you’re a gardener, a forest owner, or are otherwise interested, get details on getting a free wallet-size walnut twig beetle ID card here. (Photo: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org.)
Mark your calendar for the Fulton County Sustainable Agriculture Tour, which is June 21. Fulton County is west of Toledo. Featured will be Kinsman Farm, a traditional family row crop farm that also now has organic produce, CSA subscriptions, and high tunnel production; Turkeyfoot Creek Creamery, which raises its own goats and uses their milk to make artisan cheeses; and Knotty Vines Farm and Winery, a “retirement project” that is succeeding on just three acres. Presented by CFAES’s Sustainable Agriculture Team as part of the Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. Details (pdf; p. 12.)
Explore Ohio’s rich diversity of salamanders (24 species, including the smallmouth salamander shown here) and you’ll discover more than the creatures themselves. You’ll find good signs — and red flags — on the quality of the state’s environment, says a CFAES wildlife specialist. Read the whole story.
CFAES’s Ohio Woodland Stewards Program is holding a four-part seminar series for gardeners, landscapers, homeowners, and others on invasive species, the problems they cause, and how to deal with them. Read the whole story. The stewards program is part of our statewide outreach arm, OSU Extension. (Photo: Invasive insects called hemlock woolly adelgids (the fuzzy white spots) on a hemlock branch by Nicholas A. Tonelli, Pennsylvania, USA, via Wikimedia Commons.)