Two CFAES speakers at Stone Lab this Thursday

More good reasons to visit Ohio State’s Stone Lab on Lake Erie: CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron will present “Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: Three Ways of Describing a Singular Mission” as the lab’s weekly guest lecture this Thursday evening, July 10. And CFAES economist Elena Irwin will give a research brief before the main talk called “A Sustainability Science Approach to Lake Erie: Assessing the Linkages and Trade-offs Between Agricultural Land Management and Lake Ecosystem Services.” Admission is free and open to the public. But you’ll need to ride a water taxi to get from Put-in-Bay to the lab and back ($3 each way). You also can watch online.

Managing manure can serve double doody: Can help both crops and water. Learn how …

image of manure and green field for GBManure has two shades of green, so to speak. The green of greater farm crop yields. And the green of a healthier environment, especially cleaner water. Organizers of the Aug. 14 Manure Science Review say farmers can see both at the same time and that the event will show how to do it. Read the story …

How to go goji: Small-fruit, ‘superfruit’ workshop slated

image of goji berriesGrowing small fruits can boost a farm’s income. Which in turn can strengthen the farm’s sustainability. Plus small fruits — not just grapes, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries but elderberries, goji berries and aronia berries, too — taste great and pack a nutritious punch. You can find out more about growing them — yes, both goji (pictured) and aronia, two of the new so-called “superfruits,” will grow in Ohio — at an upcoming workshop by experts from CFAES. Sign up by July 11. (Photo: iStock.)

Yes, you can say he stands out in his field

Rattan_LalThe International Union of Soil Sciences has named CFAES’s Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of soil science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, as its president-elect. The Vienna, Austria-based group has 16,000 members from around the world. Lal directs the school’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center and, among other things, recently served on the advisory committee of the National Climate Assessment. (Photo: CFAES Communications.)

First day on the job

image of new Ohio State President Michael DrakeWe bid a big welcome to Ohio State’s new president, Michael V. Drake, M.D., who started today. Details on his sustainability achievements at UC-Irvine in a previous post. (Photo: University Communications.)

Plant power: Ohio naturalist, author to speak July 8

grasslands and woods image 2

The next monthly breakfast program by the Environmental Professionals Network, “Plants Make the World Go ’Round: Why We Must Protect Our Native Ecosystems,” is July 8 at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus. The speaker will be the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Jim McCormac, who writes the Ohio Birds and Biodiversity blog and is the author of Birds of Ohio, Great Lakes Nature Guide and Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural HeritageAfter his talk and the breakfast, he’ll lead a nature walk in the surrounding Scioto Audubon Metro Park on the Scioto River. For details and a link to online registration, click here. (Photo: iStock.)

CFAES scientists get grant to study biocontrol of deadly bat disease

white nose syndrome in little brown batA team including CFAES scientists has received a $223,000 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant to study possible biocontrol agents for white-nose syndrome in bats. The grant was one of eight awarded last week by the agency for studying the disease. White-nose syndrome is a fungal infection that has killed millions of hibernating bats in eastern North America. It was first found in New York in 2006 and since then has spread, including to Ohio. Bats eat massive amounts of night-flying insects, including food crop pests and mosquitoes. Fewer bats would mean more of these pests. (Photo: Infected little brown bat by Al Hicks, N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation.)

Certainly getting his feet wet

CFAES student Ben Rubinoff, a junior in the School of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Science Honors Program, is interning this summer with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center on Chesapeake Bay. From a story called “Seeking Life in the Mud” on the center’s website:

Once the math is done, they head to the field. Either from inside a jon boat or up to their knees in murky water along the shore, they use a tool called a “petite ponar” to snatch sediment from the bottom surface. “It’s like big salad tongs,” said Rubinoff.

So you want to know more about naked oats …

image of man looking curiousSo, “naked oats” are really a thing. And a CFAES scientist is studying them. Can growing them benefit organic farmers (as part of their crop rotation), organic chickens (as lower-cost organic feed) and, yes, organic oatmeal eaters (as, well, oatmeal)? You can learn more about them at a CFAES-sponsored event next week. And also in a previous press release.

Wrong kind of green

Lake Erie may see major algal blooms again this summer, Jeff Reutter, director of Ohio State’s Stone Lab and Ohio Sea Grant programs, said last month at a university symposium on climate change. And that’s bad. The blooms threaten, among other things, fish such as walleye, the lake’s $10 billion-a-year tourism industry, and drinking water safety for 3 million Ohioans and 12 million people overall. The Toledo Blade, Columbus Dispatch and Crain’s Cleveland Business all reported on the story. Phosphorus runoff serves as the blooms’ main fuel. Much of Lake Erie’s phosphorus comes from the Maumee River, which enters the lake at Toledo. Much of the river’s phosphorus, meanwhile, comes from fertilizers washed off of farm fields ...    Read More »