New laws and new resources on wind and solar development in Ohio

BY  | OCTOBER 13, 2021 · 3:47 PM

Large-scale wind and solar energy development has generated both opportunity and conflict across Ohio in recent years.  For several months, we monitored the progress of Senate Bill 52, a proposal intended to address community and landowner concerns about wind and solar facilities.  This past Monday marked the effective date for Senate Bill 52, passed by the Ohio Legislature in June, and we’ve been busy developing new resources to help explain the laws that are now effective.

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Yep … The Problem is Agriculture!!??

Source: OFBF (edited)

Yeah it’s easier, let’s just blame agriculture!

Why are they allowed to put ANY sewage in the river? 

Where have the regulators been for the last 20 years?

A fine of only $29,936.00 which equals about $.00001 per gallon

Given 30 years to fix the problem – WHAT????

Maybe now we have found the real problem! 

 

Unlike permitted livestock farms, such as CAFOs, that are not allowed to discharge an ounce of manure into Ohio’s waterways, municipalities have agreements with Ohio EPA to allow for a certain amount of sewage to be dumped directly into tributaries located in watersheds that flow into Lake Erie.

For Maumee, Ohio, that agreement is 25 million gallons per year. However, due to an outdated sewer infrastructure, the municipality has actually been adding as much as 150 million gallons of sewage into the Maumee River for each of the past 20 years.

City Law Director David Busick confirmed that Department of Public Service Sewer Division employees, who keep track of sewer discharge levels, did not comply with the law when they failed to self-report the incidences of annual sewer overflow in Maumee. The City Council has since approved an action plan that requires mandated maintenance upgrades and infrastructure replacement guidelines. The city has also been fined by Ohio EPA to the tune of $29,936. which can be applied to remediation steps.

“We have always said that water quality issues are complex, involving many sources of nutrients, changing weather patterns and lack of data,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “We are certainly not absolving agriculture of its contribution to this challenge or responsibility in finding solutions, but what Maumee has been doing over the past two decades is disturbing and makes you wonder if other municipalities with equally run down sewer infrastructures are having similar issues.”

During the same period that Maumee was illegally dumping massive amounts of sewage, Ohio farmers have been using new equipment and technology to maximize the placement of nutrients used for crop production. They also are following strict state regulations and participating in voluntary water quality programs like H2Ohio find better management practices to minimize the amount of nutrient runoff from farm fields and into the watershed.

“Farmers have been heavily scrutinized for their impact on Lake Erie and have answered that criticism with unprecedented efforts to help solve the problem. It is time to hold municipal administrations and their wastewater facilities to the same standards,” Sharp said. “If a city’s wastewater infrastructure is failing, those issues should be addressed immediately with the same urgent action Ohio agriculture has taken to protect Ohio’s water quality.”

 

So Lush, So Green, And Oh So Poisonous

– Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension Forage Specialist

A yew bush used as landscaping is in need of a trim. Don’t feed the trimmings to livestock or death will occur. (Photo Credit: Keith Johnson)

It’s that time of year when the yew (pronounced like the letter “U”) is likely in need of a trim to look best as a landscaping plant. Yews have been used as a common landscaping shrub or small tree for decades. They have closely spaced, glossy, rather tough, dark green, linear pointed-end leaves that are 1.5 – 2 inches long.  Hard-to-see male and female flowers are found on separate plants and form fleshy red to yellow fruits that contain a single seed.

 

Many plants have poisonous compounds that can cause all kinds of concerns, and even death, if consumed. The interactions that I have had with veterinarians, suggest that the yew is right at or near the top of plants that cause livestock death. A disheartening scenario is when yew trimmings are thrown over the fence by the livestock owner or neighbor thinking that the trimmings would make a great snack for the livestock. Fresh or dry trimmings, it doesn’t matter. The result will be the same – death.

Yews are hardy perennial landscaping plants, but don’t toss the trimmings to your equine, heard, or flock or they won’t see the light of the next day.

In memory of livestock that met “Their Maker” because they ate yew.

 

 

 

What’s Going on with the Birds? Mysterious Illness Affecting Ohio Birds

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Recently, there have been reports of sick or dying birds found around Ohio and in nearby states. These birds often have swollen eyes, discharge from their eyes that may appear crusted, or a lack of clarity to the eyes. Affected birds may also exhibit neurological signs, for example their head may hang to one side then flop to the other side. In the above photo, taken last week by Kristi Anderson and posted to the Preservation Parks of Delaware County Facebook page, an American robin is displaying symptoms of the illness.

In late May of this year, wildlife biologists in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia began received reports of sick and dying birds. Since then, reports have surfaced in additional states, including Ohio. Ohio counties experiencing the bulk of the outbreak so far include Brown, Butler, Clark, Clermont, Delaware, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Warren counties. 

 

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Forage Fertility: Where We Are and Why it Matters

Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist, OSU Extension
Greg LaBarge, Agronomic Crops Field Specialist, OSU Extension

Hay and haylage crops are grown on just over 1 million acres in Ohio (NASS, 2019) and are grown on more Ohio farms (44% of all farms) than any other crop (Becot et al., 2020). In addition, there are over 1.3 million acres of pastureland on nearly 39,000 farms (50% of all farms) in the state of Ohio (NASS, 2017). Fertilizer costs represent 40% – 60% of the variable input costs of forage hay production (Ward et al., 2016, 2018), and so managing these costs is key to an Ohio forage producers’ ability to stay competitive. Furthermore, water quality issues in the state underscore the need for Ohio farmers to manage on-farm nutrients as efficiently as possible. A farmer’s ability to find this optimal balance between meeting crop nutrient requirements without over-application is highly reliant on the best available information. Continue reading

Recognize and Mitigate Crop Heat Stress

Recent conditions in some areas (soaked soil, fog- and dew-filled mornings, high daytime humidity) can give a different impression about the season so far than weather data at https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weather1/ and various forecasts. Temperature, rainfall, and other data are collected around the clock at OSU vegetable (and other) research sites in Fremont, Celeryville, Wooster, and Piketon and have been for decades. So far in 2021, these four locations have accumulated less precipitation and more growing degree days (GDD) than their historical averages. Also, climate and weather authorities reported on June 11 that the Upper Midwest, including Ohio, is set to experience hot, droughty conditions. Most agree that a dry year is less problematic than a wet one — provided irrigation is possible. However, it can be difficult for vegetable growers to escape the unwanted effects of excessively high temperatures. A way to separate potentially minor, moderate, and severe heat stress, example effects of moderate-severe heat stress, and main strategies for mitigating heat stress during production are summarized below.

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