Ohio State Makes Pumpkins Green: In Sustainability, That Is

Jon Branstrator, a farmer from Clarksville, Ohio, grows pumpkins. Lots of them. And he credits Ohio State University with making his operation more environmentally friendly and, as a result, more profitable.

Branstrator is one of many growers across the state who benefit from the research and outreach done by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and OSU Extension.

“There are many things I wouldn’t be aware of without the work that Ohio State does,” said Branstrator, who grows grain and specialty crops on his 250-acre southwestern Ohio farm.

“Thanks to (Ohio State’s) research on beneficial insects and IPM (integrated pest management) techniques, I now save about 50 percent in insecticide costs,” he explained. “I also benefit from the work on fungicides to control downy mildew. I’m using a lot less fungicide, getting better results and having less residue on the fruit.”

Less insecticide and fungicide means less environmental impact, a safer product for consumers, and more money in the pockets of farmers like Mr. Branstrator. Three things we can all agree are good for Ohio.

To learn more about what Ohio State does for pumpkin farmers, log on to http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~news/story.php?id=5991.

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