Learn How to Turn Waste into Energy Nov. 9 and 19

Want to know how to turn manure, crop residue, food-processing waste and other organic materials into biogas, electricity and even transportation fuels? Then plan on attending one of two workshops that will be offered Nov. 9 and 19 on the Wooster campus of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).

The free workshops are intended for farmers, businesses, communities or individuals interested in learning about anaerobic digestion — a process that converts biomass to methane, which can then be employed as a source of thermal heat, turned into electricity or compressed to fuel vehicles.

Sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center (OBIC) and quasar energy group, the workshops will be held from 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Shisler Conference Center, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster. A tour of quasar’s flagship anaerobic digestion facility on the OARDC campus will be part of the program.
To register, contact Denny Hall, OBIC, at 614-292-4188 or hall.16@osu.edu.

‘Coyotes are Watching and Learning From Us’

Check out School of Environment and Natural Resources wildlife ecologist Stan Gehrt, quoted here (scroll down) in the Sept./Oct. 2010 issue of Orion magazine. “New Dog in Town” looks at the spread of coyotes into cities and what it might say about future biodiversity. Gehrt is a member of SENR’s Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Laboratory. (Photo by OSU Research Communications)

Nov. 30: Workshop on Logging That’s Both Profitable and Sustainable

Ohio State University Extension’s Ohio Woodland Stewards Program will present “Selling Timber? Consider This …,” a workshop for landowners on sustainable logging, profitable marketing and practical tax matters, in northwest Ohio Nov. 30.

It’s from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Wyandot County Recycling Center, 11329 County Highway 4, in Carey. Registration costs $25, includes a packet of timber marketing materials and is due by Nov. 24.

“A well-planned harvesting operation will allow efficient removal of forest products and at the same time will protect water quality and help save money,” says the OSU Extension bulletin BMPs for Erosion Control for Logging Practices in Ohio, which will be given free ($7.50 value) to participants.

To register and pay online, click here. Or send your name, contact information and registration fee (checks payable to Ohio State University) to Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, 210 Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Rd., Columbus, OH 43210.

For more information, call 614-688-3421.

OSU Extension sponsors the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry to teach people about trees, forests and related resources and how to know and manage them. The program’s goals include helping landowners make well-informed management decisions.

Ready to Dispose of Your Pumpkin? Don’t Toss in the Trash

Pumpkins make great holiday decorations, but when they’ve run their course, consider more sustainable ways to dispose of them rather than tossing them in the trash.

Ohio State University Extension pumpkin specialists Brad Bergefurd and Jim Jasinski offer the following tips:pumpkins in field

  • Pumpkin leftovers make great feed for livestock. Many growers will graze cows, goats, pigs, even horses into the winter months. “Pumpkins were originally grown as livestock feed before they became popular Halloween decorations,” says Bergefurd.
  • Use pumpkins for compost. Plow them into crop fields, work into garden soils or toss them into a compost bin.
  • Toss pumpkins in a field or woodland area and leave as feed for the wildlife.
  • Store pumpkins for consumption through the winter months. When stored properly, pumpkins can last up to three months or longer, depending on the variety.
  • Remove the seeds. They make tasty treats for birds and other wildlife during winter.

Pumpkins are not only fun for the family, but they are beneficial to wildlife, agriculture, home gardens and the environment.

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.