ABCs of GDDs; or, how to see how spring is springing

Image of phenology website 2Check spring’s progress using CFAES’s online Growing Degree Day Phenological Calendar. Enter your ZIP code and track the latest status of plant and insect development in your area, all based on how warm (or not) it’s been. The idea behind it: Knowing when key pests are present and vulnerable allows farmers, gardeners and other plant people to spray less pesticide, a boost to economic and environmental sustainability.

Miscanthus? I’ve never met it (here’s how you can)

Photo of miscanthus grass 2Learn about giant miscanthus, a tall grass grown as a bioproduct crop, through a March 11 workshop and bus tour in Ashtabula County, hosted by CFAES’s outreach arm, OSU Extension. Farmers in the county, which is in far northeast Ohio, now grow about 4,000 acres of the stuff. A company called Aloterra Energy, meanwhile, runs a production facility in the county that turns the harvest into such things as biodegradable food containers. The bus tour will include stops at farmers’ fields (possibly to see harvest if the weather is right; harvest is done in winter) and the Aloterra plant. Learn more here and here. Download the flier, which includes the registration form, here. (Photo: Miscanthus by photoncatcher from iStock.)

Farmers’ ‘vital role’ in health of Lake Erie

Photo of farmers boots in fieldFarmers in northwest Ohio’s Maumee River watershed “have a vital role to play” in the health of Lake Erie, Jeff Reutter, special adviser to Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab, said while speaking at a farmer forum last week in Bowling Green. Bill Ryan reported on Reutter’s comments in yesterday’s Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune…

Feb. 29 deadline for Wooster green fair exhibitors, sponsors

Photo of child holding globe 2You can boost your business’s green cred — and reach several thousand environmentally conscious customers in the process — by being a sponsor or exhibitor at this year’s Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair in northeast Ohio. But make plans soon. The deadline to apply is this coming Monday, Feb. 29, and only a limited number of exhibitor spaces are left. The event, which is a free public festival celebrating sustainability, is April 19 at CFAES’s research arm, OARDC in Wooster. Read more…

New series on renewable energy in Ohio

When it comes to boosting the use of solar and wind energy, “Ohio can do better,” reporter Peter Krouse wrote yesterday in a slideshow story on — and until it does, it’s losing out on “the economic benefits that come from a fast-growing industry.” Among those benefits are jobs. The slideshow went with a main story by Krouse, called “Renewing our commitment to renewable energy: Impact 2016,” which says it’s the first installment in a series that “will examine why Ohio lags behind other states in promoting renewable energy and what we might do to catch up, or get ahead.” Check it out.

Got an organic farm? Here’s what to do about climate change risk

Photo of sun over farmeOrganic’s free organic farming webinar series continues at 2 p.m. today with “New Times, New Tools: Cultivating Climate Resilience on Your Organic Farm.” The speaker is Laura Lengnick, author of Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate. Lengnick led the sustainable agriculture program at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina, for more than 10 years. Today, her company, Cultivating Resilience, offers ecosystem-based climate resilience planning services. Learn more here. Sign up here. Check out the rest of the schedule. (Photo: Sportactive from iStock.)

Feb. 23: Learn about world’s largest water quality trading program

The groundbreaking, award-winning Ohio River Basin Trading Project, which aims to keep water clean while boosting farmers’ incomes, is the focus of February’s breakfast presentation by the Environmental Professionals Network. Continue reading