Submissions due by Sunday for new film festival

Submissions for the first Germinate International Film Festival, which aims to grow people’s knowledge of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities, are due by this Sunday, June 30. Organized by the Highland County office of OSU Extension, CFAES’ outreach arm, the festival takes place Aug. 16–17 at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro in southeast Ohio. Find out more.

New tech could help cut phosphorus use

A new CFAES video, hosted by Nate Douridas, farm manager at the college’s Molly Caren Agricultural Center, features technology that could cut a farmer’s phosphorus use while producing the same benefits to the crops. In testing at the center, Douridas says, the technology has “significantly reduced our phosphorus fertilizer usage.” You can watch the video above.

Through this and many other efforts, CFAES researchers are continuing to look for ways to reduce farm-field phosphorus runoff, a cause of the harmful algal blooms plaguing waters such as those of Lake Erie, while at the same time keeping crop yields up.

Good night! Check out these awesome insects

“We try to emphasize that insects aren’t just icky or gross but are actually helpful and awesome.”

So says Kendall King, a CFAES graduate student and co-organizer of Insect Night, a free event for kids of all ages set for Saturday, July 13, in Wooster.

Firefly catching? Got it. Edible insects? Check. Other fun activities including a bug zoo, moth collecting, and guided walks that take you to see what’s out there in the night? Definitely. (Bring a flashlight.)

Read our recent press release.

Don’t pick up these hitchhikers

Aquatic invasive species—which ones to watch for, how to stop them, and why—are the focus of “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!” from 2–3 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, at Lakeside Chautauqua on the Marblehead peninsula. It’s part of a summer series of Lake Erie science talks presented by staff from Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab. Admission to the talk itself is free but requires paid admission to Lakeside and a pass to park there. Learn more. (Photo: Invasive round gobies, Dave Jude, Michigan Sea Grant, via Flickr.)

What’s the Lake Erie algae forecast?

A reminder that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual harmful algal bloom forecast for western Lake Erie, including reports on Maumee River nutrient loading and on recent research aimed at solving the problem, is set for July 11 at Stone Lab at Put-in-Bay. There’s a webinar option if you can’t attend in person. (Photo: Lake Erie on June 26, NOAA CoastWatch.)

Where it winters, why that matters

The prothonotary warbler, which in summer breeds in eastern and central North America, including Ohio, spends winter in just one country in South America. So says a new study led by Christopher Tonra, assistant professor in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources. The finding, Tonra said, “speaks to how important habitat protection in this one country is to the (birds’) overall population.” Read the story. (Photo: Male prothonotary warbler, Getty Images.)

Opinion: Science lacking in proposed waters of the U.S. rule

A new article led by Mažeika Sullivan, associate professor in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), explains how the new proposed waters of the U.S. rule, which administers the Clean Water Act, fails to consider the best available science. If enacted, the rule could put millions of acres of wetlands and millions of miles of streams at risk, with severe consequences to environmental quality and human well-being. The article appeared recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read the article.

Sullivan also serves as the director of SENR’s Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park.

Reducing fertilizer runoff into waterways

By Alayna DeMartini, CFAES Marketing and Communications

A new report details laws across the United States intended to decrease the amount of key nutrients in fertilizer from entering rivers, lakes, and streams. The report was written by Peggy Hall, agricultural and resource law field specialist with CFAES, and Ellen Essman, a CFAES research associate.

In addition to examining laws, the report also describes measures that various states have taken to encourage farmers to voluntarily participate in practices that reduce the amount of nitrogen or phosphorus, both critical ingredients in fertilizer, from leaving the farm fields on which they were applied.

Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus in water can encourage the growth of harmful algal blooms that can contaminate surface and drinking water supplies.

Find out more and download the report.