Learn, share about soil balancing

CFAES scientists are trying to better understand soil balancing, a soil management approach based on base cation saturation ratios, and they’re inviting you to join a call-in conversation on the topic from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17. Called “Soil Balancing: From ‘Renegade’ Grassroots Past to Open Future, it’s a chance to “listen, learn and contribute,” the event’s website says. “Resource people will be on hand to provide input, but we also wish to hear from callers and learn from their experiences.”  Find out more.

Two more conversations are set for Nov. 14 and Dec. 12.

Home improvement for pollinators

The next Pollinator School workshop, presented by the Mahoning County office of CFAES’s outreach arm, OSU Extension, runs from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, in Canfield in northeast Ohio. The program’s title is “Habitats.” It’s about seeing, understanding and improving where pollinators live and feed. Registration is $10. Learn more. (Photo: Getty Images.)

A look at a bee we should see

The 2018 webinar series hosted by CFAES’s Bee Lab wraps up at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, with “The Ohio Bee Survey: In Search of the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee” by Randy Mitchell of the University of Akron.

In early 2017, the rusty patched bumble bee, shown here, after suffering significant population declines, became the first bee placed on the endangered species list in the continental United States.

Find details. Watching the webinar is free; use the “Guest Login” at 8:55 a.m. (Photo: USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab, Beltsville, Maryland (public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.)

Tuesday: ‘Healthy planet, healthy patients’

The Environmental Professionals Network (EPN) presents its next public breakfast program, “Healthy Planet, Healthy Patients: Hospitals Reduce Their Environmental Footprint” from 7:15-9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Building on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. Registration is $10, free for students, and includes breakfast. Find out more and register.

EPN, a statewide professional group, is a service of CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Monday night: ‘Conservation heroes of the American heartland’

CFAES’s 4th Environmental Film Series, presented by the School of Environment and Natural Resources, kicks off tonight, Monday, Oct. 15, with “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman,” called the “inspiring story of heartland conservation heroes who are feeding the world while stewarding the land and water.” It’s from 7-8:45 p.m. in Room 130, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry (CBEC) Building, on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. You can watch the trailer above.

Admission to the film is free. A panel discussion led by Montana rancher Dusty Crary, who’s featured in the film, and conservation farmer Fred Yoder of Plain City in central Ohio follows the screening. Enjoy free pizza and beverages at 6:30 p.m.

Find details, including the full series schedule.

Learning from what’s in the can

Ohio State student employees are digging through garbage cans full of thrown-away food — messy, sloppy, smelly, tossed food — in the name of sustainability. They’re helping with food waste audits being done to help the university try to meet one of its sustainability goals: diverting 90 percent of its waste from landfills by 2025. Read the full story.

In the meantime, researchers will share results from the audits at Ohio State’s Oct. 11 Food Waste Collaborative Conference, which CFAES is sponsoring. Glean further details on the conference’s website, including a link to register.

If buried in a landfill, discarded food rots and produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Limiting landfilled food waste reduces that methane production and in turn helps slow human-caused climate change.

‘We wish it would grow more like a weed’

CFAES’s John Cardina and Katrina Cornish spoke about their efforts to turn a surprisingly recalcitrant species of dandelion into an American-grown source of rubber in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (may require subscription).

Learn more about the research, which is developing the TKS dandelion, shown here growing in a CFAES high tunnel, at the Cornish Lab Group’s website. (Photo: CFAES.)

Doing good work for students and water

Check out a recent story by Ben Gelber of Columbus TV station WCMH, which looks at an effort by Ohio State, the Hilliard school district and several conservation agencies to get high school students’ feet wet in environmental science.

The project involves, among others, members of CFAES’s TerrAqua student club and Eugene Braig, aquatic ecosystems program director, who’s interviewed briefly in the video. He’s the subject of a recent profile on our CFAES Stories website.

Shed more light on solar

Interested in adding solar energy to your farm? CFAES has lots of good reading for you.

  • For starters, check out four fact sheets by CFAES’s Ohio State University Extension outreach arm: “An Introduction to On-Farm Solar Electric Systems,” “On-Farm Solar Assessment,” “Estimating the Size of Your Solar Electric System” and “Financial Considerations of On-Farm Renewable Energy.”
  • Next, read two Ohioline fact sheets, also by OSU Extension: “Using Solar Energy to Produce Electricity for Ohioans” and “Photovoltaic Systems for Solar Electricity Production.”
  • Then, go deeper: pore through the Solar Electric Investment Analysis series, whose six in-depth bulletins come from OSU Extension and the University of Wyoming.

You can find links to them all and more at the website for Energize Ohio, an OSU Extension Signature Program, energizeohio.osu.edu. Click on the “Energy Library” button.