CFAES sustainability news, Jan. 10, 2022

Wind and solar farms as ‘crops’ of the future? Jan. 19 webinar provides legal perspective in land use conflicts

Stuttgart (Arkansas) Daily Leader, Jan. 6; featuring Peggy Kirk Hall, OSU Extension

USDA invests $1.2 million in climate agriculture project with Ohio State

Farm and Dairy, Jan. 6;  featuring CFAES research

‘Innovation is key to addressing the climate crisis’

Conservation measures and climate-smart agriculture got a boost last week with the announcement of a $1.2 million investment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fund a robotic irrigation system at CFAES.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made the announcement during a Dec. 10 visit to the CFAES Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus. Pictured at a town hall meeting during the visit are, from left to right, CFAES Dean Cathann A. Kress; Terry Crosby, chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service; Vilsack; and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. (Photo: Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)

‘One of the greatest challenges of our time’

In a case of leadership by example, Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson will return to the classroom to teach a course on reducing carbon emissions.

“Combating climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time,” Johnson said in an Oct. 26 Ohio State News story, “and Ohio State is stepping up to do its part in reducing the carbon emissions that cause extreme weather events and threaten the very future of our planet.”

Read the Ohio State News story.

Good eats for deer, squirrels, microbes

Reupping this from a year ago …

Pumpkins rotting in landfills produce methane, a climate change-causing greenhouse gas, and an especially scary one at that—it’s 20 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

So, if you don’t send your old pumpkin out in the trash, destined for burial in a landfill, what’s the best thing you can do with it?

We talked to three experts from CFAES for options. Spoiler alert: Sometimes (dun dun dun) they come back.

Continue reading

‘Energy prices would be even higher without them’

Don’t blame renewable energy for rising energy costs, as some media pundits have been trying to do, wrote CFAES’ Brent Sohngen in a recent column in the Columbus Dispatch. 

“Actually,” Sohngen wrote, “the only effect that renewables can have on energy markets is to lower electricity prices, which in turn will cause natural gas and coal prices to fall.”

Sohngen is a professor of environmental and resource economics in the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.

Read Sohngen’s column.

Where things stand on carbon science

What’s the state of the science when it comes to sequestering carbon in the soil, such as through farming? Check out an official position statement issued by CFAES’ renowned Rattan Lal Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration. The brief statement, released Aug. 2, summarizes where the science is clear, where it’s less so, and a strategy for going forward. It mentions, too, a current hot topic, farmers earning carbon credits.

Read the full statement. (Photo: Getty Images.)

CFAES sustainability news, Aug. 30, 2021

Where have fireflies gone?

Youngstown Vindicator, Aug. 23; featuring Dave Shetlar, CFAES Department of Entomology

Hundreds of U.S. cities adopted climate plans. Few have met the goals, but it’s not too late.

USA Today, Aug. 10; featuring Aaron Wilson, OSU Extension

‘Stinkweed’ could be used for green jet fuel

Bio Market Insights, Aug. 9; featuring Ajay Shah, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

CFAES sustainability news, July 28, 2021

Farmers make progress in improving water quality, but much work remains

Columbus Dispatch, July 27; featuring Nate Douridas, farm manager, Molly Caren Agricultural Center

Will our food break the climate or save it?

The Hill, July 27; featuring Rattan Lal, School of Environment and Natural Resources