Recent Updates

  1. Giant Caterpillars

    During mid- to late summer and early autumn, large, unusually shaped, colorful caterpillars are often seen. These caterpillars, larvae of moths and butterflies, feed on leaves of various trees, shrubs, and other plants. The exact host plant or plants vary with each species of caterpillar. Most giant caterpillars are discovered when wandering across lawns, driveways, sidewalks, etc. These caterpillars are fully grown and they are on their way to pupation (transformation into adults) sites. They have finished eating and will cause little or no further plant damage.
  2. Spider Mites and Their Control

    Spider mites are not insects but are more closely related to spiders. These arachnids have four pairs of legs, no antennae, and a single, oval body region. Most spider mites have the ability to produce a fine silk webbing. Spider mites are very tiny, being less than 1/50 inch (0.4 mm) long when adults.
  3. Make Sure Your Load Is Secure

    Hauling cargo of different sizes and weights is common practice in agriculture whether the load is being hauled down the road or across the state. While hauling your tractor, tile, or pallet of seed, the driver is responsible for making sure the load is properly secured.
  4. Renewable Energy Policy Series: SB 232—Leveling the Playing Field

    The passing of Ohio's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (SB 221) in 2008 set in motion a series of events that are helping spur utility scale renewable energy development in Ohio. In order to complement the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards set forth in SB 221, Ohio has passed SB 232 to establish a tax treatment that further fosters the development and implementation of Ohio's renewable energy projects.
  5. Preservative-Treated Wood: A Sustainable Consumer Choice

    Forests provide us with a renewable, recyclable, biodegradable, durable, aesthetically pleasing, and genetically diverse material we call wood. Unfortunately, our predominantly urban society often views wood as low tech and not cutting edge in spite of its many green aspects. Moreover, preservative-treated wood products frequently draw negative reactions from consumers. Many people shy away from this environmentally sustainable resource, opting instead for energy-intensive construction materials made from non-renewable resources.
  6. Storing Lignocellulosic Biomass for Bio-Refining Industry

    Farmers are familiar with storing high-moisture forage crops as silage. Tall silos, horizontal or bunker silos, and more recently "shrink-wrapped" round bales are common examples of storing crops "wet" instead of "dry."
  7. Turning Crude Glycerin into Polyurethane Foam and Biopolyols

    Farmers like biodiesel. It's a motor fuel made partly from soybeans or other vegetable oils and it reduces the demand for imported oil. But there's a nearly worthless byproduct of biodiesel production, crude glycerin, which is a financial and environmental liability for the biodiesel industry. Crude glycerin differs significantly from pure glycerin in composition due to the presence of various impurities. Crude glycerin contains 30–40% glycerin (Ooi, et al. 2001).
  8. Controlling Non-Native Invasive Plants in Ohio Forests: Japanese Stiltgrass

    Japanese stiltgrass—also known as Napalese browntop (Microstegium vimineum)—is an annual grass, native to Asia, that can reach more than 3.5 feet in height and can form extensive colonies. It was likely introduced accidentally as packing material in shipments of goods from its native range. It was first found in North America near Knoxville, Tennessee in 1919.
  9. Saving Money with Coupons

    We've all heard the sensational stories about coupon clipping shoppers getting fantastic deals at the store. Local mom buys week's worth of groceries for family of five for only $8.37! Smart shopper combines coupon offers to get 24 rolls of paper towels for one cent! Man earns car with yogurt rebate offer! While these stories are entertaining and even inspiring, they are not the norm. Each should be accompanied by a disclaimer that states, "These savings are not typical; individual results may vary."
  10. Western Ohio Cropland Values and Cash Rents 2010-11

    Ohio cropland varies significantly in its production capabilities, and cropland values and cash rents vary across the state. Generally speaking, western Ohio cropland values and cash rents differ substantially from eastern Ohio cropland values and cash rents. This is due to a number of factors including land productivity, potential crop return, variability of crop return, field size, field shape, drainage, population, ease of access, market access, local market price, and competition for rented cropland in a region.