Kurt Knebusch

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Organic farming and gardening; sustainable agriculture; natural resources/ecology; forestry; wildlife; Wooster campus news.
  1. Nutrient Management Field Days Set for Northwest, Western Ohio

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Field days on the best ways to use nutrients on farms are set for late July in northwest and western Ohio.  Both events aim to help farmers maximize yields of their crops while minimizing nutrient runoff from their fields, said co-organizer Greg LaBarge, an agronomic field specialist with Ohio State University Extension. Successfully doing that, he said, can lower input costs, raise profits and limit water quality threats such as harmful algal blooms. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Learn all about the ‘4 Rs’ Participants at both events, which will have similar agendas, will learn “how the ‘4R’ principles of the right rate, timing...
  2. How to Help Soils, Crops and Water, and Also Deal with Climate: July 28 Field Night

    PIKETON, Ohio — The July 28 Soil, Water and Bioenergy Field Night at the Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon will feature new and innovative ways to grow soybeans, corn and wheat in a changing climate. Growing cover crops, practicing long-term no-till and spreading gypsum on the soil — all of which offer the triple benefit of better soil health, crop yields and water quality — also are on the agenda. The topics at the event will “help farmers make knowledgeable decisions about best management practices that provide long-term economic and environmental benefits,” said Rafiq Islam, soil and bioenergy program leader at the centers. The centers are part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State...
  3. Hey, Ohio: Get a Handy New Guide to the Bees in Your Garden

    Editor: June 20-26 is National Pollinator Week. WOOSTER, Ohio — Ohio’s bees are more than honey bees. They’re bumble bees, carpenter bees, cuckoo bees and others, and you can identify more than a dozen of them — types you’re likely to see in your garden — using a new pocket card from The Ohio State University. It’s just in time for National Pollinator Week, June 20-26, which is meant to raise awareness of pollinators — bees and their buddies — and the good they do for your yard, your food and in nature. “Bees are essential pollinators,” said the card’s developer, Denise Ellsworth, who’s the program director of the Honey Bee and Native Pollinator Education Program in Ohio State’s College of Food,...
  4. Get ‘Ideas You Can Put to Use’ on Sustainable Ag Team Tours

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Organizers say it’s about innovation. Starting in August, the Sustainable Agriculture Team at The Ohio State University will present 10 tours of Ohio farms to spotlight new crops and methods. “It’s an opportunity for participants to kick the tires on other farm operations and see how other folks are addressing sustainability issues,” said Mike Hogan, who’s a co-organizer of the series and a member of the team. The free tours will feature topics including hops, grapes, high tunnels, organic farming, direct selling to consumers and farm to school programs. Urban farming will be a special focus. The lineup is part of the wider Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series, which the team is co-presenting with five other...
  5. Experts’ Guide to Exploring Your Woods: July 15 in Mansfield

    MANSFIELD, Ohio — Take time this summer to get to know the woods in your own backyard. So says Kathy Smith, forestry program director in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, who’s helping teach a workshop that will help you do just that. “The Woods in Your Backyard” is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 15 in 025 Ovalwood Hall on Ohio State’s Mansfield campus, 1760 University Drive. The campus is about 70 miles north of Columbus and 80 miles south of Cleveland. The workshop is “for landowners who have a small section of woods out back that they want to learn more about,” said Smith, who leads the college’s Ohio Woodland Stewards Program. The program is the event’s sponsor. Indoor,...
  6. How to Keep Specialty Crops Safe from Herbicide Drift

    WOOSTER, OHIO — Ohio’s corn and soybean growers could soon be spraying a lot more of two powerful herbicides on their fields. That’s why agricultural experts from The Ohio State University are offering tips on how to keep those herbicides from getting onto other crops, especially valuable specialty crops such as grapes. Doug Doohan and Roger Downer, both of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, are the authors of “Reducing 2,4-D and Dicamba Drift Risk to Fruits, Vegetables and Landscape Plants,” a new fact sheet that explains how herbicide sprays can drift onto nontarget fields, possible concerns about the herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba, and how to prevent unwanted damage to crops. Doohan said the...
  7. Farm Tour Tuesday to Feature Diversified Vegetables, Season Extension

    LANCASTER, Ohio — Farmers Josh and Lynne Schultz put more than eggs in their basket. They put greens, sweet corn, cabbages, carrots, eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes in it, too — to name just a few. Then they sell them straight to consumers through farmers markets and their own community supported agriculture program, or CSA. The Schultzes run Schultz Valley Farms in Lancaster in southeast Ohio, a 200-acre family farm that yields a virtual smorgasbord. Not just fresh vegetables but beef, oats, herbs, baked goods and maple syrup are some of its wares. “Josh and Lynne Shultz are amazing young producers,” said Jerry Iles, agriculture and natural resources educator with Ohio State University Extension’s Fairfield County office, also in Lancaster. “...
  8. Got a Favorite Garden Plant? Learn How to Start a New One

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Paul Snyder, program assistant at Wooster’s Secrest Arboretum, will show you how to start new plants from your own cuttings on June 25. He’ll give a public Cutting Propagation Workshop from 9 a.m. to noon in the arboretum’s field headquarters building, 2320 Selby Road, on the campus of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. OARDC’s main entrance is at 1680 Madison Ave. OARDC and the arboretum are part of The Ohio State University and its College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “Most of the workshop will be hands-on,” Snyder said. “We’ll go out and collect cuttings, then will prepare them and stick them in rooting media. Participants will get to take their cuttings home.” How...
  9. How to Make America’s Infrastructure Safer, Stronger, Greener: June 7

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The next breakfast program by the Environmental Professionals Network, a statewide professional group based at The Ohio State University, will look at improving America’s roads, bridges, water systems and more while also making them greener. Aparna Dial, deputy administrator of the city of Columbus’s Department of Public Service, will present “Leadership for Sustainable Infrastructure” from 7:15 to 9:20 a.m. June 7 in Ohio State’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, in Columbus. Dial previously was Ohio State’s director of energy services and sustainability. ‘Great experience and insights’ “She has great experience and insights on how to provide leadership to maintain, improve...
  10. Learn the Right Ways to Prune Trees and Shrubs: June 8

    WOOSTER, Ohio — You find and buy a tree you love. You take it home from the garden center. You plant it exactly as the experts suggest. There’s one more thing to do: Learn how to prune it. “Apart from proper plant selection and planting, pruning is perhaps the most important thing someone can do for overall plant health,” said Paul Snyder, program assistant at Wooster’s Secrest Arboretum. “Too many people, including some so-called professionals, don’t know how to prune properly. They top trees, for example, and end up doing damage.” Snyder will show how to avoid that damage — and help trees and shrubs look their best — in a June 8 workshop in the arboretum. The annual Summer Pruning Workshop goes from 8 a.m. to noon at the...
  11. Toadally Beneficial: Workshop on Wetlands and Wildlife June 3

    MANSFIELD, Ohio — You’re in luck — and being helpful — if your land has a wetland, says Marne Titchenell, a wildlife specialist in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. “Wetlands are rare habitats that many plants and animals depend on,” she said. “Landowners who are willing to dedicate a portion of their land to a wetland are providing some much-needed homes for wildlife.” She’ll co-teach a workshop on the topic June 3. Wetlands for Wildlife is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Ohio State’s Mansfield campus, 1760 University Drive. The sponsor is the college’s Ohio Woodland Stewards Program. The event is for “landowners wanting to learn more about the wetlands on their...
  12. Secrest Arboretum Plant Sale Is Saturday, Has These 4 Standouts and Hundreds More

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Paul Snyder has a new favorite redbud. And you can buy it very soon. And also many of its friends. Snyder is a program assistant at Wooster’s Secrest Arboretum, which is holding its annual Plant Discovery Day fundraising event this Saturday, May 14. The event features a sale and auctions of more than 400 kinds of trees, shrubs, herbs, annuals and perennials. Admission is free and open to the public. There’s also a pre-sale for members of the Friends of Secrest Arboretum on Friday, May 13. Proceeds from the pre-sale, sale and auctions will help maintain the arboretum’s 115 acres of public plant collections, green space and gardens. Features uncommon, hard-to-find plants “Our plant sale is different from other plant sales in that we have...
  13. Learn How to Name That Tree June 3

    MANSFIELD, Ohio — It pays to learn your trees, says a forestry specialist with The Ohio State University. And the school’s Mansfield campus in north-central Ohio is a great place to do it. “Knowing how to identify your trees helps with diagnosing insect and disease issues,” said Kathy Smith, coordinator of Ohio State’s Ohio Woodland Stewards Program. “It also allows a landowner to better manage the tree. How much sunlight does it need to survive and thrive? Is it good for wildlife?” On June 3, Smith and her colleague Jim Chatfield, a horticulture specialist with the university, will give a workshop on tree identification called Name That Tree. The stewards program is the sponsor. The event is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting in 100 Ovalwood Hall...
  14. So You’ve Got a Woods. Now What? Get Answers May 24

    HAMILTON, Ohio — What can you do with your woods? On May 24, the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, part of Ohio State University Extension, is giving a workshop with that exact question as its title. “The woodland you own may be something you purchased or something you ‘got with the farm,’ ” said Kathy Smith, coordinator of the program and one of the workshop’s instructors. “But now that it’s yours, what should you do with it? It’s a question we get a lot.” OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The workshop is from 6 to 9 p.m. in OSU Extension’s Butler County office, 1802 Princeton Road, in Hamilton in southwest Ohio. ‘...
  15. ‘We’re Downright Obsessive’ About Energy Efficiency. Hear How You Can Be, Too

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Green is good. Renewable rocks. But don’t forget energy efficiency, says the organizer of an upcoming event at The Ohio State University. “Even as we pursue green, clean, renewable energy, we need to remember that end-use efficiency improvements are among the cheapest, cleanest, surest, most rapidly expandable energy improvement options we have,” says David Hanselmann, a lecturer in Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR). Hanselmann coordinates the school’s Environmental Professionals Network, which on May 10 is hosting a breakfast program on how office buildings, factories, cities, schools and others can get a bigger bang for their energy buck. “Energy Efficiency: How Low Can You Go?” is from 7:...
  16. Winners Named in OARDC Research Poster Competition

    WOOSTER, Ohio — The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center has announced the winners of the research poster competition held during the center’s 2016 annual research conference in Wooster on April 21. The competition, which drew 106 entries, recognized outstanding research posters by OARDC-supported graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and research assistants and associates. The center is the research arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences of The Ohio State University. Ph.D. students First place: Travis Calkins, Entomology, “Pharmacological and Genetic Evidence for Gap Junctions as Potential New Insecticide Targets in the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti”; Peter Piermarini, adviser. Second place:...
  17. Ohio’s Worst Woodland Invaders and How to Stop Them: May 20

    KIRTLAND, Ohio — Kathy Smith and Marne Titchenell want to give honeysuckle the boot. Along with garlic mustard, autumn olive, buckthorn and many others. They’ll show how in a workshop in northeast Ohio. The event is called Forest Health: Non-Native Invasive Plants. It’s on May 20 at Kirtland’s Holden Arboretum. Smith and Titchenell are experts in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The Ohio Woodland Stewards Program is the workshop’s sponsor. The college’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension, runs the program. They weaken the health of a woods ...  Invasive woodland plants pack a double whammy, said Smith, who’s the coordinator of the program. The plants weaken both a...
  18. Secrest Arboretum Crabapple Blossoms to Peak Soon

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Secrest Arboretum’s 600-plus crabapple trees will soon be seeing red. Plus scarlet, white and pink. “The crabapples will be blooming this weekend (April 23-24) or early next week given the number of warm days we’ve had,” said Arboretum Program Assistant Paul Snyder. “Some of the early selections are already opening.” The crabapple trees and arboretum are at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster in northeast Ohio. The trees are considered the largest collection of crabapple trees in the U.S. The center itself is part of The Ohio State University and its College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. ... var cpo = []; cpo["_object"] ="cp_widget_e42eaae3-1861-4ed6-b4aa-...
  19. Columbus Mayor, GreenSpot Awards to Headline EPN Event

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther will present the city’s 2016 GreenSpotLight Awards at an April 12 event hosted by the Environmental Professionals Network. The awards honor achievements in Columbus’s GreenSpot sustainability program. Among those recognized will be three businesses, the graduates of the Corporate Sustainability Initiative and the winners of the Columbus Energy Challenge. The network is a professional group coordinated by the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) at The Ohio State University. The school is in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Spotlight on sustainability success The event also will have: An expo featuring projects by nine teams of students in the college’s...
  20. Green Fair to Host Renewable Energy Workshop

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Fred Michel, a Wooster-based biosystems engineer with The Ohio State University, has solar panels gleaming on his home and his car. He’ll share his experiences with both setups in a Renewable Energy Workshop during the Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair in Wooster. The fair is on April 19, during Earth Week, at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. The workshop is a “chance to learn from folks with experience in this field,” said co-organizer Mary Wicks of Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Michel is an associate professor in that department, based at OARDC, where he studies composting and bioenergy. He’s also president of the Wayne County Sustainable Energy Network, which together...
  21. Recycle CFLs, More at Green Fair

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Don’t know what to do with your burned-out compact fluorescent light bulbs? Old car tires? Cans of unused paint? Take them to Wooster’s Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair. A recycling station at the April 19 fair, which is at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, will take in those and certain other residential items. A full list of the items is at u.osu.edu/sggf/recycling/. Many of them are seldom handled by normal curbside recycling. Besides doing good for the planet, the first 200 people to recycle at the station will get a $2.50-off coupon they can redeem at the fair’s food vendors — three food trucks and a natural dairy, all four featuring local foods. The fair and recycling station are free. Hours for both are 11 a.m. to 4...
  22. See ‘Everyday Ways’ to Help the Earth at Green Fair

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Northeast Ohio’s Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair is back. The free public festival, whose theme is “Green Is for Life!” is April 19 at Wooster’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. The Earth Week event is a celebration of ways to be sustainable, whether at home, on the farm, in the garden or in business, said co-organizer Laura Chapin, who’s a research associate at OARDC. About 50 exhibitors and vendors will showcase their green-related products, efforts and services. Everyone’s welcome to attend. “The exhibitors and vendors will remind people of easy, everyday ways to help the Earth,” Chapin said. “There are small changes and big changes that we can make to protect our environment,”...
  23. Got Backyard Wildlife Problems? April 14 Workshop Has Solutions

    CORTLAND, Ohio — A key to handling backyard wildlife problems, from smelly skunks to ravenous raccoons, hungry deer to messy geese, is making your backyard a worse place to be. For them, that is, not you. “If you can identify the component of the habitat that’s attracting an animal to your yard — usually it’s food or shelter — and then can modify or eliminate it, you’ll go a long way to solving the conflict,” said Marne Titchenell of The Ohio State University. She’ll share that and other remedies in a workshop April 14. Titchenell is a wildlife program specialist in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The workshop, called The Good, the Bad and the Hungry: Controlling Nuisance Wildlife in...
  24. Workshop: Get to Know Your Woods and What Lives There

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Experts from three major universities will teach about the trees, bees, birds, frogs, fungi and more on one’s land at the Ohio River Valley Woodland and Wildlife Workshop. It’s on April 2 in southeast Indiana’s Clifty Falls State Park. “The program is designed to help landowners get the most out of their property,” said co-organizer Kathy Smith. Smith is the forestry program director in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Ohio State is co-sponsoring the workshop along with Purdue University, the University of Kentucky, and the Indiana Forestry and Woodland Owners Association. The speakers will come from the three universities. Included in the program, which runs from 8:30 a.m....
  25. Event to Feature Local, National Water Quality Efforts

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — This month’s breakfast presentation by the Environmental Professionals Network, which includes an optional joint meeting with the Water Management Association of Ohio, will feature three major initiatives aimed at protecting and improving water quality. “The importance of water is increasingly on the public’s mind, which is good, but the challenges are significant,” said David Hanselmann, the network’s coordinator and a lecturer in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. The presentation “will help us learn about new and innovative approaches, relevant in Ohio and beyond,” Hanselmann said. The network is a statewide professional group coordinated by the college...

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