Kurt Knebusch

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Organic farming and gardening; sustainable agriculture; natural resources/ecology; forestry; wildlife; Wooster campus news.
  1. Top 4 Keys to Having Bluebirds in Your Yard

    LONDON, Ohio — Marne Titchenell, like so many people, likes bluebirds. “Bluebird populations at one time were very low,” said the wildlife expert from The Ohio State University. “But because farmers and other landowners started putting up nest boxes, bluebird populations are now doing well. “When I see a bluebird, I’m reminded that the everyday individual can make a big difference in the conservation of a species.” Titchenell will talk about making such a difference to bluebirds at Farm Science Review, which is Sept. 22-24 in London, Ohio. The wildlife program specialist, who works in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, will present “Bluebirds Bios” from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Sept. 22 in the...
  2. How to Save Your Home or Place of Worship Energy and Money

    LONDON, Ohio — People’s homes and places of worship can be greener. They can save energy, save money and cut their climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions. A speaker at Farm Science Review, which is Sept. 22-24 in London, Ohio, will show how. Assistant professor Greg Hitzhusen from The Ohio State University will present “Energy Savings for Households and Congregations: Energy Stewards” from 11:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 22 in the Review’s Gwynne Conservation Area. Hitzhusen, who studies religion and the environment in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, will talk about a program called Energy Stewards. The program provides a range of energy conservation resources, including an online energy use tracker and...
  3. Flip It Good: (At Least) 3 Big Benefits of Pond Aeration

    LONDON, Ohio — Aeration often can do a pond good, says an expert at The Ohio State University. It can keep the pond from stratifying, which can make the water and the fish in it healthier. Stratification, a natural process, is when a pond forms a warm layer of water at the surface and a cold layer down at the bottom. Eugene Braig, aquatic ecosystems program director in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, will speak on the topic at the annual Farm Science Review trade show in London, Ohio. The event, which is sponsored by the college, is Sept. 22-24. Braig will present “The Ever-Flipped Pond: Better Water Quality Through Aeration” from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Sept. 22 as part of a series of talks in the Review’s Gwynne...
  4. Ohio Shale’s Biggest Environmental Impact May Be on Forests: Talk at Farm Science Review

    LONDON, Ohio — Shale drilling’s biggest effect on Ohio’s environment might not come from the wells themselves but from the many new pipelines they need. So says watershed expert Joe Bonnell of The Ohio State University, who will speak twice on his research looking into the Ohio shale industry’s environmental impacts at the Sept. 22-24 Farm Science Review trade show in London, Ohio. While the risk of drinking water well contamination from one of the industry’s methods, hydraulic fracturing, has gotten lots of attention, there’s a lack of comprehensive data on how rare or common such cases actually are, said Bonnell, who is watershed management program director for the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences....
  5. Stinner Summit Will Focus on Sustainable Farms, Food, Communities

    LUCAS, Ohio — It’s about growing green farms. Building sustainable communities. And helping keep more people fed. Ohio’s ninth annual Stinner Summit is Oct. 16 near Mansfield, and anyone interested in healthy land and clean water — including such issues as local food, urban farming, food security and sustainable agriculture — is welcome to attend. Participants in the summit will brainstorm and plan projects that enhance healthy agricultural ecosystems and sustainable communities, said Matt Porter, an organizer of the event and a graduate administrative assistant with its host, the Agroecosystems Management Program. The program is part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. At the end of the day,...
  6. Top 5 Secrets of Ohio’s Flying Squirrels and How to Find Out More

    LONDON, Ohio — Flying squirrels have secrets, and an expert from The Ohio State University soon will spill the nuts, er, beans. Marne Titchenell, wildlife specialist in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, will reveal “Nature’s Gliders: The Flying Squirrels” from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Sept. 23 at the annual Farm Science Review trade show in London, Ohio. The college is the Review’s sponsor. “In some woodlands, flying squirrels are the most abundant squirrel,” Titchenell said. “We just don’t see them that much because they’re nocturnal.” So what are they hiding? They technically don’t fly, but they definitely get airborne. They have a covert way to “talk” to each...
  7. Farm Science Review: Good Green Reasons to Go to the Gwynne

    LONDON, Ohio — Farm Science Review features more than farm science. The Sept. 22-24 event in London, Ohio, also will highlight the conservation of natural resources at a demonstration and education site called the Gwynne Conservation Area. The area is at the west end of the Review’s home, the 2,100-acre Molly Caren Agricultural Center. Called “the Gwynne” for short, the site’s 67 acres of prairie, woods and waters showcase a range of conservation practices year-round and, during the Review, will host dozens of talks and exhibits on trees, ponds, wildlife and similar topics. Visiting the Gwynne and attending the talks is included with admission to the Review. Free shuttle wagon rides are available to and from the Gwynne. Spotlight on conservation “...
  8. Ohio Composting Industry Tour Will Focus on Managing Water

    SOUTH CHARLESTON, Ohio — This year’s Composting in Ohio industry tour, set for Aug. 20 in southwest Ohio, will focus on managing water. The stops on the tour will feature, for example, a large-scale composting facility that recently took steps to better control its surface water runoff and a dairy-restaurant complex that treats millions of gallons of graywater in a system of wetlands. Also covered will be preparing for a possible H5N1 avian influenza outbreak in Ohio and, should it happen, the possible need to compost thousands or even millions of dead poultry. The event is for anyone “interested in seeing firsthand how to recycle, rather than landfill, organic wastes,” said Fred Michel, event co-planner and associate professor of biosystems engineering in the...
  9. Farmers: What Smoke Test Can Teach About Fields, Yields and Water

    UNION CITY, Ohio — Aug. 12’s Manure Science Review will feature a demonstration of smoke testing — a way to show how fast a liquid, including liquid manure, can flow through and out of a farm field. Frank Gibbs, retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and now of Rawson, Ohio-based Wetland and Soil Consulting Services, will give the demonstration. A video showing smoke rising from the soil during one of Gibbs’ tests can be seen at go.osu.edu/GibbsSmokeTest. Manure Science Review, set for Union City in western Ohio, is an annual learning event for farmers and others in the industry. The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University is a co-host. Details about the event...
  10. Aug. 11: How One Town Grew from a Flood

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Joe Gies, who turned a 500-year flood into a better future for his hometown in north-central Ohio, will speak Aug. 11 at The Ohio State University as part of the Environmental Professionals Network Breakfast Club series. The network is a service of the School of Environment and Natural Resources in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Gies is project coordinator for Shelby, Ohio, which in 2007 saw historic flooding from the Black Fork River. Afterward, Gies helped the city get funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to reduce future flooding damage. Redevelopment efforts included buying and tearing down more than 50 flood-damaged homes and several downtown buildings,...
  11. Oh, Deer! Workshop Set on Managing Backyard Wildlife Conflicts

    PERRYSBURG, Ohio — Seen coyotes near your home? Do deer eat your shrubs down to nubs? Get tips on what to do in a workshop led by wildlife experts Stan Gehrt and Marne Titchenell of The Ohio State University. The Good, the Bad and the Hungry: Managing Wildlife Conflicts in Your Landscape is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Wood County Park District’s W.W. Knight Nature Preserve, 29530 White Road in Perrysburg, near Toledo. Registration is $35, includes lunch and is needed by noon Aug. 3. Get details and a link to online registration and payment at go.osu.edu/08-07WildlifeWorkshop. An associate professor and Extension wildlife specialist, Gehrt has become widely known in the field of urban wildlife, especially for his research on Chicago’s coyotes. Two episodes of the...
  12. Symposium to Look at Challenges Facing U.S. Bioeconomy

    WOOSTER, Ohio — A multistate research team aimed at developing America’s biobased industry — biobased products, bioenergy and the like — will meet in northeast Ohio next month. Its purpose: to see what might be blocking the road and ways to move ahead. The group, whose members come from nearly three dozen U.S. land-grant universities, including The Ohio State University, will hold a symposium called Stakeholder Perspectives on the Bioeconomy at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Aug. 11. The center, located in Wooster, is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Yebo Li, symposium co-chair and a biosystems engineer in the college, said the event’s goal is to understand the...
  13. Manure Science Review Slated Aug. 12: How to Maximize Crop Benefits, Minimize Water Risks

    UNION CITY, Ohio — Manure Science Review this year will have a clear focus on water. The annual learning event will present more than a dozen sessions on getting the most from the nutrients in manure while limiting the chance of them reaching lakes and streams. It’s for farmers and others in the industry. “Manure is an excellent soil amendment and provides nutrients for crop growth,” said Glen Arnold, an organizer of the event and manure nutrient management systems field specialist for Ohio State University Extension. “Every positive step we take in properly applying manure is a positive step in the direction of better water quality,” he said. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The...
  14. EPN Event Features New Green Columbia Gas HQ

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — See a new Columbus GreenSpot at the next Environmental Professionals Network breakfast program. And spy the green of the Columbus Clippers’ ballpark while you’re at it. The July 15 event, titled “Using Sustainability and Energy Efficiency to Help Customers and the Community,” is at the new Columbia Gas of Ohio and NiSource Gas Distribution headquarters overlooking Huntington Field in downtown Columbus. It’s from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at 290 W. Nationwide Blvd. in the Arena District. The new building opened last year. It earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and is part of Columbus’s GreenSpot sustainability initiative. Speaking at the program...
  15. How to Keep Your Forest Healthy: July 23 Workshop on Stopping Invasive Insects

    CHARDON, Ohio — The Geauga Park District’s Big Creek Park will host a workshop on how to spot and manage invasive forest pests, such as the emerald ash borer, on July 23 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Included will be details on a new threat, the spotted lanternfly, which has been found in Pennsylvania. It attacks, among others, apple, cherry and pine trees. Leading the workshop will be forestry experts from the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Non-native insects like the Asian longhorned beetle and hemlock woolly adelgid have spread into Ohio and can hurt and kill certain trees, said Kathy Smith, a workshop instructor and the program’s director. And that can harm forests that...
  16. NE Ohio Lawn Care Seminar Aims to Grow Grass Even Greener

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Green lawns, clean water and healthy honey bees can go hand in hand. The Northeast Ohio Lawn Care Seminar aims to show how. Now in its 13th year, the annual event offers training to the region’s lawn care and landscape professionals. It features new ways to keep things green — in more ways than one — by experts from industry and The Ohio State University. Its sponsor is the Ohio Lawn Care Association. Sessions will focus on environmentally sound maintenance practices, said the event’s program planner, Joe Rimelspach, turfgrass pathology specialist with Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and a technical adviser to the association. “People in the industry really want to do things the best...
  17. Picture of Wind Chimes heirloom rose

    Have a Blooming Good Time on June 13 with Heirloom Roses in Wooster

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Prepare yourself for some cracklin’ roses. Wooster’s Garden of Roses of Legend and Romance, home to some 1,500 heirloom roses, will hold an open house and rose plant sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 13 — and the blooms there should be at their peak. Admission is free and open to the public. Sale proceeds will go to support the plants’ care. The garden is part of Secrest Arboretum at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1680 Madison Ave. in the Wayne County city. The center is the research arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Heirloom roses, also called antique roses and old garden roses, are types that were developed before 1867, when the first hybrid tea rose...
  18. Picture of clean drinking water

    Ohio State Water Experts to Speak to Columbus Metropolitan Club June 3

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Three experts from The Ohio State University will talk about the battle for Lake Erie, and for all of Ohio’s water, at next week’s Columbus Metropolitan Club Luncheon. Bruce McPheron, Jeff Reutter and Eugene Braig will present “What the Muck? Managing Ohio’s Freshwater Assets” from noon to 1:15 p.m. June 3 at the Athletic Club of Columbus, 136 E. Broad St. McPheron is Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. In the wake of last summer’s Toledo water crisis, he and others from the college started Field to Faucet, a new program meant to ensure safe water for all Ohioans while keeping the state’s farms productive and profitable...
  19. Dig Big Darby Creek June 11

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — June’s breakfast program by the Environmental Professionals Network features central Ohio’s Big Darby Creek, a National Scenic River. Included are chances to walk along it, wade in it and see a nearby bison herd. “Still harboring an inferiority complex that central Ohio’s outdoor places don’t stack up nationally?” the event’s flier asks. “Attend this breakfast and exorcise that notion forever.” The program, called “A Summer Delight,” is 7:30-10:30 a.m. June 11 at the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park Nature Center, 1775 Darby Creek Drive, in Galloway west of Columbus. Registration costs $10 ($15 if paid by credit card), includes breakfast, and is open to both members and nonmembers of the network....
  20. Register by Friday for May 29 Endangered Species Act Workshop

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is more important than ever due to persistent threats such as climate change and newly emerging issues like white-nose disease in bats, says Jeremy Bruskotter, a scientist at The Ohio State University. He’s helping host a workshop for professionals on the act. “Increasing scientific evidence indicates we may be entering a sixth mass extinction,” said Bruskotter, an associate professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. “Therefore, knowledge of the act’s provisions will be increasingly useful for those charged with managing our forests, fisheries and wildlife.” The school is in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The workshop, featuring talks by...
  21. Ohio State Fans: 7 Things to Know About Growing an Ohio Buckeye Tree

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Spring’s a great time for Buckeye nuts to plant their own source of buckeye nuts. Experts at The Ohio State University say the Ohio buckeye makes a good yard tree, though with caveats, and does best when put in before summer’s heat. Fall planting, too, is an option. The Ohio buckeye is Ohio State’s symbol and is also Ohio’s state tree. Paul Snyder, program assistant at the university’s Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, said the tree’s virtues include greenish-yellow spring flowers, pumpkin-orange fall leaves and eventually buckets of rich-brown nuts. The nuts are toxic and can’t be eaten but find good uses in crafts, especially for fans of the Scarlet and Gray. “Ohio buckeye is native and is well-adapted to our...
  22. OARDC’s Crabapple Trees Should Hit Peak Bloom This Weekend

    WOOSTER, Ohio — The crabapple trees have started blooming at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster. They should be at their finest for Mother’s Day weekend, May 9-10. “With the expected warmer temperatures this week, this weekend will be the peak bloom,” said Joe Cochran, interim director of the center’s Secrest Arboretum. The 115-acre arboretum and surrounding OARDC campus are home to more than 600 crabapple trees of more than 150 cultivars. Together they form the largest crabapple tree collection in the U.S., Cochran said. Included in that total are more than 100 new crabapple trees planted since a tornado hit part of the campus and arboretum in 2010, leveling 1,500 trees, including 150 crabapples. Cold as it was, the trees...
  23. Chadwick Arboretum’s Plant Sale Is May 8-9

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A buckeye tree with deep-scarlet flowers, sure to appeal to diehard Ohio State fans, is one of the more than 650 uncommon plant types available at Chadwick Arboretum’s May 8-9 spring plant sale and auction. The 62-acre public arboretum is on the grounds of The Ohio State University. The school’s colors, of course, are scarlet and gray. The sale and auction are a main fundraiser for the arboretum, which is part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Offered will be trees, shrubs, herbs, annuals, perennials, vegetables, hanging baskets, garden art, Mother’s Day gifts and more. Find a complete plant list at go.osu.edu/2015ChadwickList. Ohio State Scarlet buckeye trees will be the first plants offered in both days’...
  24. 500 Standout Plants for Your Garden, 1 Day in Wooster to Get Them

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Secrest Arboretum has posted lists of the plants you can buy at its May 2 Plant Discovery Day. The selection includes nearly 500 hard-to-find types of trees, shrubs, herbs, annuals and perennials, including about 50 to bid on in oral and silent auctions. Here are some examples. Annuals Coleus mix (pictured below) (photo: iStock), Lavender Lace cuphea, Upright Peach diascia, Diamond Frost euphorbia, Lemon Licorice helichrysum, Atlantis heliotrope, Butterfly Deep Pink impatiens, Lucia Dark Blue lobelia, Augusta Blue Skies nierembergia, Charmed Wine oxalis, Supertunia petunia mix, Sunbini sanvitalia and 50 others. See the full list at go.osu.edu/2015SecrestAnnuals. Perennials Black Scallop ajuga, Royal Red buddleia (butterfly bush), Cruzin Broad Street...
  25. Secrest Arboretum’s Annual Plant Sale Is May 2

    WOOSTER, Ohio — A blueberry bush whose berries are pink. A dwarf, thornless raspberry plant, perfect for a patio planter, that still yields full-size fruit. A shrub, the Japanese orixa, whose leaves in fall turn white. A tree, the Joe Witt striped maple, whose bark resembles a peppermint stick. They’re four of the nearly 500 types of hard-to-find plants you can buy at Secrest Arboretum’s May 2 Plant Discovery Day. “Most are cultivars that you’re not going to find at your local nursery,” said Joe Cochran, the arboretum’s interim director. The annual event, which is a main fundraiser for the arboretum, goes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fisher Auditorium at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1680 Madison Ave. in Wooster. It...

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