Yiannis Sarris

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    Ohio State expert warns about effect of rock salt on plants

    SPRINGFIELD, Ohio—Rock salt and other de-icing agents can be especially useful in tackling the ice and snow during cold, long winters. However, according to a horticulture expert at The Ohio State University, if misused, these chemicals can cause damage to surrounding plants. Consumers have used de-icing agents for years to remove snow and ice from driveways, sidewalks, and porches. The rock salt lowers the freezing point of the ice by creating a solution of water and salt. However, this salt has other damaging effects: pitting of concrete sidewalks and driveways, as well as harming plants, shrubs, and grass in surrounding areas, said Pam Bennett, an associate professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “High salt content changes the...
  2. (Photo: Getty Images)

    New App Helps Farmers Know When to Spray or Spread

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new app from The Ohio State University will help farmers save both money and the environment.  The Field Application Resource Monitor (FARM) uses advanced weather forecasting to advise farmers on when to apply fertilizers and pesticides so that they aren’t washed away by rain.   According to Aaron Wilson, climate specialist for Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and project manager of FARM, it is much more than just a fancy weather app. “The app allows you to specify the location of your field in high resolution,” said Wilson. This means that the app can actually give specific forecasts for an area as small as 1.5 miles wide—allowing for incredibly accurate and...