At a field day last week we used an infiltration ring and observed an infiltration rate of 6.67” in less than an hour. A nearby farmer measured infiltration of 8”/hr on his farm. These dairy farms used continuous no-till and cover crops. The numbers suggest that these farms would never generate runoff because it is extremely rare to have this type of rainfall intensity in Pennsylvania. Nonetheless runoff is observed occasionally from these fields.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency -- in conjunction with federal, state and local government and private sector partners -- is kicking off its fourth annual SepticSmart Week to encourage American homeowners and communities to properly maintain their septic systems.
About 25 percent of all housing units in Pennsylvania use on-lot septic systems for the treatment and disposal of household wastewater. Properly designed, installed and maintained on-lot septic systems provide adequate treatment and disposal of liquid household wastes.
Warming climate triggers changes in forests' impact on cleaner water. A warming climate is causing earlier springs and later autumns in eastern forests of the United States, lengthening the growing season for trees and potentially changing how forests function. Scientists have found that in years with early springs, trees use more nitrogen to grow than is naturally provided in soil, which could impact tree growth rates and the amount of carbon dioxide forests take out of the atmosphere.
All over the world, lakes, rivers, and coastal waters are threatened by high nutrient inputs. Nitrate or phosphates from waste-waters or fertilizers causes eutrophication. The consequence: Algae, in particular cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), grow uncontrollably and may release toxic substances. Hence, extensive water monitoring is indispensable for drinking water supply and water protection. Researchers have now develop a smart monitoring system, combining various technologies in a depth profile-measuring multi-sensor buoy for monitoring water bodies and in particular algae growth.
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Thursday announced the 2016 State Forest Resource Management Plan that will chart the course of Pennsylvania’s future state forests has been finalized and is now available.
September is whole grains month. Grains are important for good health...
The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center made public the winner of their 4th Annual Shale Gas Environmental, Health, & Safety (EH&S) Award (more...)
During our August and September sampling we have seen apples mature a little earlier than normal, but then quickly tree-ripen. Between the hot, dry weather and the full sun exposure of trees on size-controlling rootstocks, the harvest window for each of the early varieties has been compressed. Fruits moved quickly from storage-ready to tree-ripe and when left unharvested became destined for cider. This rapid tree ripening can lead to softer apples with poorer quality of late-harvested fruit destined for cold storage.
Even though the growing season is over for the most part, you can give your garden a reprieve with a splash of fall color.
Football season is in full swing and so are game day parties...
An insect that attacks onions, leeks, garlic and related crops may be emerging now in parts of Pennsylvania, and growers should be prepared to take measures to manage the pest, according to a Penn State entomologist. The allium leafminer, which never had been seen in the Western Hemisphere until its discovery last winter, produces two generations per year, and the second generation could emerge in September or October.
AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians Project (AgrAbility PA) joins the National AgrAbility Project, as well as other state and regional AgrAbility projects, to celebrate National AgrAbility Day: Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.
If you live in one of Pennsylvania’s 2,561 municipalities you can thank a municipal secretary for making sure the government runs smoothly.
While current efforts to curtail agricultural runoff will improve the health of Lake Erie, much more work will be needed to protect the streams that feed the lake, new research shows.
PPCPs are widely released into the world’s freshwaters and oceans, where they mix at low concentrations over long time periods and seep into diverse environmental pathways such as surface water, groundwater, drinking water or soil.
One of the greatest joys of living in Central Pennsylvania is the opportunity to visit local farms, orchards and farmer's markets and pick your own produce.
A Rice University laboratory has improved its method to turn plain asphalt into a porous material that can capture greenhouse gases from natural gas.
Fruit have quickly progressed from storage-mature to tree-ripe. In many cases fruits in commercial orchards have softened quickly and wound up being picked for cider. This rapid ripening may also reduce the quality of late-harvested apples, and growers are advised to carefully time harvest based on maturity indices.