China's Hollow Villages Undergo a Transformation

As an agricultural engineering professor, I was excited to visit and tour the farm village Houbali, in southwestern Shandong Province. I found myself standing among newly constructed high-rise buildings, a vastly different community than I had expected to encounter. A bicycle repair shop was setting up alongside other bustling businesses in the first-floor storefronts. 

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  1. Biodegradable Plastic and Soil Pollutions

    Aug 11, 2022

    China is number 1 in the world in the use of plastic mulch in agriculture. Not surprizingly, much of the research on environmental issues caused by plastic pollution of soils and technology to reduce plastic pollution are also emerging from China. Just published in the New Security Beat is Biodegradable Plastic in Chinese and US Agriculture.

  2. Low-pressure pipe septic systems

    Jul 21, 2022

    The new Extension manual "Low-pressure Piping in Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems for Ohio" authored by Drs. Kristen Conroy and Karen Mancl just received an Outstanding Bulletin Blue Ribbon Award from the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers. Find the manual

  3. Sustainable Agriculture in US and China

    May 10, 2022

    On the webinar "Climate Action Down on the Farm" hosted by the Wilson Center China Environment Forum Karen spoke about "Success in Sustainable Agriculture to Combat Climate Change in the US and China". Her presentation starts at 54:20. Climate Webinar

  4. Microplastics in Soil – Small Size Big Impact on U.S. and Chinese Agriculture

    Apr 29, 2022

    Ocean plastic pollution looms large as a growing threat to both marine ecosystems and seafood safety. Sadly, microplastics polluting the soil is an even bigger, yet less visible, threat to food security that demands more attention and action. As much as 23 times more microplastics are dumped on agricultural soils than are disposed of in the ocean. To learn more go to the New Security Beat

  5. The Dirt on Agricultural Plastic Pollution of the Soil in the U.S. and China

    Mar 10, 2022

    The global consumption of plastic mulch is almost 2 million tons per year, of which about 75 percent is used in China. Because of the extensive and continuous use of plastic mulch, agricultural plastic film residual pollution is uniquely Chinese. To learn more go to New Security Beat

  6. Low Pressure Piping (LPP)

    Dec 3, 2021

    New Bulletin - Low-pressure piping in Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems in Ohio

    An LPP is a shallow, pressure-dosed soil absorption system that evenly distributes wastewater in the entire trench area. LPP systems may be required at sites with shallow limiting conditions. They are also benefitial for any system that requires pumping the effluent upslope.

    Purchase and download a copy of the new bulletin at this link


  7. Online training for soil and site evaluation

    Nov 1, 2021

    Just published - an article on the new online training course. The 2021 offering just closed with plans for 2022 starting June 1 - through Oct 31.  To learn more about the course check the paper presented at the 2021 conference of the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association.  Link to paper

  8. Treatment of seawater salinity sewage with intermittent sand bioreactors - Just Published

    Oct 26, 2021

    In water stressed areas, flush toilets using fresh water are unsustainable. This paper explores the ability of intermittent sand bioreactors (ISBs) to treat seawater salinity septic tank effluent for on-site wastewater treatment in coastal regions.  To find out more go to Water Science and Technology.

  9. Holiday treats become invasive species and threatens biodiversity in the U.S. and China

    Oct 20, 2021

    In 2019, U.S. Customs seized 3400 pounds of invasive Chinese mitten crabs at the Cincinnati, Ohio airport. The mitten crab threatens commercial fishing and biodiversity and is listed on the top 100 worst invader list. China is hosting the 15th meeting of the Convention on Biodiversity and is in a position to show leadership in protecting aquatic environments.

    To learn more go to China US Focus

  10. China and US Aquaculture Open Door to Invaders

    Aug 27, 2021

    Aquaculture is helping meet the growing demand for seafood, especially in Asia.  Unfortunately, many of the fish and seafood we want to eat are not native to the area.  If proper care is not taken, aquaculture species can become invasive - like the crayfish in China and Asian carp in the US. To find out more see the story in the New Security Beat