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. Using Biodegradable Plastic Mulch in Rice Production

    Jun 14, 2023

    Just published research on a new approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save water and increase yield in rice production. To view the journal article.

  2. Greening Eggs and Ham: Animal Feed and GHG emissions in the US and China

    Jun 2, 2023

    Greenhouse gas emissions from the animal feed sector are unexpectedly impacted by a wide range of international policies. To learn more go to the article in the New Security Beat

  3. Mancl will be inducted as Fellow American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers

    Apr 30, 2023

    ASABE defines a Fellow as a member of unusual professional distinction, with outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience in, or related to, the field of agricultural, food, or biological systems engineering.

  4. Soil and Climate Change

    Mar 10, 2023

    The world cannot sustain clean air and water without healthy soil. Soil is the largest terrestrial source of carbon in the biosphere. Thus, carbon sequestration in soil is an important opportunity in sustainable development. Plants nurtured on even degraded soils could remove 63 billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere. To learn more about soil’s key Role in fighting climate change in U.S. and Chinese agriculture link to the New Security Beat.

  5. Food Waste and Climate Change

    Mar 10, 2023

    A webinar "Opportunities for Enhanced Near-term U.S.-China Climate Action: The Food System" was sponsored by the California China Climate Institute at UC Berkley and the Wilson Center China Environment Forum. Karen spoke on "Challenges and Opportunities of Converting Food Waste to Fertilizer in US and China". Go to CCCI link to view the webinar.

  6. Urine-diverting dry toilets - Research just published

    Feb 17, 2023

    Research examined barriers and facilitators to adoption of sanitation technologies. Barriers were beliefs incompatible with UDDT by-product reuse, a lack of supporting infrastructure, high capital costs, and ineffective promotional communication strategies. The benefits promoted by the diffusion agency were often misaligned with the desires and interests of the potential adopters.  Ensuring supporting infrastructure was in place and tailoring the promotional communications to the adopters’ perspectives facilitated adoption.

  7. Closing the Loop on Plastic Waste in the US and China

    Jan 30, 2023

    As the world’s largest consumers and producers of plastics, the United States and China are pivotal for helping to close the loop on global plastic waste. The issue contains OpEds from US, China and Europe focing on citizen action, indistry efforts and policy. Karen Mancl authored 2 OpEds on agricultural and biodegradable plastic.

    To download the issue go to link

  8. Rice: A Recipe for Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the U. S. and China?

    Jan 20, 2023

    Rice cultivation contributes 2.5 percent of human-induced greenhouse gases. Two particular gases are the culprits. One is methane, a short-lived greenhouse gas that is 25 to 80 times more impactful than CO2.

  9. Nitrous Oxide an Issue for US and Chinese Agriculture

    Dec 12, 2022

    Decisions that farmers and government officials make – sometimes with good intentions – result in nitrogen escaping the agricultural landscape to create algal blooms and emit greenhouse gases. In the United States, 79 percent of nitrous oxide emissions come from agriculture. Nitrous oxide emissions from China’s agriculture in 2008 accounted for 74 percent of all the country’s N2O emissions. Nitrous oxide, a powerful, long-lived greenhouse gas that is 300 times stronger than CO2that persists in the atmosphere for 120 years.

  10. 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.

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