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. COVID-19 Changing the Mink Production Landscape in U.S. and China

    Apr 23, 2021

    Early in the pandemic, an unexpected outbreak among mink brought catastrophe to Denmark’s vaunted mink fur industry, leading to the extermination of its entire mink population and total collapse of its output. The U.S. and China are among the top contenders looking to capitalize on the sudden vacuum in the market.

    To learn more read the whole article at China/US Focus

  2. Soil & Site Evaluation for Onsite Wastewater Treatment ~ Online Workshop ~

    Apr 23, 2021

    Registered sanitarians, soil scientists, sanitary engineers, installers and others who work on small and onsite wastewater treatment systems are sometimes expected to consider sites and soils for suitability.  This new online course has video lectures, demonstrations and homework exercises to prepare onsite professionals to conduct a preliminary evaluation.  The goal of this course is to help an onsite professional to become a soils practitioner to assist soil scientists is conducting site and soil evaluations.


  3. Where to have your water tested

    Feb 22, 2021

    Private well owners are responsible to testing and maintaining their own water supply to protect family and visitors.  Laboratories throughout Ohio accept samples from the public for water testing.  The lab list was just updated to help locate a nearby lab. Go to

  4. Improving disinfection of treated wastewater

    Oct 29, 2020

    Just published SETLL research on a new approach to UV disinfection.  Batch disinfection improves disinfection, saves energy and extends the life of the equipment.

    • Liu, K., E. Park, KM Mancl, J. Lee and O.H. Tuovinen. 2020. Batch UV disinfection for small flow onsite wastewater treatment. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 36(5):717-725.

  5. Capturing Greenhouse Gases in China's Countryside

    Jun 11, 2020

    China has more than 40 million anaerobic digesters collecting animal and human waste for conversion to methane.  Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas having 25 times more impact than carbon dioxide.  By comparison, only 254 agricultual digesters have been constucted in the US.

  6. Household Water Use

    May 27, 2020

    Just published a new fact sheet on household water use.  The good news is water use per person is going down, thanks to new low-water using fixtures.  Read more about Household Water Use.

  7. China Increasing Agricultural Production on a Sea of Plastic

    May 8, 2020

    Ninety percent of the world's plastic greenhouses, covering 3.3 million hectares. China is also the world leader in the use of plastic mulch, over 2 million tons. Agricultural plastics are dirty making them difficult to recycle. To learn more, read the article in the New Security Beat.

  8. Willingness to upgrade septic systems

    Apr 8, 2020

    The cover story of the January/February issue of Journal of Environmental Health features OSU research on Water Quality Trading and rural homeowners' willingness to upgrade their septic systems to reduce nutrient discharge to Lake Erie.  This surprising finding points out an additional way to reduce non-point source pollution.  

    Guo, YT, K. Mancl, and R. Moore. 2020. Water quality trading mechanisms enhances willingness to upgrade rural household septic systems in the western Lake Erie basin, northwest Ohio. Journal of Environmental Health. 82(6):8-15.

  9. Capturing Greehouse Gases in China's Countryside

    Mar 9, 2020

    Karen Mancl was one of the featured speakers at Rural Climate Action in the US and China event at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC.  The March 6 event was webcast and is available for viewing.  Dr. Mancl's presentation starts at 1:07 as she was the 4th speaker at the 2-hour event.  Link to the event at:

  10. Pig Disease is Creating a Mountainous Solid Waste Problem

    Feb 28, 2020

     In August of 2018, the Chinese were raising 500