6 results for tag: agriculture


Biosolids, PFAS and Oregon Agriculture

Known as “forever chemicals,” harmful PFAS chemicals can be found in the air, water, and soil of virtually every ecosystem on Earth. Distribution of PFAS varies widely – from high concentrations in states like Michigan and Maine to very low levels here in Oregon. Our state’s water utilities and water quality agencies are already studying the sources and level of PFAS in our local water systems. But there is still much to learn about how these chemicals move through our ecosystem.  That’s why we’re urging lawmakers to pass the Biosolids Bill (HB 4049). This important bill will support OSU Extension in studying the levels of PFAS present ...

Climate Change and Agriculture: How are they connected and what’s to be done?

What is climate change and how does it work? We’ve all heard the phrase “climate change,” but what does that phrase mean? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines climate change as “a long-term (decades to centuries) change in any of a number of environmental conditions for a given place and time—such as temperature, rainfall, humidity, cloudiness, wind, and air circulation patterns.” So any shift in weather patterns lasting for a prolonged period of time can be called climate change. Today most people who say “climate change” are referring to the steady well-documented increases in Earth’s temperature ...

EVs Are Not Just for Urban Commuters

The transition from gas to electric vehicles is now well underway. From electric cars, trucks, and busses, to e-bikes, e-scooters, and personal wheeled devices of all kinds, there are more and more electric options for getting around town. This transition is exciting to see because it’s essential to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and battling climate change.  But what if “town” isn’t where you’re trying to get around? There are more electric vehicle (EV) models introduced all the time, but many people still have questions about whether an EV makes sense for the everyday needs of Oregon’s rural and agricultural communities which ...

Using Soil to Slow Climate Change

The economic demands on farmers and ranchers to maximize production on their land can inadvertently lead to damaging the soil. Unhealthy soil stores less carbon and depends on an increased use of chemicals and fertilizers which in turn can increase pollution and loss of soil to erosion. The good news is that the stewardship and determination of today’s agricultural producers can help solve these problems. And, under the 2020 Oregon Climate Action Plan, there is an opportunity right now to set ambitious new goals to address soil health and combat climate change.   Soil Health and Carbon Sequestration Soil health is a term used to describe a ...

On the road, learning together

This summer, I have the privilege of working with Karen Lewotsky, Rural Partnerships Director, on numerous water related projects.

Whistleblower videos reveal helicopter spraying workers with weed killers

Have you seen the article and video posted at the Oregonian? It's a terrifying video, one of over 200 that have been recorded showing workers being completely doused in chemicals. "Nothing is more worrisome than the number of times the helicopter sprays over workers. Depending on the chemicals used, workers aren't allowed to enter spray sites for up to 48 hours. Directly spraying workers is illegal. It's also illegal to allow chemicals to drift onto workers." Pesticide drift has sickened Oregonians and damaged neighboring crops. There are pesticides in finished drinking water, and in streams impacting threatened and endangered native fish. We ...