By JEFF BURBRINK
Extension Educator Purdue Extension Elkhart County
Last week I read an article urging farmers to apply lime every year. That sort of recommendation may work in some communities, but in our area, more often than not, it could lead to some long-term problems because most of our soils are high in pH.
With all the information out there now, it can be difficult to sort out what is valid, what is not, or what is valid given the circumstances. As much information as the internet can give us, it can also lead us to believe information that has no scientific value.
One way to sort information on the web is to do an advanced search. If you are looking for information on raising honeybees, for instance, you can instruct the search engine you use to search only university sites by adding “site:.edu” to the string of words you are searching for.
In this case, all the sites found after searching for the words “raising honeybees site:.edu” come from the .edu domain, or the websites of universities on the web. It allows you to filter out commercial sites, blogs or other webpages in favor of university sites.
Here is another search engine trick. When conducting a search put a minus sign in front of any words you wish to exclude that might be related to the search. For instance, if you search for animal health, you are likely to find all kinds of links to drug and nutrition companies. If you would like to focus on nutrition, add a ‘-drug’ to the words being searched to filter out that content.
The major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo have all adopted these conventions. In the case of Google, they have added an advanced search section on their settings menu which allows an easy way to search for words or exclude others words that are interfering with the search.