Call for Cooperators – 2021 On-Farm Research

By Rachel Cochran, Water Quality Extension Associate, and Sarah Noggle, Extension Educator

As we begin to approach Spring planting, it’s important to think about the intricacies of the growing season – what fertilizer to use, how much to apply, how to apply it, etc.  If you’re unsure what rate would most benefit your crop while earning you the largest profit, on-farm research may be a good way for you to determine that. If you’re unsure what effects different management practices are having on the health of your soil, on-farm research may be a helpful tool. For almost any question you may have about your operation, an on-farm research trial may be a good way to better understand what the best practices may be for your farm.

This year, we plan to continue the eFields Soil Health Study that was started in 2020. In this study, soil samples are pulled from three depths: 0-4”, 0-6”, and 0-8” within a field. A variety of different tests are then performed on that soil, including routine nutrient analysis, pH, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), total organic matter, aggregate stability, and Permanganate Oxidizable Carbon (POXC). The results of these tests will be grouped with fields of similar management and published in the 2021 eFields book and will help to give you a snapshot of the health of your soil.

OSU Extension Paulding County is here to help you find out what’s best for your operation, whether it be through sharing of information or planning of research trials on your farm. Reach out to Sarah Noggle, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator, or Rachel Cochran, Water Quality Extension Associate, if you’re interested in doing any type of on-farm research this growing season. We will be happy to set up a trial for you to get the answers you need.

Contact our office at (419) 399-8225, or email noggle.17@osu.edu or cochran.474@osu.edu for more information.

Get Involved in On-Farm Research

Is there a product or growing practice you want to test on your farm? If so, consider hosting an eFields on-farm research trial this year. eFields is Ohio State University’s on-farm research program. Each year, a publication is released with trial details and results. You may find the electronic version of the 2020 eFields Report by clicking here. Hard copies are also currently available at the OSU Extension Paulding County office. 

Current eFields projects include the following:

  • Corn Seeding Rate
  • Soybean Seeding Rate
  • Nitrogen Trials (Rate, Timing, Placement, & Source)
  • Sulfur Rate
  • Corn Pop-up Fertilizer
  • Soybean Fungicide
  • Soil Health

You can also work with ANR Educator Sarah Noggle to develop a custom study protocol. If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about hosting an on-farm trial, call 419-399-8225 or e-mail noggle.17@osu.edu.

Take the OSU Extension Health Survey – Looking for Full and Part Time Farmers

  • Give us 15 minutes to tell us about your health behaviors for sun safety and 7 other areas: sleep, stress, nutrition, physical activity & a few more
  • We will not ask your name, or any other personal identifiers – your information will be aggregated with other farmer responses in Ohio
  • This information will develop future Extension programs and resources for healthy living.
  • There is a $10 gift card incentive for all completed surveys – for 100 Ohio farmers.
  • Go to our survey link directly:  www.go.osu.edu/HealthSurvey2020

For questions, contact:

Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family & Consumer Sciences, brinkman.93@osu.edu

Dee Jepsen, Ag Safety and Health, jepsen.4@osu.edu

Interested in Soil Health? Learn together with OSU Extension

Improving soil health (SH) can provide a variety of benefits including improved water infiltration, increased water holding capacity, and increased nutrient availability. However, it can be challenging to quantify these benefits in the field.

In 2020, the eFields program is kicking off an effort to help better understand how management practices influence soil health and ultimately water quality. OSU Extension has worked to identify a few soil tests that can provide helpful indicators of improved soil health. Though several health tests exist, we focused on tests that are simple, economical, and repeatable. We are looking for farmers interested in soil health and who want to participate in a statewide field survey collecting soil health data from fields under various management practices, specifically conventional tillage, no-till, organic nutrient management, and cover cropping. The results from this effort will be used to guide recommendations for improving soil health on Ohio farms. Soil health indicators are also being added to selected eFields trials including nitrogen rate and manure sidedress.

If you are interested in learning more about participating in eFields trials focused on soil health, reach out to your local Extension educator or email digitalag@osu.edu. For more information about the soil health indicators and how to use them, visit: go.osu.edu/MeasureSH.

Event Notice – Farmer’s Breakfast Special “Stay-at-Home” Spring Planting Edition

From Mary Griffith, ANR Extension Educator, Madison County

Stuck at home and really wish you could come to an Extension event? Us too, but we thought we could bring another great speaker to you. Join OSU Extension and Ohio Farm Bureau on Friday, April 17 and April 24 from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. for their virtual breakfast series. Each meeting will kick off with a weather forecast from the State Climate Office of Ohio’s Aaron Wilson, followed by a guest speaker. On April 17, Scott Schearer of OSU Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering will be discussing “Combating Compaction:  Minimizing Soil Compaction this Spring.” On April 24, John Fulton also of OSU Department of Food, Agriculture, and Biological Engineering will be presenting “Planter Set-up to Maximize Yield.”

In order to join us virtually please register at go.osu.edu/farmersbreakfast to receive the link! Please contact Madison County ANR Educator Mary Griffith at 740-852-0975 or griffith.483@osu.edu with questions.

Learn More About eFields at Regional Meetings

By: Elizabeth Hawkins, Ohio State University Extension

Have you been enjoying the 2019 eFields Report and are excited to learn more? The Ohio State Digital Ag team is hosting six regional eFields meetings this winter. Join us to learn more about the eFields program and results we are seeing across the state. Each meeting will feature presentations highlighting local trials including seeding rate, nutrient management, and crop management. There will be a panel discussion featuring cooperating farmers who are conducting on-farm research with Ohio State Extension. We would also like to hear from you about what topics you are interested in seeing in eFields in the future. Continue reading

eField available for 2018 reports

eFields represents an Ohio State University program dedicated to advancing production agriculture through the use of field-scale research. This program utilizes modern technologies and information to conduct on-farm studies with an educational and demonstration component used to help farmers and their advisors understand how new practices and techniques can improve farm efficiency and profitability. The program is also dedicated to delivering timely and relevant, data-driven, actionable information. Current projects are focused on precision nutrient management strategies and technologies to improve efficiency of fertilizer placement, enable on-farm evaluation, automate machine functionality, enhance placement of pesticides and seed, and to develop analytical tools for digital agriculture.

Check out the newest edition at https://digitalag.osu.edu/efields