What Influences Soil Health? – Dig Deeper with eFields Soil Health Statewide Survey

99How do your soil type and past management practices influence soil health? Find out by participating in the eFields Soil Health Statewide Survey. For this trial, we are seeking fields with various management practices, including:

  • Long term no-till
  • Conventional tilled
  • Cover cropped (overwintering and winter-killed)
    • Cereal rye
    • Red clover
    • Oat/radish mix
  • Organic nutrients (manure) Continue reading

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.

Farmer Advocates wanted!

Do you know of a farmer who would be an excellent candidate with leadership, enthusiasm, and passion for soil health and water quality management as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation? You can nominate them by completing an online form. Select the button for the application.

The Nature Conservancy is looking for farmers who are currently utilizing cover crops on their farms in the Maumee River Watershed of the Western Lake Erie Basin. We are looking for a diverse group of farmers; large acreage, small acreage, corn and soy, small grains, livestock, new and experienced, willing to reach out and share their knowledge and experiences with other farmers in their area. Selected farmers will be compensated for their time. Select the button for this application.

If you are interested in being part of this exciting farmer-led outreach project and would like to apply as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation please complete the online application form by selecting the button above.

The application period is open for farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin that are interested in sharing their conservation farming practices with other farmers.  Farmer Advocates will be compensated for their time to attend the training and work with other farmers @ $30/hour.  The focus of the project is to promote farmers learning from each other about building soil health and managing water.

To apply as a Farmer Advocate for Conservation or to nominate a farmer you believe would be an excellent candidate please use the online application and nomination forms on the landing page found at https://sites.google.com/view/farmeradvocate or please contact Stephanie Singer, Stephanie.Singer@tnc.org.

The Dirt on Soil Health: Investing Below the Surface recordings available.

Did you miss out on the live presentations for this winter on The Dirt on Soil Health: Investing Below the Surface? Great news! Recordings are available for the entire series of topics.

In this weekly series, farmers, industry, and academic experts weighed in on practical steps to improve soil health and measure impact on crop yield and farm profitability.

Recordings and Slide Sets are available at https://agcrops.osu.edu/events/webinar-recordings/dirt-soil-health-investing-below-surface-0 or on the OSU Agronomic Crops Team YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYlh_BdeqniJPI5Ga7icO7mbFzDdpK7fr or by clicking one of the videos below.

Does It Pay to Improve Soil Health on Your Farm?

Panel discussion with farmers Nathan Brown (Highland County), Matt Falb (Wayne County), and Les Seiler (Fulton County).

Continue reading

Using Soil Tests Phosphorus Results to Identify Agronomic and Conservation Needs

What is a soil test? | Dreamlawns Lawn Care“What are the right decisions for phosphorus management in crop production that reduce water quality impacts?” is a common question I have from farmers looking to improve yield yet are concerned about downstream water quality impacts of phosphorus.

A representative agronomic soil test has long been an essential tool for sound agronomic nutrient management decisions. That same agronomic test result can be a useful indicator for identifying fields where additional conservation practices might improve water quality. Fields with Soil Test Phosphorus (STP) levels two to three times higher than the agronomic need result in increased phosphorus losses measured on the edge of field water quality monitoring.

As soil test results are reviewed this fall, consider keeping a list of fields in three categories based on STP levels that define the risk of yield loss for the corn/soybean rotation and risk of increased water quality impacts.

  1. Less than 20 PPM Mehlich 3 STP (or 30 PPM if wheat/alfalfa in the rotation)
  2. Between 20-40 PPM (or 30-50 PPM if wheat/alfalfa are in the rotation)
  3. Greater than 50 PPM

Continue reading

Herbicide Residue Considerations for Fall Cover Crop Establishment

Cover Crops in Corn Stalks

Article from CORN Newsletter on September 1, 2020 – By Mark Loux and Alyssa Essman, OSU

Herbicides with a residual that is used in corn and soybeans can affect the establishment of fall-planted cover crops and should be taken into account when planning cover crop practices and selecting species. Soil characteristics and weather also play a role in the persistence of residual herbicides, which can vary by field and year. More information is needed on rotational intervals for many cover crop species, and this information is often not included on herbicide labels. University weed scientists have studied the effect of residual herbicides on some of the most popular cover crop species in order to provide this information to growers. In general, residual herbicides that control grass weeds can hinder the establishment of grass cover crop species. Broadleaf cover crop species are most impacted by group 2 (ALS inhibitors), 5 (PSII inhibitors), 14 (PPO inhibitors), and 27 (HPPD inhibitors) herbicides (Purdue University). Continue reading

Don’t miss out on the Paulding County Twilight Field Day next Tuesday, August 4

Field to Lake – Twilight Open House – Country Evening, Old Sights, New Eyes

The Paulding Soil and Water Conservation District is working in collaboration with Ohio State University Extension of Paulding County and the Conservation Action Project (CAP) to bring you the Field to Lake – Twilight Open House. This program will feature water control drainage structures and provide opportunities to connect with farmers and professionals to learn more about them. Additionally, explore soil health displays, a drainage water management structure model, and learn about available funding for these structures for those that qualify. The Open House will be held on August 4th, 2020, from 6:00-8:00 pm, in the field, across from 22348 Road 178, Oakwood, OH, 45873. Stop in for 15 minutes or stay the full two hours. There will be an option to drive down the lane and observe the drainage control structures while staying in your vehicle if that is more comfortable for participants.

8.5 x 11 Poster Drainage Field Day

Why consider a drainage water management structure? “This new approach to managing drainage is a significant break from the old way of draining excess water from fields, specifically in the Upper Midwest, where tile drainage systems are most common,” says Leonard Binstock, drainage consultant and executive director of the Agriculture Drainage Management Coalition. According to the Natural Resource Conservation Service, these structures can provide both water quality improvement and production benefits. Water quality benefits are derived by minimizing unnecessary tile drainage, reducing the amount of nitrate that leaves farm fields. Controlled drainage systems can also retain water in field areas that could be used for crop production later in the season.

RSVP is requested, but not required- use the QR code or email address below. With the assistance of The Nature Conservancy, there will be a virtual option available after the event for those who can’t attend in person. Information to access the virtual event will be shared on the supporting organizations’ Facebook pages or by registering for the event and choosing the virtual option. Please note that social distancing will be observed at this outdoor event.

Page Drainage Field Day Invite,

Tri Fold Field to Lake Drainage

For more information, contact: Anna Gurney or Patrick Troyer, Paulding Soil & Water Conservation District, 419-399-4771, Paulding@PauldingSWCD.org

Use 2020 Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations

The Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations provide the foundation for agronomic nutrient management recommendations from the land-grant universities in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. The original publication, which came out in 1995, has been comprehensively updated with the release of the 2020 Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Alfalfa.

The publication relies on Ohio-generated data from 198 farmer-coordinated, on-farm trials in 39 Ohio counties and long-term plots at OARDC Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Agronomic Research Stations conducted from 2006-18. This data validates the recommendations against modern hybrids and varieties and agronomic management practices under current weather conditions. Key recommendations from the guide are included here. Continue reading

Ohio Pork Producers and Soil or Manure Samples

From the Ohio Pork Council

The Ohio Pork Council is pleased to announce its partnership with Brookside Laboratories to provide discounted soil and manure samples for all Ohio pig farmers. In an effort to help your operation, Brookside Laboratories has generously offered to provide soil samples for $3/sample and manure samples for $20/sample for all Ohio pig farmers. Continue reading