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.

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

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New Crop Staging Videos

A new suite of crop staging videos has been built by faculty at The Ohio State University that highlight corn, soybean, and alfalfa. The videos highlight some common staging methods for each crop and connect the staging guidelines to practice using live plants in the field. The videos can be found in the “Crop Growth Stages” playlist on the AgCrops YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbqpb60QXN3UJIBa5is6kHw/playlists. These compliment some of the wheat staging videos previously posted on the AgCrops YouTube channel as well. As the crops progress through the reproductive stages, expect some more videos to be posted! Continue reading