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.