Grain that grows ‘like grass on the prairie’

A recent NPR story by Dan Charles featured the perennial grain called Kernza. Headlined “Can This Breakfast Cereal Save the Planet?” the story looked at Kernza’s benefits to the soil, which include preventing erosion and sequestering carbon; the scientists at the Salina, Kansas-based Land Institute who developed and are continuing to work with Kernza; and efforts by General Mills, the maker of Wheaties and Cheerios, to turn the new grain into cereal.

Kernza-wise, CFAES scientist Steve Culman and his colleagues are studying the grain as well, including as part of a multistate study. Read more on their work here and here.

How to put your soil health in clover

Wilmington College in southwest Ohio plans a two-part Cover Crops Symposium on Thursday, March 21. The college’s Agriculture Department, CFAES’ OSU Extension outreach arm, and the Clinton County Soil and Water Conservation District are the sponsors.

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5 ways Gwynne’s growing greener (and you can, too)

Look for new players like riprap, blazing star and willow fascines in Ohio State’s Gwynne Conservation Area.

The nearly 70-acre facility, part of CFAES’s Farm Science Review site at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, has started two new projects — one to diversify its prairie plantings; the other, to protect the banks of Deer Creek, which flows through the grounds. Continue reading

The ‘unfolding global disaster’ of soil loss, how to reverse it and how that can help reverse climate change, too

CFAES scientist Rattan Lal, an Ohio State Distinguished University Professor and a world expert on soil management and carbon sequestration, was quoted in a recent ThinkProgress story by Natasha Geiling called “The ‘Unfolding Global Disaster’ Happening Right Under Our Feet,” about how soil loss is hurting both food production and the climate. Check it out. The quote in fact came from a previous story Geiling wrote for ThinkProgress called “Is 2015 The Year Soil Becomes Climate Change’s Hottest Topic?” That one’s here. The answer seemingly was yes, and hopefully will still be yes going forward, based on such stories as this, this and this. Lal explains carbon sequestration’s big benefits in a video here.

Ohio State Soil Judging Team going to nationals

Soil judging team 2The Ohio State Soil Judging Team is heading to the National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest next April that will be hosted by Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

This past Friday, Oct. 16, the Soil Judging Team took home third-place school honors with a strong showing in the Northeast Regional Soil Competition hosted by Brian Slater and Ohio State at Louis Bromfield’s Malabar Farm in Lucas, Ohio. Continue reading

‘One of the world’s most famous and globally engaged soil scientists’

Dr. Rattan LalRattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, pictured, recently received a Doctor of Natural Sciences Honoris Causa honorary degree from Germany’s Dresden University of Technology to help commemorate the UN’s 2015 International Year of Soils. Karl-Heinz Feger, dean of TU Dresden’s Faculty of Environmental Sciences, said, “With the granting of this honorary doctorate, our university honors one of the world’s most famous and globally engaged soil scientists.” Read more.

How natural-gas pipelines affect crops and soils

A new pilot study is being planned to document the effects of natural-gas pipeline installation on crops and soils, and interested farmers are invited to participate. Steve Culman of CFAES’s outreach arm, OSU Extension, has details in Ohio’s Country Journal.

Yes, you can say he stands out in his field

Rattan_LalThe International Union of Soil Sciences has named CFAES’s Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of soil science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, as its president-elect. The Vienna, Austria-based group has 16,000 members from around the world. Lal directs the school’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center and, among other things, recently served on the advisory committee of the National Climate Assessment. (Photo: CFAES Communications.)