Ohio’s farm crisis: Why leaving a field unplanted can hurt it

Some 1.5 million acres of Ohio’s farm fields—an area twice the size of Rhode Island—didn’t have any corn, soybeans, or other cash crops planted on them this year. Reason: Record spring rain made the ground too wet to plant. Now those fields are at risk of problems from something called fallow syndrome, which is caused by the loss of crop-friendly microbes that live—or lived—in the fields’ soils.

Experts from CFAES explain. (Photo: Getty Images.)

A day to make the most of manure

You’ll find lots of fertile topics for discussion at this year’s Manure Science Review. Set for Wednesday, Aug. 7, at JIMITA Holsteins in Strasburg, Ohio, the event will keep you up to date on putting manure to good use. Featured will be talks by CFAES and other experts, field demonstrations, and a tour of Bull Country Compost located nearby in Dundee. Registration is $25 by July 30; $30 after July 30; and includes coffee, doughnuts, lunch, and the tour. Participants can earn credits for continuing education. Get details. (Photo: Getty Images.)

Regenerative agriculture a ‘win-win-win’

An op-ed in the May 13 edition of the Los Angeles Times quotes CFAES scientist Rattan Lal on the benefits of regenerative agriculture—practices such as using compost, minimizing tillage, and growing cover crops. Regenerative agriculture is a “win-win-win option” that can make the soil healthier, increase food production, and help fight climate change, he is quoted as saying. But it is “not widely understood” yet by policymakers, the public, and many farmers.

Lal, a recent recipient of the prestigious Japan Prize, is Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Read the op-ed.

Today in Tokyo

Watch the ceremony. Read about Rattan Lal receiving the Japan Prize.

Watch: Rattan Lal receives Japan Prize

CFAES soil scientist Rattan Lal formally received the Japan Prize today, Monday, April 8, in Tokyo. You can watch the ceremony in the video above. Ohio State President Michael V. Drake, First Lady Brenda Drake, and CFAES Wooster Director Dave Benfield were among the delegation from Ohio State attending the ceremony. The Japan Prize is considered one of the most prestigious honors in science and technology.

He works for the soil, farmers, the planet

Here’s another reason to celebrate Ohio Agriculture Week, March 10-16:

CFAES’ Rattan Lal, esteemed soil scientist in the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), recently achieved an unusual triple crown, winning the prestigious World Soil Prize, World Agriculture Prize, and Japan Prize in the span of about four months.

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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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What recent weather trends hold for farms

Aaron Wilson, climate specialist with CFAES’ OSU Extension outreach arm, presents “Recent Weather Trends & Future Resilience for Farms” at the Ohio Soil Health Symposium on March 26 in Shelby. Read what he said about our wet year last year here, and learn about a new app he helped develop—one that tells farmers the best times to apply fertilizer and manure to avoid rain—here.

Dig further details about the symposium.