Testing urban farm soil, including for lead

You can learn how to get the lead out—a good thing for soil and people’s health—when Alyssa Zearley of CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources presents “Testing Soils for Urban Agriculture” from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Feb. 16, during the annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) in Dayton.

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‘Dig into soil health’ at special free workshop

An upcoming workshop will give you advice on how to test and improve your soil. Called “Digging into Soil Health: What Tests Can Tell Us About Our Soil,” the event is set for 1–4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, in Dayton, ahead of the annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA).

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Field day at historic no-till plots in Wooster

CFAES is home to the longest continually maintained no-till research plots in the world — the Triplett-Van Doren No-Tillage Experimental Plots, shown here — and you can check them out and hear about the latest research on no-till, soil health and more on Aug. 29 in Wooster. The cost to register is $65, or $25 in advance for students. (Photo: Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)

Soil and water event in Piketon

CFAES’s Soil and Water Field Night, set for the Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon and featuring sessions on soil health, corn disorders and managing weeds, runs from 5-9 p.m. Aug. 16.

Admission is free, a light dinner is included, but you have to register in advance by contacting Sarah Swanson at 740-289-2071, ext. 112, or swanson.345@osu.edu.

See the full schedule and find out more. (Photo: CFAES.)

No more guessing at nitrogen levels?

Scientists from CFAES and Cornell University are developing a fast way for farmers to test the nitrogen levels in their soils. Nitrogen is a nutrient, provided in fertilizer, that’s key to the growth of crops. Not enough of it, and crops don’t produce as much food as they should. But too much, and the excess can be washed away from a crop field by rain and get into lakes and streams, possibly causing algal blooms and “dead zones” or, in its nitrate form, making drinking water unsafe for pregnant women and babies.

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Why you should soil your undies

If you go to this summer’s Manure Science Review, you can see why, yes, you should #SoilYourUndies. Soil educators around the United States and Canada are using the hashtag, and demonstrations involving actual buried bloomers, as a fun way to show how crops and farming methods affect the activity of soil microbes. 

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When you break it down, it’s really a very positive thing

Manure Science Review, co-organized by CFAES, is set for July 25 in Forest in northwest Ohio. Its full day of talks and demos will showcase ways to put manure to good use — helping food production, soil health and a farmer’s bottom line, while also protecting water quality. Find details, including a link to register. (You’ll save $5 if you sign up by July 16.)

Watch Rattan Lal’s interview on Indian TV: ‘Soil should never, ever be taken for granted’

While in India recently, CFAES scientist Rattan Lal sat for a fascinating interview with Rajya Sabha TV. Watch it above, and get a good idea of the deep, foundational importance of soil — to farming, climate change, biodiversity, water quality, human health and more — and a good idea, too, of the mind and passion of one of our college’s most esteemed thinkers.

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Soil testing field day is Aug. 31

A reminder that there’s a Soil Health Testing Demonstration Field Day on Thursday, Aug. 31, at Riker Farm Seed in Bowling Green.

There’s no cost to attend, but if you’d like the free lunch being offered, you need to register by today, Aug. 28. Email Alan Sundermeier at sundermeier.5@osu.edu to register.

The field day is part of the Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. CFAES’s Sustainable Agriculture Team is a co-presenter of the series and is the specific presenter of this event.

Download the series brochure.