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.
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).
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.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.