Soils, carbon and climate change: CFAES’s Lal speaks on national, world stages

CFAES scientist Rattan Lal (pictured) has been busy lately.

The Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science joined a Dec. 4 National Public Radio panel discussion called “The Ground Beneath Our Feet”; was quoted in a Dec. 3 New York Times opinion piece titled “Soil Power! The Dirty Way to a Green Planet”; and keynoted three recent international events related to soils, carbon and climate change.

Lal is also the director of our college’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. Visit the center’s website.

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 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.

Learn how (and why) to test your soil

CFAES is co-sponsoring a Soil Health Testing Demonstration Field Day on Aug. 31 in Bowling Green. The event will help you understand soil test measurements and how they can help you maintain healthy soil, your farm’s production and profitability, while also protecting water quality. Admission is free. Learn more.

Leading the effort to ‘enhance the sustainability of soils’

CFAES’s Richard Dick, who’s “one of the leading soil scientists in the world, having advanced our knowledge on soil as a resource to deliver environmental services and promote food production,” has been elected 2018 president of the prestigious Soil Science Society of America. He’s a professor and Ohio Eminent Scholar in the School of Environment and Natural Resources.

SSSA is the professional home for more than 6,300 members and 1,000 certified professionals. It works to enhance the sustainability of soils, the environment and food production by integrating diverse scientific disciplines and principles in soil science.

Can carbon farming save us?

CFAES scientist Rattan Lal was quoted last week in a story on carbon farming (aka carbon sequestration) called “Soil Matters” in Comstock’s magazine. The question: Can carbon farming really save us?

“It won’t be easy,” Lal says. “First of all we must stop adding carbon to the atmosphere. We must end fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, but it’s not happening yet.”

A world expert on carbon sequestration, Lal is a Distinguished University Professor in CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Comstock’s covers the region around California’s capital, Sacramento. Read the story.

Today: Projects, goals for helping soil fertility on Ohio farms

CFAES scientist Steve Culman, assistant professor of soil fertility and management in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, presents “Fertile or Futile? What Lies Ahead for Soil Fertility Research for Ohio Farmlands” at 11:30 a.m. today in the spring seminar series of the college’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. Details.

Feb. 8 deadline for organic matter workshop

A reminder to register by this coming Monday, Feb. 8, for “The Dirt on Organic Matter,” a Feb. 12 preconference workshop being held before the Feb. 13-14 annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association in Granville. The workshop will focus on ways to build soil organic matter on farms, especially organic farms. CFAES and other experts will teach it based on findings from their research over the past 15 years. Read more.

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

CFAES prof co-edits new book on ‘Soil-Specific Farming’

Speaking of Rattan Lal, he’s also the co-editor of a recently released CRC Press reference book called Soil-Specific Farming: Precision Agriculture. “Faced with challenges of resource scarcity and environmental degradation,” the book’s description says, “it is important to adopt innovative farming systems that maximize resource efficiency while protecting the environment” — in other words, that are sustainable. Check out the book’s webpage.

Putting ‘climate on the menu before it’s too late’

A Civil Eats article called “Sam Kass Wants to Put the Climate on the Menu Before It’s Too Late” mentions CFAES scientist Rattan Lal (scroll down). Lal is a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Kass is the former assistant White House chef and former executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. The article mentions Lal’s soil carbon sequestration work with French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll, who spoke last spring at Ohio State. “Capturing carbon in soil,” the Center for Food Safety’s Diana Donlon says in the article, “is the ‘low hanging fruit’ in the effort to mitigate climate change.”