Organic matter’s good for the soil. And also for crops and water. But it’s not all created equal. At next week’s annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, CFAES scientist Steve Culman will talk specifically about active organic matter: how it cycles rapidly, how it plays a big role in providing nutrients to crops, how soil tests measure it, what CFAES research is learning about it, and how you can enroll to have your soil tested for free in an ongoing study. “Active Organic Matter in Your Soil,” Session V, 1:30 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11. Complete conference schedule.
Rattan Lal’s work, you could say, is very fertile. The CFAES scientist, who’s a Distinguished University Professor of soil science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, was recently profiled as one of Thomson Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers. “For nearly four decades,” says the story by Sarah Tanksalvala, “Lal has been a leader in addressing soil as a key aspect of the biggest issues facing our planet today.” Read the story.
Growing cover crops like this clover can benefit both grain crops and water quality, says CFAES’s Alan Sundermeier. He’ll give tips on getting cover crops off the ground — and then eventually back into it — on Wednesday at the North American Manure Expo in Ohio. (Photo: iStock.)
On Feb. 12, a research team including CFAES soil scientist Rafiq Islam will present “The Dirt on Organic Matter.” It’s a special preconference workshop being held before the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s Feb. 13-14 annual conference in Granville.
The team members have spent the past 15 years studying soil organic matter, its benefits to crops and the best ways to boost it on farms run organically; the workshop is based on their findings.
“Soil organic matter is the cornerstone of soil health,” Islam said. “As with any agricultural production system, maintaining a healthy and productive soil is the foundation of sustainable organic farming.”
The 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
Growers wondering what impact, if any, installing new natural gas pipelines will have on crop productivity in their fields can sign up for a pilot study being done by CFAES researchers. (Previous related post here.)
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.
You can help your plants grow greener, and help Ohio’s waters turn bluer, by testing the soil in your yard or garden. And now’s a perfect time to do it. Get the scoop. (Photo: Stockbyte.)