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.)

Secrets of Ohio’s mystery fruit revealed

New on our CFAES Stories site: Details on CFAES efforts to help Ohioans grow more of a little-known native fruit. Fun fact: Ohio brewers are using it lately to good effect in craft beers. Read the story. (Photo: CFAES’ Matt Davies with the fruit tree in question, John Rice, CFAES.)

Lal to speak at Borlaug Dialogue

Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources, will speak on a panel titled “Facing the Greatest Challenge of Our Time: Agriculture’s Role in Impacting Climate Change” at the World Food Prize’s 2019 Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium.

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Our growing history with biosolids

That small corn patch you see in this photo, which is growing—indeed, thriving—in the middle of Ohio State’s Columbus campus, is part of a wider, sustainability-related project meant to show how biosolids—processed human waste from sewage—can be (and historically have been) used to help grow food. Get the full poop in our latest CFAES Story.

Connecting farms and food to communities

London, Ohio’s Procter Center Farm, which in addition to raising chickens, pigs, and veggies is opening a farm-to-table storefront in a rural food desert, hosts the Community Outreach and Education Farm Tour on Saturday, Aug. 24.

Part of the 2019 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series, the tour is being presented by CFAES. Join us.