With so many Ohio fields left unplanted this year, farmers should consider the risks to next year’s crops, soil experts from The Ohio State University warn. If wind or rain carry away the topsoil of a bare field, it can take years to rebuild that topsoil, said Steve Culman, a soil fertility specialist with Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).Topsoil is the layer richest in microscopic organisms, which fuel plant growth. Besides losing topsoil, not having any living roots in a field can cause microscopic fungi in the soil to die off, harming the soil’s ability to support a healthy crop, Culman said.
The answers to growing better crops are under your feet if you look. So says Steve Culman, soil fertility specialist at The Ohio State University, who is helping lead an upcoming workshop on how to test your soil. “Soil testing provides a window into the soil, revealing if a plant is likely to see the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive,” said Culman, based at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences(CFAES). The workshop, called “Digging Into Soil Health: What Tests Can Tell Us About Our Soil,” will be Feb. 14 in Dayton. It’s part of the annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), which runs from Feb. 14–16.
The Ohio State Soil Fertility team put on a soil health workshop to educate OSU Extension educators, graduate students and staff on the latest science of soil health. Two identical workshops were held on April 21 and 27th at OARDC in Wooster. The full day workshop exposed participants to concepts of soil health, promising tests available and what these tests functionally reflect in the soil. The morning session was mostly informal lectures and discussion followed by hands-on experience in the laboratory running the tests. Speakers included John Obrycki, Vinayak Shedekar, Rafiq Islam, Anthony Fulford, Tunsisa Hurisso, Vijay Chaganti and Steve Culman. A total of 55 participants attended the workshops which will be offered again, sometime in late summer, date TBD.
A new soil fertility specialist with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences is looking for a few good growers to help update fertility recommendations for Ohio soybeans. Steve Culman, a newly hired Ohio State University Extension specialist in soil fertility, is part of a team of college experts seeking soybean growers to participate in a project to look at phosphorus and potassium in soybeans as part of an overall effort to update the Tri-State Fertility Recommendations (Ohio, Michigan and Indiana) for soybeans.