Soils

  1. Photo: Getty Images

    New fertilizer guide for field crops

    Aug 17, 2020

    Farmers in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan now have a new guide for creating fertile ground for their corn, soybean, wheat, and alfalfa crops. Working with a team of soil scientists and agronomists from across Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, Steve Culman, a soil fertility specialist with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), led the effort to revise a 1995 guide for fertilizing field crops. The free and newly revised Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa offers guidelines for how much nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and micronutrients soil should have to spur high crop yields without jeopardizing water quality. 

  2. Professor Basta sampling soil in Cleveland.  Photo by Marie Barni.

    Faculty expert provides soil testing guidance in HGTV gardening article

    Jul 28, 2020

    A new HGTV article written by Margeaux Emery, “When to Test Garden Soil for Lead Contamination and What to Do if It’s Present” features expertise provided by Nicholas Basta, professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University.  The article shares scientific information and guidance for homeowners and gardeners on the paramount importance of testing soil for contaminants and especially at certain areas, such as former industrial sites or old urban areas being considered for new uses and how to have your soil tested and what the results mean for edible gardening.

  3. Ohio State’s soil judging team in action near Stevens’ Point Wisconsin, October 2019.

    Faculty Reflection: Celebrating achievements that rely on people working together

    Mar 30, 2020

    SENR faculty member and Associate Director Brian Slater reflects on partnerships that have meant a great to him while at The Ohio State University and especially this past year, as he prepared for hosting the 2020 National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest in Ohio. 

  4. (Photo: Getty Images)

    How and why to keep phosphorus on no-till fields

    Mar 10, 2020

    Left untilled, fields gain organic matter and maintain high yields, but there’s a tradeoff to consider when deciding not to till.  Fields that aren’t tilled are less likely to erode, sending soil and the components of fertilizer, including phosphorus, downstream, a threat to water quality.

  5. Feb. 25 Environmental Film Series - Living Soil

    Innovative farmers and soil health focus of upcoming screening and discussion

    Feb 19, 2020

    The 5th Ohio State Environmental Film Series is underway, with screenings at 151 W. Woodruff in CBEC Room 130 at 7 PM (free pizza and beverages at 6:30).  The February 25, 2020 event features the 2019 Soil Health Institute's documentary, Living Soil, which "showcases innovative farmers who enrich their soils to enhance life on Earth".  It emphasizes the role soil health plays in water quality management. With the 60-minute film, there will be two extraordinary discussion leaders -- Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science Rattan Lal and Plain City, Ohio farmer and businessman, Fred Yoder.

  6. Photo: Getty Images

    Soil health at risk on fallow fields

    Oct 8, 2019

    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.

  7. Soil Science Research Day, March 28

    Attend Soil Science Research Day, March 28

    Mar 26, 2019

    Soil science research from across the university will be featured at this week's Soil Science Research Day on March 28 in Kottman Hall.  You are invited to attend the inaugural Soil Science Research Day to promote soil science across all disciplines at the university and to increase awareness of its importance to the environment, society and economy.  Dr. Gary Pierzynski, associate dean for research and graduate education with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences will give the keynote address starting at 1:00 p.m. in Kottman Hall 103 with a poster symposium immediately following in Kottman Hall Lobby. Light refreshments will be served.

    To learn more, visit https://soil.osu.edu/events/soil-science-research-day 

  8. Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science at Ohio State, received the World Soil Prize at a ceremony on Dec. 5, World Soil Day, in Rome. (Photo: Ken Chamberlain. CFAES.)

    Ohio State Scientist Honored on World Soil Day

    Dec 5, 2018

    The way Ohio State University scientist Rattan Lal sees it, many of Earth’s biggest challenges — from growing enough food to protecting water quality to reversing climate change — have answers in the soil.

    As Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences(CFAES), Lal has spent his career working to find those answers. Along the way, he’s gained a global reputation for his research and advocacy on soil-related matters along with multiple honors and awards.

    His latest recognition, a big one, comes on an appropriate day.

    Today, Dec. 5 — designated by the United Nations as World Soil Day — Lal received the Glinka World Soil Prize in a ceremony at the Rome headquarters of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Named for a prominent Russian soil scientist, the award is considered the highest honor in the soil science profession.

  9. Andrea Leiva Soto with her advisor, Dr. Doug Doohan, highlighting key findings and facilitating discussion with participants on an organic vegetable on-farm trial. Photo Credit: Stephanie Short

    Reverse Field Tour Engages Stakeholders in Soil Health Research

    Sep 18, 2018

    Stakeholders played a key role in the reverse field tour held on soil balancing last month at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, Ohio. Hosting the unique two-day experiential field tour were a team of faculty and staff in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, the School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Agricultural Technical Institute at The Ohio State University.  The field tour is part of a USDA NIFA funded project to advance understanding of soil balancing methods and outcomes.

  10. Soil microbiologist  Nicola Lorenz is part of a native conservation project on Ohio strip-mine land and is sampling the mined soils to investigate its qualities. Photo Credit:  Rebecca Swab, Ph.D Director of Restoration Ecology The Wilds

    Strip-mine land restoration efforts on front page of The Columbus Dispatch

    Sep 26, 2017

    A collaborative project on the restoration of Ohio strip-mine land is the focus of a front-page feature article in The Columbus Dispatch. School of Environment and Natural Resources soil microbiologists Richard Dick and Nicola Lorenz are part of a team that is studying native conservation of abandoned strip mine lands and are surveying mined soil at three sites to study microscopic organisms that help plants thrive.

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