1. Advanced Soil Health Systems Training for Indiana USDA-NRCS

    Aug 22, 2018

    By Rafiq Islam, PhD
    Soil, Water and Bioenergy Resources Program

    Several members of our Soil, Water, and Bioenergy Resources Program staff and The Ohio State University Extension educators recently organized a field day on “Hands-on Soil Health” for farmers and two-day “Advanced Soil Health Systems” workshops for USDA-NRCS personnel in Indiana. The field day and workshops were held in Wenning Farms, Greensburg, and Brocksmith Farms, Vincennes, Indiana, respectively from July 24 to 26, 2018.

  2. compaction tracks

    Avoiding Compaction

    Apr 26, 2018

    Heavy farm machinery compacts the soil, both on tilled ground and no-tilled ground. Compaction induced by agricultural machinery often affects soil properties and crop production. Axle load is the first factor that has to be considered in soil compaction, according to Randall Reeder, Ohio State University Emeriti and Dr. Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State Soil Specialist. Axle load is the total load supported by one axle.   READ MORE

  3. slake photo

    Using the Slake Test to Determine Soil Crusting

    Apr 26, 2018

    An easy to use test can be done to predict potential soil crusting on farm fields.  All you need is some chicken wire, water, a glass jar, and a dry clump of soil.  When you immerse the clump of soil in the jar of water, the longer it holds together, the better the soil structure to resist crusting. read more

  4. Comparing Soil Aggregate Stability


    Jan 24, 2018

    By: Alan Sundermeier and Vinayak Shedekar    A suite of soil health measurements are becoming available which are not part of the traditional soil tests. Soil aggregate stability is an important physical indicator of soil health, which protects organic matter accumulation, improves soil porosity, drainage and water availability for plants, decreases soil compaction, supports biological activity, and nutrient cycling in the soil.

  5. Core sample

    The Effects of Soil Conservation Practices on Selected Soil Health Indicators

    Dec 7, 2017

    A 2-year project in Northwest Ohio measured the impact that soil conservation practices have on selected soil health indicators and the subsequent corn yield in cover cropped hay, wheat and corn cropping systems. When choosing which test to conduct, factors such as time, cost, and training need to be considered. The field test cost per sample is approximately $40 less than the burst test however the digital color reader will increase one time costs for field testing by up to $900 ( Accuracy of results is dependent on proper sample collec

  6. Featured Podcast - "The Ground Beneath Our Feet"

    Dec 4, 2017

    By Vinayak Shedekar.   1A is a show for a changing America. Every day, host Joshua Johnson convenes a conversation about the most important issues of our time. The show takes a deep and unflinching look at America, bringing context and insight to stories unfolding across the country and the world. 1A is produced by WAMU 88.5, and distributed by NPR.

  7. The Language of Soil Health

    Sep 28, 2017

    by Wayne Honeycutt  President & CEO of the Soil Health Institute

    Agricultural practices that enhance soil health are as good for the farmer as they are for the environment. Proven benefits of healthy soil include boosting crop yields, enhancing water quality, increasing drought resilience, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing carbon sequestration and building disease suppression.

  8. Mining the soil for data: The impact of cropping systems on soil health

    Sep 25, 2017

    Long-term research project to study the impact of cropping system on soil health.

    While the benefits of cover crops for soil health have long been touted by extension staff, it’s been difficult for researchers to determine how exactly cover crops affect the soil. That is until now. In 2016, an elaborate soil health monitoring system – the first of its kind in North America – was installed at the Elora Research Station, near Guelph, Ontario. 

    Read the full article at: 

  9. "Soil is meant to be covered..." Jim Hoorman Speaks about Cover Crops in Soil Health Series Live Streaming

    Jul 14, 2017

    By Vinayak Shedekar   

    The Soil Health Series Live Stream's July 13 eposode was focused on Cover Crops. Jim Hoorman, Regional soil health specialist with the Northeast Region NRCS-Soil Health Division, Ohio and Michigan. was the featured guest with host Vinayak Shedekar and co-host Wayne Lewis, Farm Manager at the OSU South Centers.

  10. Active carbon and respiration tests can be used to assess soil organic matter dynamics

    Apr 23, 2017

    By Vinayak Shedekar      A team of scientists led by Ohio State University examined the relationship between two rapid and affordable soils tests that measure the soil active organic matter – a fraction of soil organic matter that has a shorter turnover time and the main driver of soil biological activity and nutrient availability.