URBANA, Ohio -- Healthy soils are a key ingredient to produce strong crop yields, and understanding what nutrients your soils need is a fundamental step in that process, says an educator in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.
Soil fertility is crucial to maximizing yield potential when growing crops, said Amanda Douridas, an Ohio State University Extension agriculture and natural resources educator.
“Increasing crop yields starts with understanding what your soils need and making sure that you are making the right nutrient application decisions,” she said. “And that starts with taking a good soil sample so that you can have the most reliable test to base your nutrient application decisions on.”
Learning how to pull accurate soil samples for testing is just one of the topics to be discussed during the Improving Yields through Fertility Agronomy Day, offered OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.
Douridas, who will lead the discussion on soil sampling during the daylong event, said the workshop will focus on teaching participants to wholly manage field nutrients.
“Not only do field crops need certain nutrients and rations, but they’re an expensive input, so being able to know the right amount of nutrients your fields need will be the most financially efficient and effective way to farm,” she said. “Economic and environmental considerations are a key aspect to fertility management.
“Having this information, farmers can set up their fields to maximize profits while minimizing the impact on the environment.”
The workshop is from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Champaign County Community Center Auditorium, 1512 South U.S. Highway 68, in Urbana.
Workshop topics include:
- Managing fertilizer and lime input costs and water quality.
- Soil sampling.
- Using field buffers in marginal areas.
- Developing a nutrient management plan.
- On-farm research results.
Certified Crop Adviser continuing education credits will also be available, Douridas said.
Participants are asked to bring with them a soil analysis report of their field so workshop organizers can help them develop nutrient recommendations, she said.
“Farmers who don’t have the report can still participate by using a sample report to work through the methods we’ll teach so that they can learn how to apply the information to future soil tests,” she said.
Registration for the program is $20 and includes lunch and workshop materials. Payments can be sent to OSU Extension, Champaign County office, 1512 South U.S. Highway 68, Suite 8100, Urbana, OH 43078. The deadline to register is Jan. 12.