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On-farm research, soil health and water quality

By Randall Reeder, Ohio State University Extension (retired)

Forget about research plots 4 rows wide by 50 feet long. How about a plot 24 rows wide and a mile long?

We’re not really ignoring small replicated plots on university research farms. But as Bob Nielsen of Purdue pointed out at the Conservation Tillage Conference on March 5, precision agriculture technologies enable researchers to design and conduct statistically sound field scale trials that minimize challenges for the farmer. Fields of 50 to 150 acres are ideal. Having different soil types can also add value to the results.

OSU Extension Ag Educators and State Specialists work with farmers doing a variety of on-farm research, with most results published in eFields. Reports from 2018 on-farm trials are online at: go.osu.edu/efields.

Videos of most presentations at CTC are on the CTC website: ctc.osu.edu.

If you are on Facebook, you probably know we have a page for CTC (Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference) with over 700 followers, and one for no-till (Ohio NoTill Council). We have a new one and invite you to connect. It is: Ohio Soil Health and Cover Crop. Thanks to Nathan Brown, Hillsboro, for starting and building this group on Facebook.

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