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.
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.
However, it’s unlikely that fields left bare for one year will develop fallow syndrome, which refers to a drop in the yield or health of a crop grown on a previously bare field, he said.
“Soils don’t degrade overnight, typically,” Culman said. “Degradation can happen over many years or decades, just like building healthy soil can take decades.”… Continue reading Read More »