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Organic Research

Soil cation balancing (USDA-Organic Funded)

We are working on a large collaborative project evaluating soil cation balancing with organic farmers including on-farm gypsum and microbial trials, on-station research trials, economic analysis, soil health testing, and farmer surveys. The goals are to understand impacts of balancing on soils, crops, and weeds. To learn more about our lab's work on this project, click here

Additional team members:

Doug Doohan

Matt Kleinhenz

Doug Jackson-Smith

Subbu Kumarappan

Learn more about collaborative efforts in organic research: http://organicfarmingresearchnetwork.org.ohio-state.edu


Soil health testing (USDA-Organic Funded, Organic Farming Research Foundation)

Soil testing is a valuable tool for managing soil chemistry but we need additional tools for understanding and managing soil biology and physical structure. Our lab works to help develop and understand these tools. We are currently offering free soil health testing to farmers.

Project information 

Soil health testing sign-up


Farmer decision making with organic weed management (USDA-Organic Funded)

Organic farmers have to constantly deal with tradeoffs between using tillage for weed control and soil health. We are developing a tool that will help organic farmers think through these tradeoffs and make management decisions better aligned with their values and goals.

Additional team members:

Robyn Wilson

Doug Doohan


Product testing on certified organic farms (Industry Funded)

We are in our first year working with The Andersons to evaluate a number of OMRI-certified products: humic acids, black gypsums, K-Mate; on certified organic ground. We have tested other products in the past and will continue product evaluation testing as part of our work in organic research.


Dual-use forage and grain systems (Unfunded)

Perennial grains could offer numerous benefits for soil and water resources. We are working with Kernza, a crop that produces a small amount of nutritious grain for humans and a large amount of palatable and good quality forage for livestock. We are currently seeking funding for this project but hope to work with organic farmers to develop best management practices for dual-use (grain and forage) in the future.

Project Page


To learn more about The Ohio State University's involvement in organic research, go to this webpage: OSU Organic Food & Farming Education & Research Program