Collaboration between The Ohio State University South Centers and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Rafiq Islam and Wayne Lewis visited the Peoples Republic of China at the invitation of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Heilongjiang and Jiamusi Branches) from July 18 to 29, 2015. Rafiq Islam, the program director for Soil, Water and Bioenergy Resources at OSU South Centers, established an agricultural research, education and extension collaboration with the scientists at the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Agricultural Sciences – Jiamusi Branch in 2014. Wayne Lewis, the Farm Manager of the OSU South Centers, accompanied him to further bridge the collaboration. Dr. Larry Brown at the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, facilitated our collaborative research and educational trip to China.

 
Rafiq and Wayne visited Foreign Office of the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Agricultural Sciences and discussed future collaboration possibilities to exchange faculty members, scientists, and students to conduct applied research and educational programs on 21st century sustainable agriculture. Liu (Lily) Jingqi, a scholar from the Academy, accompanied them to OSU South Centers for advanced training on sustainable agricultural management practices to improve soil health for enhanced ecosystem services. 
 
As part of their visit, Rafiq delivered several presentations on (1) Continuous No-till Planting Effects on Soil Carbon Sequestration; (2) Cover Crops, Microorganisms, and Tillage: the Biological Plow; and (3) Evaluation of Soil Quality to the faculty members, scientists, and students of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Wayne Lewis delivered a presentation on “Planting systems and machines for sustainable no-till farming.”  Moreover, Wayne Lewis provided demonstrations and hands-on training to Academy students and technicians for maintenance of farm equipment, such as repairing, setting planters and drills, adjusting harvesters for planting and harvesting corn, soybeans and cover crops. 
 
The Chinese counterpart, Professor Jintao Zhang, Director of the Sustainable Agricultural Technology Institute, Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences Jiamusi Branch, accompanied them to visit government farms and farmers’ fields where they are researching with different planting techniques, tillage operations, and management systems for growing soybeans, corn and rice. They showed tremendous interest to learn more about our research on no-till, cover crop blends, crop rotation, soil health, and ecosystem services. 
 
Based on their acquired experience on Chinese agricultural management practices and in-depth discussion, Rafiq and others developed a long-term research project entitled “Tillage and Cropping Systems Impact on Ecosystem Services” for academic and applied research activities for the Jiamusi Branch of the Chinese National Academy of Sciences. They are expected to visit China every year to further strengthen the collaborative research and educational programs between the Ohio State University and Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences - Jiamusi Branch, China.