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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Soil health, corn disorders, weeds topics of upcoming Soil and Water Field Night

By Bradford Sherman
Ohio State University South Centers

PIKETON — Soil health, corn disorders, and weed management are topics set to headline the upcoming Soil and Water Field Night, hosted by The Ohio State University South Centers.

This free educational opportunity, presented by OSU South Centers in partnership with Pike Soil and Water Conservation District and Pike County Solid Waste Management District, will take place Thursday, August 16 with registration beginning at 5 p.m. A light supper will immediately follow, then attendees will depart on a wagon tour and attend field research presentations by OSU faculty and staff.

Corn DisorderOhio is among the top-10 producers of corn in the United States, having grown the crop on more than 3 million acres, and it plays a major role in the state and nation’s economy.

“With the changing climate, we are experiencing more frequent extreme weather conditions. These natural stresses and poor management can cause some physiological disorders in corn.” explained Dr. Rafiq Islam, who heads the Soil, Water and Bioenergy program at the Ohio State University South Centers.

“And weeds, which are a problem for all of us, steal away water, nutrients and light from our crops. Increasing weed pressure and the emergence of herbicide-resistant weeds in corn-based systems, is becoming a bigger issue for farmers. With a wise soil and crop management, we can keep these problems under control.

“We are fortunate to have two of the most respected experts in their fields joining us for this Soil and Water Field Night, to provide attendees with invaluable information on these important topics.”

Professor Peter Thomison, Corn Cropping Systems Extension Specialist with OSU Horticulture and Crop Science Department, will present Reading Corn Ears: Understanding Causes of Ear Disorders. Dr. Thomison’s areas of expertise include field crop production, corn hybrids, agronomic performance and grain quality of specialty corns, and nutritionally-enhanced corn.

Alan SundermeierThe other featured presentation will focus on current weed management issues in Ohio and will be given by Dr. Mark Loux, also a professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science at OSU, who specializes in weed management in field crops.

The tour will conclude with an in-field soil health demonstration and test on long-term tillage and cropping diversity experiment by OSU Extension Educator Alan Sundermeier from Wood County. Soil health is the foundation of sustainable and productive agriculture.

All presentations will take place outdoors in the fields. “Our long-term research plots are an excellent outdoor classroom for this. The participants will get hands-on training and knowledge about soil health, crop management, and weed management. They will learn about simple tricks and tips to test their soil quality, identify weeds, and corn disorders” said Dr. Islam.

The event is free, but those interested in attending must register by August 10. You can register by contacting Sarah Swanson by phone at 740-289-2071 x112, or by email at If you would like more information regarding the event visit or call Darlene Brewster at 740-947-5353.

OSU South Centers is located at 1864 Shyville Road in Piketon. Attendees should register upon arrival in the large auditorium inside the Research and Extension Building.


The mission of the Soil, Water and Bioenergy program at The Ohio State University South Centers is to develop and promote research, extension and educational programs for agricultural management practices that sustain soil and water resources and are economical for producers and growers.

Our team for the Soil, Water, and BioEnergy program consists of scientists and engineers with a diverse background, as well as a strong background in research and extension activities. Dr. Rafiq Islam, is leading the program for the Soil, Water, and BioEnergy team. The program currently has eight grant research projects on agriculture sustainability, climate change and mitigation, and ecosystem services.


The Ohio State University South Centers enhance southern Ohio by assisting people with informed decision-making through responsive research, education, entrepreneurial application, and collaborative partnerships. We are a leading, respected contributor to the land grant mission of The Ohio State University.

Our research and extension programs are designed to promote, develop, and support innovative and profitable enterprises though integrating research and education. Agricultural Programs include: Aquaculture Research and Development; Commercial Horticultural and Specialty Crops; Soil, Water and Bioenergy Resources.

The Business Development Network offers innovative research, learning opportunities, technical assistance, and a network of resources for business owners and managers, entrepreneurs, youth, community leaders and educators, and elected officials. Business Programs include: Endeavor Center Business Incubator; Small Business Development Center; Manufacturing Extension Partnership; CFAES Center for Cooperatives; Direct Food and Agricultural Marketing.