Project Timeline

December 2017

Popcorn was shelled on December 6 in preparation for volume measurements and popping tests.

October 2017

Butternut squash were evaluated on October 2 and October 3.

September 2017

Butternut squash were harvested and sorted on September 27.

Edamame soybeans were harvested, sorted and evaluated on September 4 and 6.

August 2017

Popcorn was harvested and weighed on August 22.

July 2017

Plots were fertilized on July 29.

Samples from the R1 growth stage of edamame and butternut squash were collected, weighed and the leaf area was measured on July 25 and July 28.

Popcorn was sampled at the R1 growth stage on July 14 and 18.

Growth of edamame soybeans, popcorn and butternut squash is recorded during the entire growing season prior to harvest.

June 2017

Samples at the R1 growth stage were taken from edamame soybeans on June 29, 2017. Notice the new deer fencing in the background.

Organic Food and Farming Education and Research Field Day in Wooster, Ohio

Drs.Culman and Doohan talk about the Soil Balancing project to Field Day participants on June 29.

Experimental plots were weeded and maintained on June 28, 2017.

May 2017

Edamame soybeans and popcorn were planted using a Kinze four row cone planter.

Pocorn and edamame soybeans were planted on May 23, 2017 at the OARDC in Wooster, Ohio. 

The field was prepared for direct seeding of edamame soybeans and popcorn.

Plots were plowed prior to planting.

Compost is added to experimental plots on May 18, 2017. Plots received either compost or no compost in addition to treatments of gypsum, potassium sulfate or gypsum and potassium sulfate.

Cover crops in experimental plots were mowed prior to field preparation in May 2017.

March 2017


February 2017

Soil samples were collected from experimental plots at the OARDC on February 23, 2017.

January 2017: Analyzing popcorn quality at the OARDC in Wooster, Ohio.

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The volume of fully-popped kernels is measured using sand.

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Popcorn harvested in August 2016 is analyzed for quality. Kernels are weighed, air-popped and counted for fully-popped, partial-popped and unpopped kernels.

September – October 2016: Butternut squash harvest at the OARDC – on station research farms in Wooster, Ohio

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Butternut squash from horticultural plots at the OARDC in Wooster, Ohio are harvested and evaluated.

September 8 2016: Field Day at the OARDC – on station research farms in Wooster, Ohio

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Steve Culman and Matt Kleinhenz talk with growers and others about the soil balancing project work being done in Wooster, Ohio.

September 2016: Edamame soybean – OARDC, The Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio

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Members of Matt Kleinhenz’s lab and Doug Doohan’s lab harvest and collect samples of edamame soybeans. The group collected over 100 pounds of soybean pods.

August 2016: Popcorn harvest – OARDC, The Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio

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Jenny Moyseenko helps harvest popcorn being in grown in horticultural plots.

July 25 and 27 2016: Corn, soybean, butternut squash and dwarf popcorn tissue sample collection – OARDC, The Ohio State University

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The project team samples soils and crops at various points throughout each growing season. Sampling, followed by analysis, is essential to understanding how treatments such as soil amendments affect soils and crops (and farms). Here, the team is collecting tissue samples of corn, soybean, butternut squash and dwarf popcorn growing in the research plots at the OARDC on July 25 and 27. Experiments and sampling also occur on the farms of grower cooperators.

June 24 2016: Organically managed soil balancing experimental plots at East and West Badger farms – OARDC, The Ohio State University, Wooster

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Popcorn and edamame growth after one month.

May 2016: Spring sowing of crops begins – OARDC. 

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Planting of popcorn and edamame is completed on May 25.

March 2016: Spring soil sampling at West Badger Farm – on station in Wooster, Ohio

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Members of Steve Culman’s and Doug Doohan’s labs collected more than 1100 soil samples on March 8. Samples will
be used for estimating the weed seed bank and for soil health test.

October 2015: Final harvest at the OARDC – on station in Wooster, Ohio

Butternut squash are harvested on October 14.

September 2015: Harvest and evaluation begins 

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Edamame soybeans are harvested and evaluated on September 3 and 10 at the OARDC in Wooster.

September 2015: Field Day at the OARDC – on station research farm in Northwest Ohio

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Steve Culman and Doug Doohan talk with growers and others about the soil balancing project work being done in Northwest Ohio and other sites around the state.

August 2015: Crops continue to grow towards harvest

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Butternut squash and edamame soybeans continue growing at the OARDC in Wooster.

July 2015: Crops growing at several Ohio sites

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Soybean, popcorn and butternut squash growing on July 16 and 30 at the OARDC in Wooster.

Excellent weed control is achievable even in a very wet year. Getting the rotation right, to minimize weed-seed return in previous years, made a big difference in this soybean field on this farm in NE Ohio.

June 2015: Evaluation of experimental sites at the OARDC begins

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Cathy Herms and her team measure weed growth among corn and soybean at East Badger Farm at the OARDC.


Corn, oats, wheat and soybeans grow at West Badger Farm at the OARDC.

June 2015: Planting at the OARDC in Wooster, Ohio

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Planting of popcorn and edamame soybeans was completed on June 12.

May-June 2015: Site preparation at the OARDC in Wooster, Ohio

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Gypsum, potash and rock phosphate amendments have been applied. Planting of popcorn, edamame soybeans and butternut squash will occur next.


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Experimental areas have been marked out, plowed, and disced. Gypsum and other amendments will soon be applied in some areas.

May 2015: On-farm soil sampling for analysis of major physical, chemical, and biological characteristics

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Much can be learned through soil sampling and analysis. Here, Cathy Herms uses soil probes to collect samples from a recently plowed field. She also notes the location where samples were collected.

Current Study Site Locations (17 Sites Total)

Green markers represent OSU – OARDC on-station research farms, 1, 2 and 3

April 2015: Creating a work plan for study sites

January 2015: Project webinar

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December 2014: 2 day stakeholder advisory committee meeting