The View from West Badger - Ohio State Organic Research Farm

July 8, 2022
organic sunflower trial at Ohio State's West Badger Farm

West Badger Farm houses agronomic crop studies and includes about 57 acres of certified organic land. The farm is located on Apple Creek Road between Apple Creek and Wooster. West Badger Farm is the site of a decommissioned swine unit. As a result of years of swine manure application, P and K levels are high in some fields.

This year at the CFAES Wooster West Badger farm there are exploration plots (non-replicated) soybeans with spring planted cereal rye and oilseed sunflowers.

2022 organic soybeans with tillageSoybean with spring-planted rye

The soybean demonstration consists of a pair of side-by-side 2-acre plots which received spring tillage and several staggered finishing passes prior to planting on May 31. Both fields were planted to BR29DC5 on 30” spacing at 130,000 seeds per acre. The rye version was drilled at 110# per acre just prior to soybean planting. A tine weeding pass just after emergence was planned but not completed due to field conditions in the rye plot. The non-rye soybean plot has received two cultivation passes. From the photos, you can see the extensive growth of the rye and areas of ragweed pressure occurring in both plots. Electric weeding is plan B.


organic sunflowrs

Sunflower varieties Hornet, N4H302E, P32D23, CP455E, N4H470CLP, N4H422CL, P46W21 were planted at a target rate of 26,000 seeds/ac in a 2.4-acre plot on May 23. Field conditions were ideal at the time of planting as a result of a beautiful late summer 2021 cover crop of 1# Turnips, 5# Radish, 30# peas and 32# Oats. While emergence was acceptable, a tremendous flush of weeds was also present. The variety section of the plot was terminated leaving 0.4 acres of Hornet buffer for full-season demonstration. The remainder of the plot was replanted to the original varieties on June 21 with variable emergence as of July 4th.

- prepared by Brian Gwin, OFFER coordinator