What are the sounds of a healthy farm? OARDC study records them

An unusual study at OARDC’s 300-acre Mellinger Research Farm near Wooster is measuring the farm’s health by its sounds. A goal is to see — er, hear — how the farm’s biological diversity changes as the farming practices used there change.

OARDC’s Agroecosystems Management Program helps run the farm and is doing the study. The program, according to its website, “seeks to discover balance on Ohio farms,” which it does in part by applying ecological principles on the farms.

“In a healthy agricultural ecosystem, farming sounds should coexist with sounds of the natural world,” says a fact sheet about the study, which is led by Casey Hoy, professor in the Department of Entomology, leader of AMP and holder of Ohio State’s Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management.

“By recording sound over extended periods,” the fact sheet says, “we can discover daily, seasonal and annual rhythms in the ecosystem.”

“Conserving biodiversity is one of the greater global environmental challenges of our time.”—from the fact sheet

Listen: Spring frogs, fall harvest, more

  • “Conserving biodiversity is one of the greater global environmental challenges of our time,” says the study’s fact sheet.
  • The fact sheet, which is called “Acoustically Monitoring the Rhythms of Biodiversity in Agroecosystems,” can be read at go.osu.edu/BJEG.
  • Listen to “Spring Peepers and Toads: March,” “Fall Soybean Harvest: October” and other recordings on the study’s webpage at go.osu.edu/BJED.
  • A grant from SEEDS: The OARDC Research Enhancement Competitive Grants Program has helped support the study.
  • To contact the scientist: Casey Hoy at hoy.1@osu.edu.