Harold Watters1, Amanda Douridas1, Chris Bruynis1
1Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, United States
Ohio residents have been calling for changes in agricultural practices since harmful algal blooms have disrupted recreational use of lakes and drinking water supplies in the Western Lake Erie Basin. These blooms are a result of phosphorus (P) loading into waterways from a number of sources, including agriculture fertilizer and manure use on fields. P loss only accounts for about 0.49 lb/A but equates to roughly 2 million pounds of P each year being dumped into the Basin. Regulations have been put in place to educate farmers on nutrient management and reduce nutrient losses. Three tools have been updated and developed to help farmers reduce P losses: 1.) Updated Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations, 2.) Updated Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index tool, 3.) Field Application Resource Monitor. These tools address the source, rate and timing of nutrient applications. The cost of implementing these practices varies from farm to farm. Some farms may see no change to their budgets where other farms may see an increase in expenses.
Chris Bruynis works for Ohio State University Extension and is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator in Ross County, Ohio.Amanda Douridas works for Ohio State University Extension and is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator in Champaign County, Ohio.