Legislators Propose “Clean Lake 2020 Plan” Funding to Reduce Lake Erie Phosphorus

By: Peggy Hall, Asst. Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law, Ohio State University

A pair of companion bi-partisan bills just introduced in the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives would provide significant funding to help meet Ohio’s goal of reducing phosphorus loading by 20% in Lake Erie by 2020. Continue reading

Adjusting Corn Management Practices for a Late Start

By: Steve Culman and Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

As prospects for a timely start to spring planting diminish, growers need to reassess their planting strategies and consider adjustments. Since delayed planting reduces the yield potential of corn, the foremost attention should be given to management practices that will expedite crop establishment. The following are some suggestions and guidelines to consider in dealing with a late planting season. Continue reading

New Ohio Nitrogen Rates

By: Steve Culman, Anthony Fulford, Peter Thomison, Rich Minyo, Eric Richer, CCA, Harold D. Watters, CPAg/CCA, Greg LaBarge, CCA, Joe Nester, and Karen Chapman

Previously on Ohio Ag Net

Ohio State University corn nitrogen rate recommendations follow a unified framework used throughout the Corn Belt. Together with six other states (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin), the Ohio recommended nitrogen rates are not based on yield goals, but on economic returns. Corn yield responses along with corn and nitrogen prices are used to calculate the point at which the last unit of added nitrogen returns a yield increase large enough to pay for the added nitrogen cost. This approach, called the maximum return to nitrogen (MRTN), is favored because of the economic volatility in both corn grain and nitrogen fertilizer prices. The past 10 years provides ample evidence of these fluctuations. Continue reading

Fertilizer Outlook

By: Karl Stenerson
Market Reporter – Fertecon

Here is a breakdown of wholesale prices and trends of the various fertilizers:

AMMONIA

International

Global ammonia markets remained soft in March with weakness in urea and nitrates markets pressuring ammonia prices as well as reduced demand in India due to phosphate plant turnarounds.

The April Tampa contract settled at $275 metric ton (mt) cfr (cost and freight), a $30 decrease from March. The Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) and the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago reached an agreement for a new gas supply contract. The Prime Minister of Trinidad has indicated the seven-week closure of the CNC plant will end. It has been suggested the plant will restart in first-half April. Continue reading

Ohio Agriculture Reacts To Lake Erie Impairment Designation

From Ohio Ag Net

Today, Ohio EPA released the draft 2018 water quality report that outlines the general condition of Ohio’s waters and includes a list that identifies impaired waters that are not meeting their federal or state water quality goals, as well as waters that have improved to meet federal standards.

In the draft for 2018, the Agency is proposing to designate the open waters of Lake Erie’s Western Basin (from the Michigan/Ohio state line to the Marblehead Lighthouse) as impaired for recreation due to harmful algae and drinking water due to occurrences of microcystin. Previously, only the shoreline area of the Western Basin and drinking water intakes had been designated as impaired. Continue reading

A Look at Acid Rain and the Farm Phosphorus Conundrum with Water Quality

By Matt Reese, Ohio’s Country Journal

Farmers understand that Lake Erie turns green in the summer and that part of the blame is rightfully being directed at agriculture due to issues related to nutrient management, specifically phosphorus. What is less understood is why this is happening.

In a time period where on-farm phosphorus application levels have decreased substantially and recommended conservation practices have increased in the agricultural landscape, the troubling harmful algal blooms again started showing up in the Western Basin of Lake Erie after many thought the water quality issues had been corrected decades earlier. Continue reading

Revised Phosphorus Index Can Help Curb Agricultural Runoff

From Ohio’s Country Journal

Ohio farmers will soon have access to a newly revised tool that can quickly and easily tell them their risk of agricultural phosphorus runoff that could potentially move into Ohio waterways such as Lake Erie.

The revised Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index is a program developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service to help farmers assess their risk of phosphorus moving off farm fields. It will soon allow farmers to input their farm-specific data to generate their risk of phosphorus in agricultural runoff through an online program. Continue reading

Trading for Water Quality

By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

WICHITA, Kan. (DTN) — Cities looking to address water-quality challenges in watersheds leading into their drinking water supply may want to see how Wichita, Kansas, works with upstream farmers to reduce pesticide and sediment in the Little Arkansas River watershed.

Litigation over water quality, especially the federal case in Des Moines, Iowa, in recent years, has drawn a lot of attention. Meanwhile, some other more cooperative water-quality efforts have received less attention. Continue reading

Drainage Water Management (Controlled Drainage) Update

By: Norman Fausey and Larry C. Brown

In 2015 we estimated more than 200 Drainage Water Management (DWM) structures had been installed in Ohio. At this time we estimate as many as 500 have been installed or are to be installed this spring. Many of these are have been installed in Northwest Ohio, in the Lake Erie Basin. A substantial number of structures have been installed to reduce liquid manure discharges from the application of liquid manure on subsurface drained cropland all across Ohio.

The primary purpose of DWM is the reduction of soluble nutrients discharged from subsurface (tile) drainage systems to ditches and streams. Soluble nutrients move with the water, so to reduce nutrient discharges, it is necessary to reduce the discharge of water from the subsurface drainage system. Extensive research from Ohio and across the Midwest indicates that DWM can substantially reduce the discharge of drainage water during the non-growing season compared to free drainage at drain depth. DWM structures allow the drainage system outlet elevation to be raised or lowered rather than being unmanaged. Continue reading

Sidedressing Manure Into Corn Continues to Have Promising Results

Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Field Specialist Manure Nutrient Management

Ohio State University Extension has conducted manure research on growing crops for several years in an effort to make better use of the available nutrients. Incorporating manure into growing corn can boost crop yields, reduce nutrient losses, and give livestock producers or commercial manure applicators another window of time to apply manure to farm fields. Continue reading