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

Nitrogen Concerns for Ohio?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

Over the past month or so, I participated in three conferences on nutrient loss. While many speakers addressed phosphorus concerns, several mentioned nitrogen as the next target. I focused on the nitrogen talks.

So lets talk about nitrogen management. It leaks, like everywhere. Up and down — up as a gas when the soils are saturated and moves down and out with water movement. By my estimate we mineralized 100 pounds of N per acre in 2017, and probably lost 100 pounds or more in many spots to leaching and to denitrification. Even though 80% of the atmosphere is N, we still have to supply it for our grass crops. And we add more than we need, because we don’t want to be short. That’s an economic concern. Continue reading

Winter Manure Application Reminders

From: Ohio’s Country Journal

The Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Soil and Water Conservation would like to remind producers and nutrient applicators of laws and restrictions on manure application.

Signed into law by Governor John R. Kasich in July 2015, Ohio Senate Bill 1 clarifies and enhances the restrictions on manure application within the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB). Continue reading

Free Nutrient Management Plans for Western Lake Erie Basin

By Jessie Schulze and Sarah Noggle, Ohio State University Extension

Nutrient Management Plan Writers are still working for the 2018 year in the Western Lake Erie Basin to write free plans for non-CAFO farmers. Our goal is to complete 65,000 acres for NMP’s in 2018. These plans are written free of charge to farmers and require a small amount of your time and effort. Continue reading

Are Soybeans Responsive to Nitrogen Fertilizer?

By Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

Soybean plants have a high demand for nitrogen as soybean grain contains a large amount of protein. An 80-bushel per acre soybean crop requires approximately 302 pounds of N per acre. As soybean yield increases, many farmers question if nitrogen supplied through fixation and the soil is adequate to maximize yield. Continue reading

Changes Made to Rules on Applying Fertilizer

From Ohio Ag Net

Take a whole class or just take the test, which is better? Farmers will get to decide.

Those who apply fertilizer on 50 or more acres now have the option to take an exam or attend a three-hour course to get the required certification aimed at protecting water quality.

The exam is a new option the Ohio Department of Agriculture will offer to make it easier for farmers to get certified and yet ensure that those who are applying fertilizer know the safest measures. The exam option was one of the rule changes on fertilizer certification that went into effect Oct. 1. Continue reading

Mandatory CERCLA Air Emissions Reporting Begins

From Ohio Ag Net

As a result of an earlier federal court decision, EPA issued a notice directing all livestock farms emitting more than 100 pounds of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide in a 24-hour period to report continuous air emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

The reporting deadline is currently Nov. 15, 2017.

If you estimate your operation has greater than or equal to 100 pounds of ammonia emitted per day, then you must notify the National Response Center (NRC) by email at: NRC-CERCLA-EPCRA-REPORT@uscg.mil. Continue reading

Delay Sought for Reporting Farm Air Emissions

With a Nov. 15 deadline looming, the National Pork Producers Council and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association today filed a brief in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s motion to delay a mandate that farmers report certain air emissions from manure on their farms.

In April, a federal court, ruling on a lawsuit brought by environmental activist groups against EPA, rejected an exemption for farms from reporting “hazardous” emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). CERCLA mainly is used to clean hazardous waste sites but has a federal reporting component, while EPCRA requires entities to report on the storage, use and release of hazardous substances to state and local governments, including first responders. Continue reading