Water Quality Wednesday: Best Management Practices for Water Quality

Join the Ohio State University Water Quality Extension Associates for the third installment of the Water Quality Wednesday winter webinar series: Best Management Practices for Water Quality. Speakers include Greg Labarge, OSU Extension Agronomic Systems Field Specialist, Dr. Libby Dayton, OSU Extension Research Scientist, and Stateler Family Farms. The event is on February 24th from 10 – 11:30 am via Zoom. Registration is free but required to attend: http://www.go.osu.edu/WQW. CCA and CLM credits will be available for this program. For more information, contact Brigitte Moneymaker, moneymaker.4@osu.edu.

To view past Water Quality Wednesday events, visit the OSU Agronomic Crops YouTube page and click on the Water Quality playlist. The same link direct you to register for the rest of the WQW events: http://go.osu.edu/WQW

 

Battle for Lake Erie includes debate over manure-based phosphorus concentration

8/31/2020
BY TOM HENRY / THE BLADE

A major agronomic debate is being played out in Columbus now, which has potentially large ramifications for western Lake Erie and goes beyond simply looking at the staggering volumes of liquid and solid excrement produced by northwest Ohio cows, hogs, and chickens.

It focuses on the minutia of agricultural science, right down to the parts per million of phosphorus applied to soil in the form of manure.

One of the many groups raising questions is the Lake Erie Foundation, a consortium of Lake Erie-area business and environmental interests. That group and others, including Lake Erie Waterkeeper, want manure-based phosphorus applications dialed down to roughly the same concentration as commercially made, synthetic fertilizers, which is about 40 to 50 parts per million. Manure has for years been applied on northwest Ohio crop farms at much higher concentrations, usually 150 ppm. Some critics, though, claim the application rate has, in reality, gotten as high as 200 ppm to 250 ppm.

From information gathered in a public records request, the foundation believes the state of Ohio has rejected a recommendation from an independent consultant, McKinsey & Co., to promote 50 ppm as a limit for manure, even though Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Department of Agriculture director, showed support for that in 2019. The firm was paid $1.5 million to provide advice to the DeWine administration for its H2Ohio program, which aims to improve water quality statewide through better farming techniques, more and improved wetlands, better pipelines, and other measures. Continue reading