CFAES scientists are testing a filter that could take out up to 75 percent of the phosphorus in farm field runoff.
Why it’s important: Phosphorus in farm field runoff is a driver of harmful algal blooms, such as those plaguing western Lake Erie.Reducing that phosphorus could limit the blooms and by doing so help improve water quality.
From a press release today by Ohio State science writer Misti Crane: “Predicting and pinpointing which farming practices are most likely to protect against environmental harm is a complex proposition, and researchers at The Ohio State University are working to fine-tune the tools that could help farmers and others prevent harmful algal blooms.” The researchers are with CFAES, and you can read the full story here.
Some farm fields have more phosphorus than their crops need. Called elevated phosphorus fields, such fields may be at higher risk of contributing to Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms.
That’s the premise of a new five-year study, based in northwest Ohio’s Maumee River watershed, that hopes to better understand those fields. How much phosphorus, an algal bloom-fueling nutrient, runs off of them? What are the best ways to limit that runoff while also maintaining yields?
CFAES scientist Jay Martin is leading the study, which is partnering with some of the watershed’s nutrient service providers and farmers.
The 2018 Environmental Film Series sponsored by CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources continues tonight, Monday, Nov. 5, with “Toxic Puzzle,” a look at how harmful algal blooms may be affecting human health, specifically as possible triggers for Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Watch the trailer above.
Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program has released a third-year update on the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, a statewide effort that seeks solutions to Ohio’s harmful algal blooms. Scientists from CFAES are some of the many involved.
Toledo Blade writer Tom Henry recently reported on Bowling Green State University’s new Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health. The center aims, he wrote, “to greatly expand how scientists investigate harmful algal blooms.”
Nine other universities and institutions, including Ohio State and its Ohio Sea Grant program, are cooperating with Bowling Green on the center.
Walleye and the smaller fish they eat “struggle to see in water clouded by algae, and that could potentially jeopardize the species’ future if harmful algal blooms persist.” So said a story by Ohio State science writer Misti Crane, reporting on a study led by CFAES scientist Suzanne Gray.
Algal blooms, like those in Lake Erie, can turn the water green.