Boosting BMPs

What’s keeping some farmers from changing their fertilization practices—changes aimed at reducing nutrient runoff and improving Lake Erie’s water quality? Skepticism more than anything else, CFAES behavioral scientist Robyn Wilson said in a recent story.

What’s the solution? Wilson speaks on the subject (“Designing Policies and Programs to Increase BMP Adoption Rates”) Sept. 12 at the Understanding Algal Blooms: State of the Science conference in Toledo. Registration runs through Sept. 6.

‘Significant’ Lake Erie algal bloom forecast

In a forecast presented today at Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory at Put-in-Bay, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its partners are predicting a “significant” harmful algal bloom in western Lake Erie this summer. Read Ohio Sea Grant’s press release about the forecast.

New tech could help cut phosphorus use

A new CFAES video, hosted by Nate Douridas, farm manager at the college’s Molly Caren Agricultural Center, features technology that could cut a farmer’s phosphorus use while producing the same benefits to the crops. In testing at the center, Douridas says, the technology has “significantly reduced our phosphorus fertilizer usage.” You can watch the video above.

Through this and many other efforts, CFAES researchers are continuing to look for ways to reduce farm-field phosphorus runoff, a cause of the harmful algal blooms plaguing waters such as those of Lake Erie, while at the same time keeping crop yields up.

Reducing fertilizer runoff into waterways

By Alayna DeMartini, CFAES Marketing and Communications

A new report details laws across the United States intended to decrease the amount of key nutrients in fertilizer from entering rivers, lakes, and streams. The report was written by Peggy Hall, agricultural and resource law field specialist with CFAES, and Ellen Essman, a CFAES research associate.

In addition to examining laws, the report also describes measures that various states have taken to encourage farmers to voluntarily participate in practices that reduce the amount of nitrogen or phosphorus, both critical ingredients in fertilizer, from leaving the farm fields on which they were applied.

Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus in water can encourage the growth of harmful algal blooms that can contaminate surface and drinking water supplies.

Find out more and download the report.

Team works to benefit water and farms

CFAES’ Healthy Land-Water Systems: Water Quality, Economics, and Human Behavior program, whose diverse team of scientists identifies ways to improve water quality while supporting agricultural production, won the Multi-disciplinary Team Award at last week’s CFAES Annual Research Conference. Find out more.

Stone Lab to ramp up its work for Lake Erie

CFAES’ Stone Laboratory, already the home of extensive long-term Lake Erie water quality efforts, is adding a new research building at Put-in-Bay and new monitoring equipment on the Maumee River, Lake Erie’s largest tributary, thanks to funding provided by Senate Bill 299, the bipartisan Clean Lake 2020 Plan.

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