CFAES researchers will present “Evaluating Management Options to Reduce Lake Erie Algal Blooms With Models of the Maumee River Watershed” during a public press conference at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. The event, the researchers say, will answer the question, “If agricultural landowners were to adopt a combination of feasible best management practices, could we reduce phosphorus enough to meet the targets set by the United States and Canada?”
The directors of three Ohio state agencies working to address nutrient runoff and water quality, including issues such as Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms, will discuss their policies and programs on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Ohio State.
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.
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.
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.
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.