Better ways to prevent algal blooms

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.

Save inputs, protect water with new app

A new app is helping farmers save money while also protecting water quality. Developed by Ohio State experts including from CFAES, the Field Application Resource Monitor, or FARM, uses advanced weather forecasting — specific to a geographic area as small as 1.5 miles wide — to advise farmers on when to apply fertilizers and pesticides so rain doesn’t wash them away.

Read the full story. Visit the app’s website.

Weather or not to apply fertilizer

(Photo: Getty Images)

Using real-time precipitation forecasts and historical climate data, Ohio State’s new Field Application Resource Monitor (FARM) website tells you the best times to apply fertilizer and manure, based on your exact location. It can tell you whether rain is coming that could wash your fertilizer or manure away. Avoiding that washing-away can benefit your crops, your costs and water quality. Check out the site.

Algal bloom conference in Toledo

Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program hosts the third annual Understanding Algal Blooms: State of the Science Conference — featuring scientists’ latest findings about algal blooms, their causes and the best ways to prevent them — on Sept. 13 in Toledo. Experts from CFAES will be among the dozen or so speakers. Continue reading

No more guessing at nitrogen levels?

Scientists from CFAES and Cornell University are developing a fast way for farmers to test the nitrogen levels in their soils. Nitrogen is a nutrient, provided in fertilizer, that’s key to the growth of crops. Not enough of it, and crops don’t produce as much food as they should. But too much, and the excess can be washed away from a crop field by rain and get into lakes and streams, possibly causing algal blooms and “dead zones” or, in its nitrate form, making drinking water unsafe for pregnant women and babies.

Read more.

Forecast: Still some green, hopefully less

Experts are predicting that the harmful algal bloom in Lake Erie this summer will be smaller than last year’s, which was the third-largest ever recorded, but will be larger than the mild bloom in 2016. The bloom is expected to measure 6 on the severity index, but could range between 5 and 7.5, according to a forecast issued yesterday by a team of scientists including from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program.

Continue reading

Thursday: Observing, aiding Lake Erie

June 28’s program in Stone Lab’s annual summer Guest Lecture Series features the executive director of the National Ocean Service’s Great Lakes Observing System and the western Lake Erie project director for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio. Find out more.

Stone Lab, part of CFAES, is located at Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie.