What will work to help the Great Lakes?

Callia Tellez, a spring graduate of CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources and a 2020 CFAES Distinguished Senior, presented “Conservation from the Local Level Up: A Lesson from the Farmers of the Great Lakes Basin” as a Spotlight Speaker in Ohio State’s annual Research and Innovation Showcase. The event, organized by the Office of Research and Corporate Engagement Office, was held this year as a series of virtual talks.

“We have the technical fix to nutrient runoff,” Tellez says in her presentation. “But what we’re missing is the connection between the solution and the people who need to make it happen.”

How can we make that connection? Watch the video above.

Algal bloom forecast to be moderate

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its research partners have forecast a moderate harmful algal bloom for western Lake Erie this summer.

The bloom is expected to measure 4.5 on the severity index—making it one of the smaller blooms since 2011—but could possibly range between 4 and 5.5, compared to 7.3 last year. An index above 5 indicates a more severe bloom.

Read the story.

(Photo: Marblehead lighthouse, Lake Erie, Getty Images.)

CFAES partnering with Cargill

CFAES and Cargill are sowing the seeds of a new partnership.

The Minnesota-based agricultural company recently started supporting the work of the college’s six new water quality associates. Based in northwest Ohio, the six associates are part of a project by the CFAES Water Quality Initiative.

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Thursday: Will farming changes be enough to meet Lake Erie’s phosphorus goal?

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?”

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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.