An emerging alliance of farmers, environmental advocates and researchers are working together to improve Ohio’s water quality, according to the Ada Herald. The groups are trying to reduce the amount of nutrients, especially phosphorus, that leach from farm fields. Farmers and associated businesses have already contributed $1 million to match federal grant dollars to measure and identify preventative practices to reduce nutrient runoff.
Agricultural landscapes provide for the livelihood of many Ohioans, but excess nutrients increase eutrophication and harmful algal blooms in lakes and rivers. Reducing nutrient use cuts expenses for farmers while also improving water quality downstream. Through a series of workshops, pollution reduction projects and improved fertilizer testing practices, groups are aiming to reduce phosphorus applications and improve compliance and testing.
Image: The 2011 algal bloom on Lake Erie was fueled in part by agricultural runoff (Credit: Ohio Sea Grant)