Amanda Douridas1, Mary Griffith1, Edwin Lentz1, Mary Ann Rose1, John Schoenhals2
1Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, United States
2Pioneer, Ohio, United States
Ohio residents have been calling for changes in agricultural practices since harmful algal blooms have disrupted recreational use of lakes and drinking water supplies in the Western Lake Erie Basin. These blooms are a result of phosphorus (P) loading into waterways from a number of sources, including agriculture fertilizer and manure use on fields. P loss only accounts for about 0.49 lb/A but equates to roughly 2 million pounds of P each year being dumped into the Basin. Regulations have been put in place to educate farmers on nutrient management and reduce nutrient losses. Three tools have been updated and developed to help farmers reduce P losses: 1.) Updated Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations, 2.) Updated Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index tool, 3.) Field Application Resource Monitor. These tools address the source, rate and timing of nutrient applications. The cost of implementing these practices varies from farm to farm. Some farms may see no change to their budgets where other farms may see an increase in expenses.
Amanda Douridas currently serves as the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator in Champaign County where she focuses programs and research on farm management and agronomy. Champaign County is located in west central Ohio, USA and is primarily an agricultural county. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, 190,000 acres are in farmland and the market value of agricultural products sold is around $130,414,000. 873 farms average 218 acres. The average value of products sold per farm is $149,386 and the average net farm income is $56,258. Douridas received her B.S. and M.S. from The Ohio State University.