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Water Quality Concerns in Ohio Waters What has been Happening in Lake Erie? Greg LaBarge, Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems.

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Presentation on theme: "Water Quality Concerns in Ohio Waters What has been Happening in Lake Erie? Greg LaBarge, Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water Quality Concerns in Ohio Waters What has been Happening in Lake Erie? Greg LaBarge, Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems

2 Discussion History of P in Lake Erie Key points making Lake Erie unique What happened on Lake Erie 2011 Agriculture in Lake Erie Basin What is the Distressed Watersheds Designation BMP’s

3 Definitions Total Phosphorous "Total" phosphorus is largely defined on the basis of how much phosphorus in its various forms will be oxidized into orthophosphate by a specific oxidant. Water soluble P –Dissolved reactive phosphorous (DRP) –Bioavailable Phosphorous The soluble form of the nutrient phosphorus, which is readily available for use by plants. consist largely of the inorganic orthophosphate (PO 4 ) form of phosphorus. Particulate P Soil attached P

4 A little history 1969 total P loading was 29,000 metric tons –Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) were concern and Lake had dead areas Target was established of 11,000 metric tons –2/3 of loading from point sources –50% reduction in non-point

5 Annual Loads of Total Phosphorus to Lake Erie, Target load for total phosphorus of 11,000 metric tons set in ~1978 Source: Hiedelberg University

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7 Renewed Concerns about Lake Erie and Nutrient Loading Issue in ’s was Total P Loading Issue in ’s is Bioavailable or Dissolved Reactive Phosphorous

8 Interesting Lake Erie Facts

9 50/2 Rule –Superior 50% of water/2% of fish –Erie 50% of fish/2% of water $10.7 billion economic activity while employing 119,100 Ohio residents and generating $750 million in tax dollars

10 8/11/11 Image Lake Erie

11 July, 2011 Source:http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/Centers/HABS/graphics/wle_hab2_% jpg

12 10/09/11 Image Lake Erie

13 Expected Time for Recovery Because Lake Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume, the retention time for water in the Lake is very short compared to the other 4 lakes—Western Basin retention time is days. Therefore, if reduced loading targets are reached, recovery will be almost immediate.Because Lake Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume, the retention time for water in the Lake is very short compared to the other 4 lakes—Western Basin retention time is days. Therefore, if reduced loading targets are reached, recovery will be almost immediate. Source: Dr. Jeff Ruetter, Ohio Sea Grant, The Ohio State University

14 Agriculture in Lake Erie Basin 4.2 Million Acres Maumee Watershed 4.9 Million Total 59.1% cropland 72% cropland in Western

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16 Source: ed_in_Distres_FactSheet.pdf ODNR Distressed Watershed Rules Grand Lake St Marys Shall follow eFOTG 633 standard Not apply manure between 12/15 – 3/1 Not surface apply on frozen ground or > 1” of snow (Injected or incorporated within 24hr) No surface application when 50% chance of ppt. >0.5in for >24h

17 Recommendations to Reduce Nutrient Movement off -site The 4-R’s of Fertilizer material application. –‘Right’ Time –‘Right’ Place –‘Right’ Amount –‘Right’ Material Source: DRAFT document of the Ohio Director’s Working Group on Ag Nutrients 12/19/11

18 Recommendations to Reduce Nutrient Movement off -site The ‘Right’ Time. –Nutrients should not be applied to frozen or snow covered ground. –Nutrients should be applied as close to crop utilization as possible. Source: DRAFT document of the Ohio Director’s Working Group on Ag Nutrients 12/19/11

19 Fertility Applications Frozen and snow covered application s have the greatest risk of off site movement whether manure or commercial fertilizer

20 Recommendations to Reduce Nutrient Movement off -site The ‘Right’ Place. –Phosphorous applications should be injected or incorporated whenever possible. –If surface applications are made, it should have a growing crop or cover as soon as possible. Source: DRAFT document of the Ohio Director’s Working Group on Ag Nutrients 12/19/11

21 Mullen, 2011, unpublished Rainfall simulator study, NW Ohio, Nov 2009 P sources applied at 80 lb P 2 O 5 per acre Total P loss < 2% of amount applied 2.4”/hour; first 30 minutes runoff

22 Recommendations to Reduce Nutrient Movement off -site The ‘Right’ Amount. –Good representative soil sample should be the basis for fertilizer application. –Utilize Ohio State University Extension Agronomic Recommendations for nutrient application. –Records should be kept for all soil tests, recommendations and applications as well as crop and resulting yields. Source: DRAFT document of the Ohio Director’s Working Group on Ag Nutrients 12/19/11

23 Fertility Rates

24 CropP- Bray 1 (PPM) P- Bray 1 (lbs/A) Corn1530 Soybeans1530 Wheat2550 Alfalfa2550

25 CropP- Bray 1 (PPM) P- Bray 1 (lbs/A) Corn3060 Soybeans3060 Wheat4080 Alfalfa4080

26 CropP- Bray 1 (PPM) P- Bray 1 (lbs/A) Corn4080 Soybeans4080 Wheat50100 Alfalfa50100

27 Recommendations to Reduce Nutrient Movement off -site In addition to the 4 R’s- Improve Soil Quality. –Soil organic matter. –Soil compaction. –Water infiltration rates. –Methods to reduce runoff. Source: DRAFT document of the Ohio Director’s Working Group on Ag Nutrients 12/19/11

28 Recommendations to Reduce Nutrient Movement off-site In addition to the 4 R’s- Improve Water Management and Possible Treatment of Drainage Water. –Repair broken subsurface drainage. –Treating surface inlets runoff into subsurface drainage systems. –Treating concentrated surface runoff areas. –Controlled drainage. –Constructed wetlands for treatment –Improved designed filtered areas, biofilters –Alternative drainage ditch designs Source: DRAFT document of the Ohio Director’s Working Group on Ag Nutrients 12/19/11

29 Summary Phosphorous is the focus. but not Total P but Dissolved Reactive P (DRP) Agriculture has a role (not the only focus) and BMP’s can minimize impact Timing of application –4 R’s of fertilizer application –Conservation practices –Rates based on Tri-state –Improve soil quality and crop yields


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