The Ohio House of Representative approved Senate Bill 150 (SB 150), a bill that will now require one farmer per farm operation to be certified to apply fertilizer.
“The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) have always taken the quality of Ohio’s water very seriously,” said Brent Hostetler, OCWGA president and Madison County farmer. “Both organizations have worked together through the entire process of this bill to assure that it addresses environmental needs but does not include overly burdensome requirements for Ohio family farmers.”
“Moving forward, both organizations will continue to emphasize to legislators and agency officials the importance of practical, science-based solutions,” said Hostetler.
Jerry Bambauer, OSA president and Auglaize County farmer, emphasized the need to fully understand this challenge before solutions can be implemented.
“No one has a clear understanding of how exactly phosphorus is moving through the soil profile, or can explain why there are algae blooms in areas that don’t have agricultural activity near them,” Bambauer said.
For this reason, the Ohio Soybean Council, the Ohio Corn Marketing Program, the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, and many others are supporting a $2 million research project with more than $1 million coming from Ohio farmers and other agricultural companies, that will measure edge-of-field phosphorus runoff and will show how phosphorus is used in agriculture, how it leaves farm fields and how much of it is actually entering Ohio’s waterways.
“Farmers are already applying important nutrient management practices, like soil testing and using the 4R principles of nutrient management (right source, right rate, right time and right place), Bambauer said. “We’re all committed to doing our part to find solutions for the health of Ohio’s waterways.”