Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 150 (SB 150) today, a bill which will now require one farmer per farm operation to be certified to apply fertilizer.
The bill was introduced on June 25, 2013 by senators Cliff Hite, who is also chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Bob Peterson. The sponsors and agencies willingly worked with the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA), the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and the other agricultural groups as the bill underwent several drafts during the committee hearing process in the Senate. Representative Dave Hall, chair of the House Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee, also did a great job of steering the bill through the House.
“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,” said Brent Hostetler, said Brent Hostetler, OCWGA president and Madison County farmer.
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.
“Ohio farmers continue their focus on best management practices and doing their part in improving our waterways,” said Jerry Bambauer, OSA president and soybean farmer from Auglaize County. “Many farmers are implementing nutrient-management plans that reduce the need for nutrient application, positively impacting the environment.”