Researchers study farm runoff to Lake Erie - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Researchers study farm runoff to Lake Erie

(Toledo News Now) -

An effort is underway to reduce the amount of algae in Lake Erie, and local farmers have a key role in that effort.

A new study by farmers and environmental officials aims to figure out the best ways to keep nutrients on the fields and out of the water.

"There's been a lot of research done at the lake, a lot of research done at the tributaries, but what we found is that we didn't have good information at the edge of the field," said Terry McClure, a farmer in Paulding County.

More than 20 testing sites have been set up at farms across northwest Ohio to test water for phosphorous. More than $2 million has been invested in the project by area farmers and the USDA.

"We want to be a part of the solution," McClure said. "We know we may be a part of that problem."

Over the next few years, researchers will ask farmers to try new techniques, while keeping an eye on the testing results. The goal is to eventually learn what works and what doesn't, so the farmers can make permanent changes.

"This is a four million-acre watershed, so small practices here at the farm can make a big difference," McClure said.

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