The University of Toledo's Geography department is rolling out a new mapping tool that all farmers and growers should see. It's called the Maumee Basin GIS, reports News 11's James Canterbury.
"It's an information management service web site where you can interactively look at some maps of the Maumee River Basin and its watershed," explains Timothy Ault, senior researcher in University of Toledo's geography department. "You go through and basically see where streams, roads are and other info like what kind of soil is found in what area."
Not only will the Maumee Basin GIS help gardeners select the right plants for their soil type, but Ault hopes it will make environmental differences by tracking erosion in the watershed.
"Many of these fields have an entire drainage system and ditches, which means anything draining into the ditches is going to immediately get to Lake Erie through these ditches," Ault explains.
Ault says area farmers may be able to prevent harsh chemicals from getting into the water supply by using a conservation practice called no-tilling. It prevents erosion but also means more money in growers' pockets.
"The nutrients that are in the farmer's land and soil are very important," Ault says. "They are what help the crop. So if that is getting washed away, that means the farmer is going to spend more money to have to treat the field again in the Spring."
To see if the Maumee Basin GIS would help you get ready for the growing season, visit www.maumee.utoledo.edu.