By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist
Lake Erie wasn’t as bad as expected. What? We missed 1.5 million acres of crops, and from my eye mostly in northwest Ohio. But here is the deal: you did apply fertilizer last year, and probably the year before. We farm in a leaky system and I learned this week that entropy is working against us — meaning it will get more random. So, yes it’s leaky and will perhaps get a little more leaky. We did not plant as many crops and yes we applied less fertilizer in the Lake Erie basin, but the leaks still happen even without the crop because we still have rain, and rain moves that little tiny bit of phosphorus off your farm and downstream.
This from NOAA about the Harmful Algal Bloom on Lake Erie, on Oct. 31, (http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/research/habs/forecasting):
- The Microcystis cyanobacteria bloom in 2019 had a severity index (SI) of 7.3, indicating a relatively severe bloom.