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Farm Bureau Wants to Avoid Unintended Consequences with Water Quality Proposals

Satellite view of toxic algal bloom on Lake Erie
NASA Earth Observatory
Satellite view of toxic algal bloom on Lake Erie.

Gov. John Kasich included cleaning up Lake Erie as a priority in his two-year budget proposal, and farmers seem ready to work with the governor—to a point.

To reduce the amount of harmful algae growth in Lake Erie and other public waterways, the governor’s office proposes banning the use of manure on frozen or rain-saturated farmland, among other measures.

Joe Cornely with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation says the agriculture industry is ready to do its part but wants to make sure the Legislature avoids any unintended consequences.

“We need to be thinking through how do we reach that end goal but at the same time not place unreasonable expectations or burden on farmers,” said Cornely. He praises Kasich for noting there are many contributors to algae growth, and suggesting improving wastewater facilities as another way to fight the problem with cyanobacteria blooms in the lakes.