A soil scientist with Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences is in the midst of a three-year, $2 million project to keep more nutrients and water on farm fields as part of an effort to improve the state's water quality. 
Researcher Elizabeth Dayton's On-Field Ohio project is designed to offer growers more options to reduce agricultural runoff in Ohio waters by revising the current U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service Ohio Phosphorus (P) Risk Index to better predict the risk of phosphorus moving off farm fields. 
Her goal is to make the P index, which is now used in all nutrient management plans, more accurate by increasing management options for farmers to reduce phosphorus runoff; and to create a Web-based tool so farmers can easily calculate and manage their phosphorus runoff. 
Because the Ohio P Risk Index is used by farmers statewide in developing nutrient management plans for both manure and commercial fertilizer application, it is important that the index be as accurate an indicator as possible, Dayton said.