An Ohio State University researcher has launched a $2 million project to evaluate and, as necessary, revise the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service Ohio Phosphorus (P) Risk Index to better predict the risk of phosphorus moving off of farm fields.
Phosphorus is the pollutant most often implicated in the degradation of Ohio’s fresh surface water, with use of phosphorus fertilizer on farmland as a contributing factor. Grand Lake St. Marys has lost an estimated $60-80 million in tourism due to harmful algae blooms. And in 2011, algae blooms covered 990 square miles of Lake Erie’s surface area – the largest in the lake’s history.

By Tracy Turner, Ohio State University