Workshop to focus on reducing nutrient loss

Farmers who plant cover crops and vegetative systems will find that it can tie up phosphorus in a stable form that remains in the soil, which can increase phosphorus use efficiency, says a soil researcher from Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

That, and the question of whether agriculture can significantly reduce off-site movement of other soluble nutrients, will be discussed by Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and industry experts in agriculture, climatology and environmental economics during a workshop hosted by the Soil and Water Conservation Society March 17.

The daylong workshop will focus on discussing technologies and techniques to reduce off-site movement of nutrients and the barriers to their adoption and implementation, said Jim Hoorman, an OSU Extension educator and an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues.

“Recently collected Ohio soil test data using phosphorus speciation is showing that phosphorus is tied up by calcium/magnesium, iron oxides, and aluminum oxides,” said Hoorman, who will discuss “New Ohio Data on Cover Crops and Phosphorus” during the event. “However, under certain environmental conditions (saturated soils, no oxygen), the iron oxide is being reduced by the soil microbes hungry for oxygen, releasing soluble reactive phosphorus.”

Ohio State speakers for the workshop are Hoorman; Glen Arnold, OSU Extension field specialist; Warren Dick, soil biochemist; and Larry Brown, agricultural engineer.

Industry speakers for the workshop are Kevin Elder, chief of the Division of Livestock Environmental Permitting for the Ohio Department of Agriculture; Douglas Smith, soil scientist with the National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory; Bret Margraf, with the Seneca Soil and Water Conservation District; and Linda Prokopy, associate professor of natural resources at Purdue University.

Workshop topics:

* Management and Treatment Options for Agricultural Subsurface Drainage

* Controlled Drainage

* BioReactors

* Filters

* Near-Zero Discharge Agricultural Systems

* Livestock Manure Application Research and Future Trends

* Landscape Conservation

* Gypsum

* Variable Rate Nitrogen Applications in Corn

* Conservation Practices

The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, 8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg.

Registration is due March 7 and is $40 per person for members of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and $50 for non-members. Registration for students is $20. Late registration is $60.

Fees include refreshments and lunch. They can be paid by check payable to All Ohio Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and sent to John Armentano, 3635 Day Spring Drive, Hilliard, Ohio 43026.

Participants are eligible for 5 hours of Soil and Water Management credit in the Ohio Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Program and 1 hour of Nutrient Management credit, also in the CCA program.

For more information, contact Hoorman at 419-523-6294 or

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