Water quality has a direct impact on agriculture, the environment, communities and local economies. That is why Ohio farmers are taking measures to assure clean water with voluntary efforts that are being done on a large scale with measurable results realized each year.
The 2023 Water Quality Status Report highlights the progress being made in the watersheds of Grand Lake St. Marys and how the improvement of nutrient management there is promising for what can be accomplished in other areas of the state.
“This report serves as a reference point for where we have been, where we are now and where we need to be in order to obtain the goals we have for clean water, not only in the Western Lake Erie Basin, but all of Ohio,” said Larry Antosch, Ohio Farm Bureau senior director of policy development and environmental policy. “What farmers are doing on each of their farms, individually, is shown in the collective data, and if water quality programs are expanded to more farmers and other stakeholders, the progress being made will continue.”
The latest report’s highlights include:
• A cost-benefit analysis about the investments being made in the H2Ohio water quality program and the return on investment for all Ohioans.
• An update on the thousands of farmers who are gauging their need for new and better ways to protect their soils by keeping valuable nutrients in place through the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OACI).
• Ohio Farm Bureau’s ongoing work with the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network, a collaborative effort with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
• Details about the industries outside of agriculture that are seeing growth due to farmers’ efforts.