LIA challenge proposed nutrient application rules

The Lake Improvement Association is fighting the Ohio Department of Agriculture on their proposed changes to the rules regarding put on manure on fields during the winter.

During their October meeting, the L.I.A. discussed where the State of Ohio is at in the process to allow farmers to put manure on the fields year round.  Since 2011, farmers in the Grand Lake Watershed cannot spread manure on fields from Mid-December to March 1 when the fields are frozen.  Instead of the nutrients soaking into the ground when it is frozen, the runoff will travel to nearby streams and ditches and then eventually the lake.  The Department of Agriculture has proposed having more audits of farmers nutrient management plans as a compromise.  But the L.I.A. is asking why changes something that has already seen positive results.

“We want to keep our distressed watershed package the same, namely because it’s working,” says Nick Rentz, President, Lake Improvement Association.  “We think changing and experimenting right now is ill-timed.  Quite honestly we don’t understand why we would want to do something, coming off the best year that Grand Lake has had since the major algae bloom in 2010.”

The Lake Improvement Association and community members have sent numerous letter to the State Department of Agriculture in opposition to the changes, and they say they will continue to fight any change to the plan they have in place as the process continues.