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State agencies offer up nutrient management draft legislation
By Joe Cornely
What’s going on
The Ohio Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources and EPA have released draft legislation aimed at reducing the amount of farm nutrients that get into the state’s waters.
One part of the proposal would require nutrient applicators to be certified by the state. A second provision gives the state authority to designate areas where nutrient management plans could be required and where nutrient applications would need to follow 4 R standards regarding fertilizer source, rate, time and placement.
What Farm Bureau thinks
In official public comments, OFBF informed the agencies that the proposed draft legislation lacks sufficient clarity to conduct a comprehensive review and evaluation and asked for clarifications on multiple specific points.
Farm Bureau further stated its belief that farmers have the responsibility to proactively do their part to solve nutrient management challenges. Our policies support legislation, regulations and programs that are scientifically based, economically sound and, when possible, delivered in a flexible and voluntary manner.
A copy of OFBF’s complete public comments is at ofbf.org. Search “nutrient comments.”
How we got here
The agencies released a report last year that was a compilation of ideas on how to deal with Ohio’s nutrient challenges. OFBF was among those who shared some input. The agencies used their report to develop the proposed legislation.
Since its release, numerous Farm Bureau members have been included in reviewing the proposal and offering guidance. They include the state board of trustees, county presidents, advisory team members and an adhoc group of 30 farmers who are active in other farm organizations and who represent diverse geographies and production.
Individual members are encouraged to review the proposal and its relationship to Farm Bureau policies. Share your opinion with your county Farm Bureau leaders or online at the above web page.
Joe Cornely is senior director of corporate communucations for Ohio Farm Bureau
Listen to Ohio Farm Bureau's Larry Antosch discuss the proposed legislation with Brownfield.