Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future

2017 Annual Meeting | Oct. 22-25 | Tampa, FL

106012 Building Nutrient and Water Quality Knowledge through Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training in Ohio.

Poster Number 1319

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Education and Extension
See more from this Session: Extension and Education in Agronomy Poster

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Tampa Convention Center, East Exhibit Hall

Gregory A. LaBarge, Extension, Ohio State University Extension, London, OH, Harold D. Watters, Extension, The Ohio State University, Raymond, OH and Elizabeth M. Hawkins, Extension, The Ohio State University, Wilmington, OH
Poster Presentation
  • LaBarge_ASA_FACT.pdf (261.8 kB)
  • Abstract:
    Microcystis cyanobacteria blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) have affected regional water use since the mid 2000’s. Concerns peaked during August, 2014 with a 72 hour “no drink order” for the water treatment system in Toledo, OH. The occurrence of toxin producing cyanobacteria species is linked to increased watershed phosphorus concentrations. Other Ohio water bodies have also experienced cyanobacteria outbreaks and other impairments related to excess nutrients. Non-point sources of P which include agriculture contribution have been targeted for reduction to improve water quality. Legislation came into effect August, 2014 requiring private and commercial fertilizer applicators to be certified if they applied fertilizers on 50 or more acres of agricultural production. The certification is in effect statewide. The certification requires attending a 3 hour educational session followed by application to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Full enforcement began on September 30, 2017. Ohio State University Extension was tasked with designing and implementing the educational program. Curriculum consisted of five modules: laws and regulations, nutrient water quality effects, soil testing, phosphorus management, and nitrogen management. An interactive workbook and supporting presentations were designed to address 4R nutrient stewardship. This initial training focused on nutrient rates and placement. Fertilizer Applicator Certifications Training (FACT) has reached 17,493 (ODA as of 10/16/17) at over 350 meetings since September 2014. A standardized end of program participant survey was completed by 5196 through September, 2017. Respondents selected “agreed or strongly agreed” response to the following statements: * 92% I have improved my nutrient management knowledge with this training. * 76% farm field phosphorous is a significant problem to our water resources (streams, rivers, lakes). * 72% plan to review soil test and phosphorus recommendations. * 81% are using recommended soil testing methods for determining P needs. * 18% had not previously attended an OSUE program Fertilizer Applicator Training has been successful in helping farmers understand the issue of nutrient enrichment and providing information that has caused them to look at their current fertility recommendations to identify opportunities to improve nutrient management.

    See more from this Division: ASA Section: Education and Extension
    See more from this Session: Extension and Education in Agronomy Poster