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Prairie Borders in Ohio Row-crop Fields

Can Stop Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie

Loss of fertilizer nutrients out of row-crop agricultural fields, particularly bioavailable phosphates, is known to be the primary cause of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Erie. The phosphates cause harmful algae to proliferate, degrading water quality and releasing toxins. Keep the phosphates on agricultural lands, and the problem is solved.

The Iowa State University STRIPS Project has investigated the placement of native tallgrass prairie strips along the borders and at intervals in row-crop fields. These prairie plantings were able to reduce nitrate runoff by 88%, and phosphates by 90%. Similar or equivalent reductions are possible in Ohio watersheds.

To see how this technology might be applied to Ohio watersheds, to virtually eliminate HABs, download this PDF:

A Viable Solution to Phosphate Eutrophication of the

Western Basin of Lake Erie

Last updated 6 June 2018

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