I have been involved in farming all my life. Lake Erie has had problems as far back as I can remember.
In the 70s, the city blamed the farmers for nitrogen run-off, the farmers blamed the city for phosphorous run-off and nothing got done. It is also lawn and garden fertilizers that run-off.
Three problems with the lake are:
1. The phosphate run-off
2. The nitrogen run-off
3. Soil erosion
The first problem can be taken care of by stopping use of leachable fertilizers.
The second could largely be taken care of by intercropping corn with soybeans and using chicken manure.
The third by growing cover crops like buckwheat, radishes, rye, or a mixture of things to keep the ground covered year round.
There are at least two sources of phosphate that don’t run off. The first is called Soft Rock Phosphate. All 20 percent P205 is available to the plant. It is available from Ohio Earth Food (330-877-9356). The other is Tennessee Brown Phosphate. It has 22.7 percent P205 and is available from Crop Services International (800-260-7933). I have used both with great results.
According to Arden Anderson, you can grow corn with 40-pound nitrogen/acre when you have enough calcium, since it is the calcium that makes the corn grow.
Feel free to email me.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Chris Dietrich of Elmore can be reached via email [email protected]