December 2013, the Conservation Action Project (CAP), launched a new program i.e. The CAP Backer Program. This program was initiated to help assist on a variety of programs that support the CAP’s Mission “To maintain economic and environmental balances in Ohio’s agriculture through a cooperative partnership in government, private business and academia to enhance the quality of our natural resources for the benefit of all”. The primary function of this effort is the improvement of water quality in Ohio’s Great Lake, Lake Erie. Lake Erie has received a huge amount of press lately because of the large harmful algal blooms. These blooms are created by over enrichment of nutrients entering into our water systems that lead to the lake. As it relates to nutrients, phosphorus has been identified as the lead source of the algal blooms and more specifically that of dissolved reactive phosphorus. Eighty percent of it comes from non-point sources and agriculture has been associated with this. Since more than 80% of the western basin of Lake Erie is in row crop production of corn and beans, it is the focus of a lot of press/research/rules for agriculture. So Ag does play an important part of the problem and solution of excess nutrients in the Lake.
CAP is part of a new outreach effort of using the principals of 4R’s in agriculture; Right Place, Right Amount, Right Time and Right Source. Our focus is to apply these principals with local agri-chemical dealerships in the seven county area of CAP to get them in tune with the principles and lead them to be 4R Certified. Our hope is that we will be able to get their producers to observe and participate in the practices. Using these funds we will be able to promote innovative conservation practices and responsible nutrient management on Ohio’s cropland.
CAP would like to acknowledge the following businesses and organizations for their financial contribution to this program – Legacy Farmer’s Cooperative, Dow Agri-Sciences, The Andersons and Rosen’s Diversified. These organizations commitment allows CAP to “maintain economic and environmental balances in Ohio’s agriculture” by promoting the use of “The 4R principals”.