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Shoreline of Lake Erie’s Maumee Bay

Shoreline of Lake Erie’s Maumee Bay

Protecting Our Water Supply

Recent Lake Erie algae blooms affecting Toledo, Ohio's drinking water supply have increased pressure on farmers and ranchers to improve and optimize nutrient application and management.

ARS scientists developed the "Haney Test," an award-winning soil health tool that major soil testing laboratories are quickly adopting to determine optimal soil fertilizer rates. During field tests in Texas, fertilizer recommendations based on the Haney Test resulted in reduced fertilizer application rates and a 20- to 40-percent reduction in fertilizer costs.

In addition, using the Haney Test reduced nutrient losses and the related negative impacts of excess fertilizer use on air and water resources. This procedure is a revolutionary advancement for fertilizer management and could become an important tool for agricultural producers to increase profitability and sustainability.

Related Information

Article: Reducing Fertilizer Needs by Accounting for Soil Microbes
YouTube Video: Soil Health Principles - Rick Haney