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Monday, February 25, 2013

Environment - "Regulations aimed at keeping fertilizer, manure out of stream"

From yesterday's Lafayette Journal Courier, an article by Chris Morisse Vizza; some quotes:

When farmers and fertilizer applicators head into fields this year they have to comply with new rules designed to protect waterways.

Getting the word out to crop producers and distributors of those nutrients is the job of Matt Pearson, of the Office of the Indiana State Chemist.

“The biggest difference is the rules now apply to everyone who uses manure or fertilizer to produce an agricultural crop,” Pearson said.

The OISC, based at Purdue University, wrote the rules as directed by the 2011 General Assembly.

“These are not new rules, but it extends the water protection rules already in place at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management,” Pearson said. * * *

Operations will not change much at Anderson’s Fertilizers Service in Romney, according to Doug Anderson.

“We already make application plans, we pull soil tests, and we already keep records of where we apply fertilizer,” Anderson said. “The rules do give us specific setbacks from water wells and streams, but we already tried to do that.”

GPS mapping and electronic records allow Anderson’s employees to pinpoint soil types and the amount of fertilizer applied.

Fertilizer and manure applications must be coordinated so the soil chemistry stays in balance, and so farmers don’t waste money.

“You have to have sound science to determine what goes into the field,” Anderson said. “It has to be agriculturally sound and economically sound.”

Pearson has spent the past year traveling the state and explaining the rules.

“Fifteen-thousand private applicators and dealers most likely know about it,” Pearson said. “But 30,000 to 40,000 farmers around the state may not know about it.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 25, 2013 09:46 AM
Posted to Environment