How to out GREEN your neighbor

The cost savings involved in managing our residential lawns and farm fields should begin with a simple soil analysis.  Save the green in your wallet and test your soils BEFORE you spend money on multi-step fertilizing products and/or lawn care/ farm field management agreements!  A simple soil analysis, which can cost as little as $18.00, can tell you what your soil needs or doesn't need BEFORE you sign the contract or purchase fertilizer.  The Mahoning County Farm Bureau and AWARE are hosting a soil testing workshop on June 6, 2016 at the Southern Park Stables.  The workshop is a collaborative event with the Ohio State University Extension Office, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Mahoning County Engineers Office, and Mahoning Soil and Water Conservation District and will feature information about our region’s soils, their needs and cost saving benefits to soil testing. Steve Prebonick, Certified Soil Scientist for Mahoning County, and Eric Barrett, OSU Extension Director for Mahoning County will discuss Mahoning County’s soil types and the importance of understanding soil nutrient needs and the effects of excess nutrients on water quality. Each attendee will learn how to retrieve a soil sample and instructions on where to take their sample for analysis. See the workshop flier below for more details.

Congratulations to the Mahoning County Farm Bureau!

AWARE is proud to partner with the Mahoning County Farm Bureau to begin nutrient management education with residents of the Mill Creek Watershed

The Mahoning County Farm Bureau received $1,500.00 in grant funds from the Ohio County Farm Bureau’s 2016 Water Quality Initiative Grant Program to encourage soil sampling prior to land applying fertilizers and/or nutrients. The “Nutrient Management in the Upper Mill Creek Watershed: What our Soils Can Teach Us” project was one of 19 projects from around the state of Ohio to receive funds.  The Ohio EPA lists nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, as one of the top five aquatic life impairments in surface waters.  Nutrients, when applied in excess and/or at the wrong time, can enter surface waters during heavy rain events and accelerate the formation of algal blooms.  The Mahoning County Farm Bureau and the Alliance for Watershed Action and Resource Education (AWARE) are partnering with the Ohio State University Extension Office, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Mahoning County Engineers Office, and Mahoning Soil and Water Conservation District to provide a better understanding of our local soils, what nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) are already in or are lacking in soil, cost savings associated with soil testing prior to fertilizing. 

The Mill Creek Watershed is 78.4 square miles, houses approximately 96,000 residents, and traverses through diverse landscapes- rural lands in the upper/ headwaters region and urbanized areas in lower reaches.  These diverse watershed land uses contribute to the nutrient loads affecting Mill Creek's water quality. This project will show how soil sampling is one of the simplest and cost effective measure landowners and farmers can perform to ensure they are protecting water quality and saving money before they begin applying nutrients.

The Mahoning County Farm Bureau along with the project's collaborators want to provide both agricultural and residential landowners an educational background on proper nutrient management. Whether it is a landowner who fertilizes their residential lawn or a farmer who spreads nutrients across their fields, proper nutrient management is needed to improve water quality in the Mill Creek Watershed.