Fertilizer Application Certification- Protecting Surface Waters

September 30, 2017 is the deadline for farmers to receive fertilizer application certification.  As per the Ohio SB150 farmers who farm 50 acres or more are required to take a 2-3 hour training course to receive the certification. See WKBN's news report about the new Nutrient Management requirement.

Why is fertilization management important?
It is important to note proper fertilization goes beyond the confines of a farmer, although this law only pertains to them.  Proper fertilization application can fall into the responsibility of land and homeowners who use fertilizers on their properties.  Fertilizers, when applied in excess amounts and at the wrong time can easily runoff into our local surface waters during a rain storm via neighborhood storm drains and roadside ditches. 

What can I do?
Before you sign you name to a commercial lawn maintenance company or buy your several bags of spring and summer fertilizers, perform a simple soil test!  A soil test is a cost effective way to see what exactly your lawn needs to maintain proper health.  Ask your commercial lawn company if they perform soil samples PRIOR to executing your lawn care contract.  If not, take the sample yourself and submit it to or one of several ag co-op centers who can prepare your sample for analysis.  You sample may show your lawn only need nitrogen or the pH adjusted. 

The Decision is yours...
The question you may want to ask BEFORE you sign on the line is how much GREEN do I want to keep in my pocket this year? The choice is yours, but your lawn, wallet, and surface waters will  thank you for taking the extra step.

For more information about soil sampling contact the following agencies:

Mahoning County Farm Bureau: 1-800-410-4613

Mahoning County OSU Extension Office: (330) 533-5538

Mahoning Soil and Water: (330) 740-7995