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Source: Ohio Soybean Association and Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association joint news release

The Ohio Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 150 (SB 150) yesterday, which will require one farmer per farm operation to be certified to apply fertilizer. The bill will now move to the Ohio House for consideration. 
"The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) take the issue of water quality in our state very seriously and began actively working with legislators on SB 150 since it was introduced in 2013," said Jerry Bambauer, OSA president and Auglaize County farmer.

"Thanks to the work of OSA, the OCWGA and others, the final version of the bill is far different than the original that contained unnecessary and overly burdensome requirements for Ohio family farmers.  Moving forward, both organizations will continue to emphasize to legislators and agency officials the importance of practical, science-based solutions."
Bambauer emphasized the need to fully understand this challenge before solutions can be implemented.
"There are still many unknowns and no one has a clear understanding of exactly how phosphorus is moving through the soil profile from farm fields into waterways," said Bambauer.  "We also don't know why problems are being discovered in areas with little to no agricultural activity. 

For this reason, OSA's sister organization, the Ohio Soybean Council, the Ohio Corn Marketing Program, the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, and many others are supporting edge-of-field monitoring of phosphorus runoff that will show us exactly how this nutrient is moving and how best to keep it on the land where it belongs."
Brent Hostetler, OCWGA President and Union County farmer stressed the commitment and actions Ohio farmers are already taking to address water quality concerns.

"Farmers have answered the call to address water quality challenges in the past and they are committed to do so again," said Hostetler. "However, the issues we face with phosphorus today are different than those in the past. That is why research is a vital part of developing the necessary tools for every region, every farm and every watershed."

"Research is vital but farmers are not sitting idly by," he said.  "They are implementing best management practices on their farms to mitigate any potential runoff. 

Farmers are also applying the 4R principles of nutrient management (right source, right rate, right time and right place). Ohio farmers care about the health of the land and water and are committed to doing their part to find solutions that work for all Ohioans."

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