LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is collaborating with local agriculture and conservation partners to help farmers reduce the amount of phosphorus entering Lake Erie.
The state says the Soil Testing to Reduce Agriculture Nutrient Delivery (STRAND) program will help farmers near the western Lake Erie basin make informed decisions about nutrient applications to cropland based on soil testing.
Agricultural runoff, such as phosphorus from fertilizer, is one of the known causes of algae blooms in Lake Erie. The summertime blooms turn the waters of the lake's western end into a pea soup color and are the cause of tainted drinking water, fish kills and beach closures.
STRAND will work with farmers to increase adoption of grid/zone soil testing and other nutrient management practices.