Building a Better Weapon Against Harmful Algal Blooms

December 18, 2018

Predicting and pinpointing which farming practices are most likely to protect against environmental harm is a complex proposition, and researchers at The Ohio State University are working to fine-tune the tools that could help farmers and others prevent harmful algal blooms.

This week at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting in Washington, D.C, a team of scientists from The Ohio State University shared early results from a trio of studies that aim to improve models designed to guide agricultural practices for reducing the risk of nitrogen and phosphorous farm runoff. Such runoff leads to the growth of toxic algae in waterways.

Basic models for predicting the consequences of various decisions, such as when to apply fertilizer, are available but they must be refined in order to ensure reliability and gain the trust of interested parties, including farmers and environmental protection organizations, said Jay Martin, a professor of ecological engineering at Ohio State. This is where the various researchers and scientists are most beneficial.

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