Education is the key component of the new fertilizer certification and farmers will receive research-based training to keep nutrients in the field and available to crops while reducing nutrients leaving the field.

The certification requirement is in response to concern that phosphorous from farm fields contributes to blue-green algal blooms in Lake Erie and escaping nitrogen contributes to the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

Efforts, in addition to the fertilizer certification, will continue across the state to reduce all nonpoint sources of excess nutrients, both in rural and urban areas.

Steps to becoming certified for agricultural fertilizer applications can be obtained by reading the brochure. Please contact Michelle Stumbo, or call 740-992-6696