Lake Erie is a source of drinking water for millions, home to more than half the fish in the Great Lakes and a draw for tourists.
Harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and other bodies of water have been on the rise the past five years, leading to increased water treatment costs and negative impacts on fishing and tourism.
Despite the many actions farmers have taken to improve soil health and reduce fertilizer runoff, nutrients leaving fields and entering streams and lakes continue to contribute to water quality problems.
The 4R Nutrient Certification Stewardship Certification Program was created to address the following goals:
- Maximize crop uptake of nutrients and minimize nutrient loss
- Create long-term positive impacts on water bodies associated with agricultural production areas
- Encourage sharing of the most up-to-date information about responsible nutrient stewardship with Nutrient Service Providers and growers
- Help the agriculture sector adapt to new research and technology in the area of nutrient stewardship