Algal blooms are once again causing problems for lakes and streams in Ohio this summer. But farmers are combating the situation, and so far, they’re getting some help from the weather.
When rain falls on farm fields that have been treated with fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus, whatever chemicals haven't soaked deep enough into the soil, or made their way into the crops, can end up in nearby streams and lakes. That runoff is feeding nutrients to harmful algal blooms.
Clark County and many other agricultural areas around the country are bracing themselves for the possibility of major cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The House and Senate voted recently to cut funding for food stamps as part of major changes to the farm bill.
Joel Potts, of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, says SNAP is important to many families who count on the benefit to put food on the table, particularly in rural, farm areas.