Jun 15, 2018

Michigan Farm Aiding the Improvement of Water Quality in Lake Erie Basin

The multi-generational farm is minimizing runoff contributing to the algal bloom

A Michigan farm is implementing new processes to aid in the improvement of water quality in the Lake Erie Basin

A farm of 185 years in Michigan is altering the way it applies fertilizer in order to minimize its negative contributions to the problematic water quality in the Lake Erie Basin. The Darling Farms is implementing new processes to reduce nutrients and runoff contributing to the algal bloom in Lake Erie.

Industrial runoff from farms is undoubtedly a part of the equation contributing to the troubles in Lake Erie, but there remains no consensus regarding the overarching cause of troubles plaguing the massive water body.

Michigan Cleaner Lake Erie Through Action and Research (MI CLEAR) is a program geared towards the advocacy for long-term improvement of the Lake Erie Water Basin through various efforts to better educate farmers and other industries on ways to reduce the negative contributions to the basin’s quality.

Specifically in the case of The Darling Farms, the operation has opted to utilize filter strips to place an added buffer capable of stopping nutrients from reaching runoff water that could help the algal bloom grow.

Beyond the filter strips, the farm is also utilizing no-till farming, a practice wherein the farmers plant the new crop directly into the residue from the year prior.