Updated Wed, Jan 16, 2013 9:21 am
Groups hoping to avert stricter regulations are encouraging Ohio farmers to voluntarily reduce nutrient runoff that's been partly blamed for algae hurting water quality in several lakes.
The Ohio Farm Bureau is among 20 groups that sent letters urging thousands of farmers to take proactive steps and warning that the government might create new regulations if they don't.
Farm bureau spokesman Joe Cornely said officials aren't sure of the best solution but suggest farmers take steps now that are known to address the problem and can be documented. Those include not using more fertilizer than needed.
Phosphorus from farm fertilizers and livestock manure is suspected of feeding the algae blooms that have been a problem in Lake Erie and inland lakes.