"The business of growing food in the upper Midwest may be about to significantly change.
An agreement reached last year between the U.S. and Canada may force state and federal officials to impose new limits on the amount of fertilizer that can be applied by farmers in parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. The two countries are seeking to halve the amount of nutrients, mostly from farms, that wash into Lake Erie. High levels of nutrients can cause algae blooms that contaminate the lake, an important drinking water source.
Some Lake Erie farmers have voluntarily adopted measures to reduce their fertilizer use and prevent the erosion of their topsoil. But, depending on how the binational process plays out, adopting those types of soil conservation measures may no longer become voluntary, something that deeply worries the local agriculture industry.
“Farmers are not big fans of regulation,” Joe Cornely, a spokesman with the Ohio Farm Bureau, told Bloomberg BNA. “Decisions are best made locally.”"