KALIDA — Restoring wetlands, soil and water quality were topics adults learned about Wednesday during the fourth annual Field to Lake Agriculture Field Day at Kalida Fish and Game Club in Kalida.
Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Nature Conservancy hosted the free event attended by 60 farmers.
The day kicked off with Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University atmospheric specialist, providing a keynote address on how conservation practices can help with local weather patterns.
Wilson said there are warmer temperatures at night warming faster than the day time temperatures that have to do with a lot of moisture in the atmosphere.
“There also has been a 10 to 15 percent increase in precipitation across Ohio since the early part of the 20th century with a lot of that coming in the spring and fall season,” Wilson said. He said that challenges fall harvest season and fieldwork.
Wet conditions have put a damper on spring planting season and put fields out of commission.
“Intense precipitation events cause erosion and wash off nutrients that are vital for farming,” Wilson said.
He spoke about conservation efforts and said farmers need to try to build resilience to the intense rain events and build up the soil.
Robert Giesige, a district technician for Putnam County Soil and Water office, said the purpose of the event is to educate the community on soil and water quality.
“There are issues with algae in Lake Erie. We want to talk about water quality and how to place nutrients responsibly,” Giesige said.
Attendees took part in a cover crop demonstration and a wetland was on display. Equipment was used to show people how to precision plant nutrients.
“Throughout Ohio, water bodies are being impacted by algae. Phosphorus levels and water quality is a nationwide issue,” Giesige said. The goal was to educate farmers, agencies and residents on best management practices to improve water quality, according to Giesige.
The afternoon breakout session was planned followed by a local farmer-led panel.
Six stations were set up that included the restoration of wetlands for wildlife habitat and water quality, charting the unknown: cover crops and fallow acres, using technology to reduce input costs and seed cover crops, managing water through soil health, soil tests and draining water off your field.
Dinner was provided to attendees followed by an ice cream social that allowed farmers an opportunity to connect.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.