Agriculture Major Contributor to Lake Erie Algae Blooms

by Maya Rinaldi on March 12, 2018 - 4:37pm

The purpose of John Greig’s article “Agriculture Major Contributor to Lake Erie Algae Blooms” is to discuss the effects of agriculture on bodies of water. One of the major causes of algae blooms in bodies of water is the fact that farmers don’t soil-test their soil. Another major cause of algae blooms in bodies of water is the fact that farmers are applying more Phosphorus than is needed. Greig points out that there are many different production practices amongst generations of farmers such as applying an excessive amount of fertilizer. He goes on to explains that precise application processes can be more expensive, in which case, some farmers cannot afford. Back in the 1970s, eutrophication had almost occurred in Lake Erie due to non-existent sewage treatments. Now, in multiple lakes across North America, eutrophication is once again reoccurring. Eutrophication is a problem as it affects the drinking water for us humans and also harms animal and plant life living in that specific body of water.


Based on the information provided in the article, I completely agree with Grieg ‘s point of view and arguments. Farmers and their agricultural processes are the ones causing eutrophication in lakes. One of the major roadblocks to solving this issue is the fact that some farmers do not have the materials to be able to follow through with precise application processes. For example, a way of reducing the Phosphorus levels found in lakes is to soil-test the soil in order to prevent agricultural runoff containing an excessive amount of nutrients. To do so, certain materials are required to soil test, however, some farmers do not have the finances to do so. As mentioned in the article, there are many possible solutions to the problem of eutrophication, one being that farmers should apply less fertilizer. I believe this is a great solution as it would cost the farmers a lot less money for fertilizer since they’d only be using a certain amount. In addition, not only will farmers save money but by using less fertilizer only the necessary amount of Phosphorus is being used and not extra.

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