The timing of Gov. John Kasich’s executive order for more urgent protection of Lake Erie from agricultural runoff may be especially bad for Ohio farmers.
Though there’s progress reported in reducing the flow of algae-feeding farm chemicals into Lake Erie, Gov. John Kasich decided it’s not enough and not fast enough.
But his order that ratchets up what farmers must do to curb runoff will increase their costs at a time when international tariffs and other issues are driving down farm values by as much as 60 percent.
“We’re in the worst relative drop in the farm economy since the great depression. So farmers are, of course, doing all they can to cut costs," said Ohio Farm Bureau spokesman Joe Cornely. "And now we’re told by our governor that the cost of farming may be going up dramatically. It’s a very difficult pill to swallow.”
Cornrealy says the Ohio Farm Bureau has filed a formal public records request about the details of the secutive order. He says farmers might find such regulations make the business so unprofitable they may leave it for good.
"The governor, when farmers helped put him into office eight years ago, promised that the regulatory process for the state of Ohio would be transparent and inclusive," Cornely said. "This isn't. The governor got no input from agriculture before coming out with the new set of regulations."
The governor’s order involves eight Ohio watersheds and about 7,000 farms.