Hi, My name is Karen Foss and I teach in Sandusky, OH at the Regional Center...

Asked May 5, 2016, 11:37 AM EDT

Hi, My name is Karen Foss and I teach in Sandusky, OH at the Regional Center for Advanced Academic Studies. My 4th grade class is answering the driving question "What has our indicator specie, the frog, told us about the population growth in Ohio from 1900 - the present?" I have a group that is researching the growth/decline of farming in Ohio and they are struggling finding information. Do you have any suggestions, websites and information that may help these students? One of them is looking at the amount of land, one is looking at the amount of pesticides used and one fertizers. Thank you.

Erie County Ohio science education

1 Response

Some of this may be easy to find, others a bit more difficult. Much of the empirical data on farm land can be found at the National Agr Statistics Service for Ohio.
https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Ohio/
Here you can dig through a great deal of data and find acreage total, acreage by crop, number of farms, etc. You would have to look at data from several years to get the change in numbers from year to year.

For the fertilizer and pesticides, that is going to be a bit tougher. There may be some estimates from surveys, but (to the best of my resources) there is not an actual figure for how much product is actually applied each year. That would vary from farm to farm depending on how they manage. Even if you could find how much fertilizer is sold in Ohio, there is no way of know how and when it is applied.

You could run estimates by calculating the recommended rates of application on the acreage reported in NASS (above). There may be some useful numbers in our fertilizer certification training material, but that would only be for a single season. You could look through /contact our <pested.osu.edu> site for some of that information.

Good Luck.