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Economy

The Cost of Doing Business May Go Up For Many Ohio Farmers

Hardin County Ohio farm
Ohio Farm Bureau website
Field demonstration of nutrient retention plan, Hardin Co.

The timing of Gov. John Kaisch’s executive order for more urgent protection of Lake Erie from agricultural runoff may be especially bad for Ohio farmers. 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Credit Ohio Governor's Office photo archive
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Ohio Governor's Office photo archive
Governor John Kasich

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.

Ohio Farm Bureau spokesman Joe Cornely
Credit Ohio Farm Bureau
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Ohio Farm Bureau
Joe Cornely, Ohio Farm Bureau

“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…it’s a very difficult pill to swallow.”

The Governor’s order involves eight Ohio watersheds and about 7,000 farms.