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OSU study will look at impact pipeline has on crop fields and yields

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The proposed Utopia pipeline across northern Ohio. (Source: Kinder Morgan)

Ohio State University researchers will soon be looking at the potential impact natural gas pipelines have on crop land. OSU soil fertility specialist Dr. Steve Culman says they will be looking at the proposed Kinder Morgan underground pipeline which will cross northern Ohio.

“We’ll look for areas, identify and mark areas of the farm where the pipeline has gone through and then adjacent areas and then we’ll document yield on those respective areas over the next several years.” says Culman.

Culman says researchers will take readings and samples from around the proposed pipeline to run comparisons. He says variations in weather, soil type, and seeds will be studied to determine if a pipeline has any impact on yields.

“We’re just trying to understand the process a little bit better. What impact does this pipeline have, not just for this pipeline but for other pipelines. If there is a yield decline, what magnitude of a decline is that and then how long does that persist?” says Culman.

The proposed pipeline will run from NE Ohio to NW Ohio with construction to begin in early 2017. Kinder Morgan has financed the OSU research but a company spokesman says they have no input or control over its findings.

Audio: Dr. Steve Culman, Ohio State University

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