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Water in the News

December 18, 2013

Iowa State team studies runoff solutions

Keeping nitrogen fertilizer on farm fields, to support optimum crop growth, and keeping it out of streams and rivers is no simple formula. It’s complex. To address the issue of nitrogen and other farm nutrients leaving farm fields, Iowa State University scientists worked with scientists from the USDA-ARS, USDA-NRCS, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Science Assessment.

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EPA, USDA roll out expanded water quality trading

Farm Futures
The USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency announced an expanded partnership to advance water quality trading, a market-based system that uses pollutant reduction credits to improve compliance with Clean Water Act requirements. “New water quality trading markets hold incredible potential to benefit rural America by providing new income opportunities and enhancing conservation of water and wildlife habitat,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

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Reforestation along Mississippi River will reduce agricultural runoff, revive Gulf of Mexico

Nature World News
A proactive reforesting effort in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley would lead to a significant reduction of agricultural runoff and sediment flowing into the area’s streams, rivers and, ultimately, the Gulf of Mexico, according to new research by the U.S. Forest Service.

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US farmers take proactive steps to reduce nutrient runoff into waterways

Runoff of agricultural fertilizers into streams, rivers and watersheds is a major environmental concern, but U.S. farmers are aggressively adopting more environmentally sound crop production methods and technologies that address this problem. One major concern — the agricultural use of phosphorus fertilizers — is getting increased attention from farmers who are taking steps to minimize runoff of this vital plant nutrient.

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Erosion occurring at a faster rate than calculations show

Agri News
Farmers are losing more soil than they think, and erosion is costing yield, said Iowa State University agronomy professor Rick Cruse. “Soil erosion is a losing proposition,” Cruse said during the recent Iowa Learning Farms/Practical Farmers of Iowa cover crop field day at the Rick and Jane Juchems farm near Plainfield.

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Limited water means innovations to agriculture

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Farmers need their water. Bad news is they haven’t had as much of it in recent years. But in good news, they’re learning to get by with less of it.

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Can radishes be the secret weapon in protecting our water from agricultural runoff?

There may be something to the notion that radishes reduce excess nutrients that contribute to dead zones and algae bloom — at least when it comes to storm water pollution and farm runoff. From Maryland to Ohio to Iowa, farmers and scientists are taking a closer look at this vegetable’s ability to keep nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, nitrogen and sulfur in the soil where they’re valuable, and out of streams, rivers and bays where they become pollutants.

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