USDA: new guidelines for calculating fertilizer; runoff producing over-nutrition in waterways

By Wednesday, December 14, 2011 Permalink 0
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Around the world, environmentalists and scientists are mobilizing to fight the plague of over-nutrition due to over-fertilization

The problem with farming today — whether fertilizer be conventional or natural — is that fertilizer runoff produces over-nutrition of waterways and other natural habitats.
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So around the world, environmentalists and scientists are mobilizing to fight the plague of over-nutrition. That’s where the new USDA document comes in. It lays out a host of steps that farmers can take — and will have to take, if they get funding from certain USDA programs — to minimize the spread of nutrients outside farm fields.

Essentially, it involves putting farmland on a sensible diet. Only feed the land as much as it really needs. And don’t apply fertilizer, including manure, when the crops don’t need it. Also, try to capture and store any excess nutrients. For instance, grow wintertime “cover crops” that can trap free nitrogen before it leaches into groundwater.

Click here to read this on NPR’s blog.

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1 Comment
  • Sofie Dittmann
    December 15, 2011

    It’s like w/ humans – don’t eat when you’re not hungry. 🙂

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