Thursday, June 30, 2016

Voluntary conservation practices helping enviroment

Voluntary conservation is reducing runoff

Iowa Farm Scene

USDA says farmers have helped cut nitrogen runoff in Iowa and Mississippi River Basin by up to 34%.
Published on: June 28, 2016

Soil conservation and water quality improvement practices by farmers have reduced nitrogen and phosphorus runoff in Iowa and other states in the Upper Mississippi River Basin, according to a federal study released last week. Several farmers I visited with at the Farm Progress Hay Expo at Boone June 22-23 were talking about this topic. We discussed the voluntary vs. regulatory issue, as more farmers and landowners need to be putting water quality improvement practices on their land.
Farmers are reducing nitrogen, phosphorus pollution
Based on current water quality data, researchers at USDA and the U.S. Geological Survey determined that voluntary agricultural conservation practices are helping reduce nitrogen downstream in the Upper Mississippi River Basin watershed by as much as 34%. The impact on phosphorus reduction wasn’t as much, with reductions topping out at 10%. Iowa is part of the Upper Mississippi River and the Missouri River basins.
Until this study, nutrient reductions have been difficult to detect in streams because changes in multiple sources of nutrients (including non-ag sources) and natural processes can have confounding influences that conceal the effects of improved farming practices on downstream water quality. The models used......(To read more, click the link below):

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