Clock ticking for nitrogen on soil and nitrates in water
December 8, 2006

Iowa's Environmental Protection Commission has voted to phase-in a complete ban on manure application to soybean fields over the next five years. The environmental concern is that nitrogen contained in the manure is excess (since the soybean is a nitrogen-fixing plant anyway) and that it's running off into rivers and streams, contributing to Iowa's nitrate problem. The other side to the issue, though, is that some farmers may apply manure in the fall anticipating that they'll grow corn the following year, but change their plans in the spring. It doesn't appear as though the new rules will be very forgiving in those cases.

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last revised December 2006