The upstream/downstream divide on fertilizer use
August 4, 2009

Farming interests in Iowa and other portions of the Corn Belt may find themselves in legal conflict with government authorities in Louisiana and elsewhere around the Gulf of Mexico as a fight over fertilizer use and "dead zones" is pushed forward. The use of nitrogen- and phosphorus-based fertilizers to help grow crops like corn is blamed for the emergence of a hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico -- the result of those fertilizers washing into streams and rivers, and eventually making their way to the Mississippi River, which flows to the Gulf. The EPA and other agencies are involved in a cooperative arrangement called the Mississippi River Basin Watershed Nutrient Task Force to help address the issue, and a major portion of that effort is one aimed at reducing fertilizer runoff. The challenge for Midwestern interests will be to find ways to reduce fertilizer runoff (which obviously represents wasted expense for farmers anyway) without fighting unreasonable restrictions from states downstream which don't depend in the same way upon cash crops for their economic health.

We offer a variety of products for agricultural use, including products like geomembranes and geotextiles for preventing erosion and controlling runoff. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

August 2009
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last revised August 2009