Select Page

Grass strips alongside streams, like this one in the Lac qui Parle River watershed of Minnesota, can help to reduce fertilizer runoff from fields.
MN Pollution Control Agency/Flickr

by Dan Charles
NPR – March 7, 2017
The way environmentalist Craig Cox sees it, streams and rivers across much the country are suffering from the side effects of growing our food. Yet the people responsible for that pollution, America’s farmers, are fighting any hint of regulation to prevent it. “The leading problems are driven by fertilizer and manure runoff from farm operations,” says Cox, who is the Environmental Working Group’s top expert on agriculture. Across the Midwest, he says, nitrate-filled water from farm fields is making drinking water less safe. Phosphorus runoff is feeding toxic algae blooms in rivers and lakes, “interfering with people’s vacations. [They’re] taking their kids to the beach and the beach is closed. There’s stories about people getting sick.” This is preventable, Cox says. There are simple things that farmers can do to reduce the problems dramatically.

Read the article>