Girl Planting seeds

Food fertilizer punches the Gulf in the gut

Record-setting rains have left Midwest cropland bogged down with so much water that many farmers have been forced to delay planting. Typically, 96% of U.S. corn crops are already planted come June, but in 2019 only 67% were planted as of early June — and in some states, like Indiana and Illinois, rates were as low as 31% and 45%, respectively.  The implications of the deluge of rain, and resulting flooding, spread far beyond the agricultural fields themselves, however. There are 18 major river basins in the continental U.S., with the largest belonging to rivers that feed the Mississippi river.4 What is upstream will travel downstream, and this includes runoff from agricultural lands.  Pollution in the form of agricultural runoff has been linked to an excess of nutrients in waterways that leads to algae overgrowth, depleting the water of oxygen and killing fish and other marine life in expansive dead zones.  Read more...

 

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