Boxing up ag field nitrogen

Spring in America's heartland is often wet. That makes its soil too soft for planting. One solution to that issue is tile drainage. Growers insert a series of pipes (drain tiles) under their fields, which drains water from ...

Steel byproducts trap phosphorous in agricultural drainage water

The nitrogen and phosphorous that nurture crops become pollutants when they drain into lakes and streams. Woodchip bioreactors have proven useful in removing nitrates from tile drainage water, but researchers are still searching ...

Measuring phosphorus loss from Midwest crop fields

Field runoff from farms in the Lake Erie basin is often rich in soluble plant nutrients, including phosphorus. When this nutrient-rich runoff reaches the lake, the phosphorus can support abundant algal blooms that contaminate ...

Lower nitrogen losses with perennial biofuel crops

Perennial biofuel crops such as miscanthus, whose high yields have led them to be considered an eventual alternative to corn in producing ethanol, are now shown to have another beneficial characteristic–the ability to reduce ...

Study probes sources of Mississippi River phosphorus

In their eagerness to cut nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico, people have often sought simple explanations for the problem: too many large animal operations, for instance, or farmers ...

Dead zones in Gulf caused, in part, by farm drainage

(PhysOrg.com) -- The tile drainage systems in upper Mississippi farmlands -- from southwest Minnesota to across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio -- are the biggest contributors of nitrogen runoff into the Gulf of Mexico, ...

Tile drainage directly related to nitrate loss

Tile drainage in the Mississippi Basin is one of the great advances of the 19th and 20th centuries, allowing highly productive agriculture in what was once land too wet to farm. In fact, installation of new tile systems continues ...