ag runoff

Agriculture
6:00 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Field Notes: CAFOs and aid for veterans in the Farm Bill

Piglets in Iowa.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which we talk about important issues related to food production.

Thanks to tight competition, hog farmers all over the country are feeling a push to expand or get out of the business. That means indoor confined animal feeding operations – or CAFOs – are growing even in the most environmentally sensitive areas.

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Agriculture
6:00 am
Fri December 6, 2013

CAFO concerns in environmentally sensitive areas

Winneshiek County, Iowa, is renowned for its cold water trout streams. Some fear that expanding hog facilities could put those streams in environmental danger.
Credit Clay Masters for Harvest Public Media

Thanks to tight competition, hog farmers are feeling a push to expand or get out of the business. That means indoor confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, are growing, even in the most environmentally sensitive areas.

The hog industry’s impact on the water supply is worrying many residents of northeast Iowa’s Winneshiek County, near Decorah.

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Business Beat
5:00 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Nitrate runoff part two; City Council amends development ordinances

Credit File Photo / KBIA

Columbia City Council members approved stricter requirements for a controversial potential housing development near Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. KBIA’s Kate Grumke reports dozens of residents spoke up about their concerns at Monday’s meeting.

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Agriculture
4:54 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

In Iowa, government asks farmers to control runoff

Farmer Tim Smith stands by a creek that cuts through his property near the north-central Iowa town of Eagle Grove. He does several water quality conservation practices on his land including a bio-reactor, strip tilling and cover crops.
Credit Clay Masters

This summer, officials in Iowa have been asking farmers to voluntarily reduce the amount of fertilizer they use. That’s because the fertilizer contains nitrates that are being washed into state waterways and creating environmental concerns locally and nationally. The runoff has been particularly bad this year, and the outcry over typical crop practices is growing.

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Agriculture
9:39 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Scientists detect high levels of nitrogen in Midwest waterways

Joe Schatz, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, cranks up a sample of Missouri River water near Hermann, Mo.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This spring and summer, U.S. Geological Survey scientists waded into 100 Midwest streams to test for hundreds of chemicals used in farming, including nutrients, pesticides like atrazine and glyphosate, and livestock hormones. The results from the study are trickling in. But preliminary findings indicate that from May through early July, 21 percent of the region’s streams contained very high levels of nitrogen in the form of nitrates.

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Agriculture
8:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Field to tap: The impact of farm runoff on drinking water

Water treatment plant operator Fred Omer gets ready to do an iron test on water samples at the Clarence Cannon Wholesale Water Commission in Stoutsville, Mo.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

It doesn’t come as a major surprise that agricultural runoff is doing more harm than good to the environment. Agriculture is the nation’s leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Storms move pesticides, nutrients and sediment from farmers’ fields to nearby waterways. These will ultimately end up in the Gulf of Mexico where they can threaten aquatic life.

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Agriculture
4:53 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

What Is Farm Runoff Doing To The Water? Scientists Wade In

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey sample water in Goodwater Creek, Mo., for pesticides and other chemicals that may have run off from the surrounding land.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:37 am

America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Science, Health and Technology
5:48 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Scientists check for effects of ag runoff; can a CSA ever be too big?

One of the U.S. Geological Survey teams collecting water samples and checking cages for fish eggs in Missouri this summer: biologist Diana Papoulias, chemist Dave Alvarez, hydrologist Peter Van Metre, biologist Diane Nicks and toxicologist Don Tillitt.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

On this week's show, we'll discuss ag runoff and community supported agriculture.

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