fertilizer

Under the Microscope: Missouri Researchers Push for Beetle Rollout

May 7, 2015
Jacob Grace

Wearing latex gloves and digging through a sloppy patch of cow poop on his farm in central Missouri, farmer Ralph Voss spotted his target.

“Okay, here we go!” he said excitedly, plucking out a shiny insect the size of a sunflower seed – a dung beetle.

Despite their disgusting homes, dung beetles are worth searching for – it has been estimated that they save U.S. farmers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Some researchers suggest that they could be worth even more, and are searching for new species meant to maximize that value.

 


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.

Two-Way coverage of the explosion resumes Thursday morning. For more information, please click on the latest AP report.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety says an unknown number of people were killed in a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco Wednesday night.

KWTX TV reports that the explosion at West Fertilizer plant in West, Texas, was reported around 7:50 p.m. The station reports: