May 01

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Reducing Water Pollution One Field at a Time

Reducing runoff – one field at a time . . . Learn more:

Fertilizer applied to corn filed (via USDA)

To keep agricultural runoff from polluting waterways, farmers can plant cover crops and use no-till farming. It used to be difficult and expensive to figure out which fields need these approaches the most.

But Jon Winsten of the non-profit Winrock International says now computer models can show how much polluting runoff comes from each field, so farmers know where to target their efforts.

“The farmer then becomes armed with the information of ‘where do I get the greatest bang for the buck. And they choose those fields first,” he says.

Winsten hopes this approach will be used to reward farmers financially for reducing the amount of nutrient pollution their farms generate.

Get Schooled:

Hear More:

Jon Winsten discusses new computer models.

The fine print:

  • CurrentCast is produced in partnership with Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. Learn more at http://www.currentcast.org.

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