agriculture nitrogen

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Miles of algae covering Lake Erie.

A large algae bloom overtook the western basin of Lake Erie last week, alarming residents and local officials.

A potentially harmful algae bloom covered more than 700 square miles in the western basin of Lake Erie last week, turning the lake bright green and alarming residents and local officials.

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Boesch navigated Bay’s stormier days, helped put cleanup on course.

When Donald Boesch came to Maryland 27 years ago, the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort was struggling to make real progress. The research institution he’d come to lead faced challenges, too, just to survive intact.

‘People’s scientist’ hands off UMCES leadership, leaving legacy of integrity, science-based solutions in his wake

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Power plants get two-year reprieve for parts of wastewater rule.

Power plants won’t have to meet new limits until 2020 on toxic wastewater that comes from using air pollution control systems and transporting bottom furnace ash, the EPA announced.

From Daily Environment Report™

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Here’s how corn makes America go round.
National Renewable Energy Lab

Here’s how corn makes America go round.

Companies want to know the environmental impact of their supply chains. Researchers used a crucial commodity to show them.

Not every day does an obscure scientific report directly help massive U.S. companies looking to cut costs, use natural resources more efficiently, and make sure their customers know about it. And yet Labor Day saw the quiet unveiling of a project that provides minute detail—down to individual factories—of the movement of corn along America’s sprawling meat and ethanol supply chains.

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California towns tackle nitrate pollution with local solutions.

It will take decades to slow nitrate contamination in groundwater from industrial agriculture in parts of the state of California, so communities are taking matters into their own hands to get clean drinking water.

PORTERVILLE, CALIFORNIA, A town of about 50,000 people, lies nestled at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, near the gateways to Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. It’s an idyllic setting, but in the nearby rural communities of East Porterville, Poplar, Terra Bella and Ducor, many residents get their drinking water from private wells that are rarely tested for contaminants. That’s potentially dangerous because groundwater in the area is known to be polluted with nitrates.

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Does 'sustainability' help the environment or just agriculture's public image?

Big food companies like Walmart want farmers to reduce greenhouse emissions from nitrogen fertilizer. But the best-known program to accomplish this may not be having much effect.

Brent Deppe is taking me on a tour of the farm supply business, called Key Cooperative, that he helps to manage in Grinnell, Iowa. We step though the back door of one warehouse, and our view of the sky is blocked by a gigantic round storage tank, painted white.

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Can anyone, even Walmart, stem the heat-trapping flood of nitrogen on farms?

Down on the farm, the most important greenhouse source is something that doesn’t normally get a lot of attention. It’s the fertilizer — mainly nitrogen — that farmers spread on their fields to feed their crops.

The Environmental Defense Fund opened an office near Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., 10 years ago. It was part of a carefully plotted strategy to persuade the giant retailer that going green could be good for business. If it worked, it certainly could be good for the planet — Walmart’s revenues are bigger than the entire economy of most countries.

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