Ag in the AM: New Runoff Worries

Posted on: 7:20 am, April 13, 2012, by

AMES, Iowa – An environmental group is now saying Midwest water systems could be threatened by farm run-off.

Run-off of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers has been a problem affecting the lower Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The “Environmental Working Group” now says shallow Midwest water wells could be impacted as well.

The U.S. Geological Survey and other government agencies that monitor water quality focused on surface and ground water testing in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

It found the high nitrate levels are being detected and that could lead to health issues like thyroid cancer.

Many conservation groups want conservation compliance tied to crop insurance eligibility, a Farm Bill requirement that ended in 1996.

Illinois Corn Check-off Hike Approved

Illinois farmers have agreed to an increase in their check-off rate.

The vote wasn’t even close.   By an 1137 to 317-vote, farmers agreed to raise the rate by a quarter cent per bushel sent to market.

Starting October 1st, farmers will be able to voluntarily check-off five-eighths of a cent per bushel for market development, research, education, and promotion programs to benefit Illinois corn farmers.