Are nitrates from fertilizers and manure affecting our water supply?

Farmers and ranchers need to keep improving how their inputs are released into the environment – but the trend seems to be improving water quality. Likewise, it’s important to continue improving other areas of indirect water pollution like oil, grease and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production. Continually seeking methods to safeguard our nation’s supply of fresh waste from runoff– whether on the farm or in the city – is key to preserving healthy water sources.

http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/whatis.cfm

In a recent study, 1,225 wells were tested in 56 networks (a geographic location containing several wells) across the United States. Thirteen of the 56 networks reflected increases in concentrations of nitrates. Five wells statistically had decreases in nitrates. The others remained the same.

http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/studies/gwtrends/map.php?map=NO3

Additionally, in many rural locations, farmers and their families drink water from wells on their own property, making it a personal responsibility to be judicious with farm management tools like fertilizer for their own health.

USFRA Point of View

Focus on Improvement USFRA farmer and rancher affiliates – and our industry partners – understand the importance of reducing agriculture’s impact on water. Over the past few decades, farmers and ranchers have continuously worked to find innovative solutions to improve their impact on water. An... Read more