Minnesotans pay a price for crop fertilizer at faucet

  • Article by: JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 23, 2012 - 6:45 AM

As crops spread, some land can no longer cleanse nitrates from groundwater.

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elementxDec. 22, 1210:40 PM

Fertilizers have caused a lot of problems, not only has drinking water been contaminated, runoff affects lakes/ponds creating large algae and weed growth.

ruphinaDec. 22, 1211:32 PM

We need more cows. Cows mean unfertilized pasture, hayfields and fencelines. Cleaner grounswater, cleaner ponds and streams, and even a few pheasants. Bill G.

ruphinaDec. 22, 1211:34 PM

MN is planting something like 20 million acres to corn for ethanol. I wonder how many tons of nitrates are spread on that land. Maybe Ethanol isn't as clean as we have been told. Bill G.

julio57Dec. 23, 1212:23 AM

I operate a farm service company that sells nitrogen fertilizer. I also live on a farm with a well that has tested high in nitrates, so I see both sides of the argument. The fundamental problem with this issue is not ethanol, it is the growing demand or U.S. grain. If we stopped all ethanol production tomorrow the price of corn would drop, but the price of soybeans would rise because of the substation effect and the demand for byproducts of ethanol production. We have a serious problem. We want to save our groundwater and preserve our environment for future generations but we also have 7 BILLION people that need to eat, and about 30% of that food comes from the U.S. We can't have it both ways.

eddy4555Dec. 23, 12 3:21 AM

Regulations will NOT help, period. A new shift in crop will, one that needs no fertilizers at all and will grow in abundance with a multitude of purpose...HEMP. It is the greed on gold that has caused all of this and lack of faith. I say the later only because I and all others in the State will have to pay for this short sightedness.

norshorejDec. 23, 12 5:30 AM

In the short term, don't reverse osmosis filters remove nitrates? They are not very expensive. But, overall farming practices are not environmentally sound.

demandsiderDec. 23, 12 6:20 AM

With fracking, subsidy induced corporate farming, tar sands oil production, and thirsty municipalities all wanting it, fresh drinking water may soon be more expensive than oil.

herbalteaDec. 23, 12 6:31 AM

1. It takes more energy to produce ethanol than it saves to burn this 'cleaner' fuel. It hurts the environment more than it helps. 2. Restoring the prairie (as much as 'humanly' possible) is a good idea, since there is less than 1% of the original prairie across the US. It's a natural filter that can't be matched. 3. Regulation? Better late than never.

chuckdancerDec. 23, 12 6:35 AM

Why is the government involved in this? The cause of the problem is known by the citizens. The actions that can correct the problem are known. What more is needed? This is a classic situation where the citizenry can solve their own problems with no interference from the hated government which can't operate any program without screwing it up; so they say. The guy says that they have an obligation to feed all the people of the world so it is not possible to stop dumping this stuff on the soil. Sounds like rationalizing the misdeed and dumping the problem onto everybody else.

jaynedrakeDec. 23, 12 6:42 AM

Has anyone looked at the water coming out of the faucets in Minneapolis? It comes out cloudy. Why?


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