Farmer Tim Smith stands by a creek that cuts through his property near the north-central Iowa town of Eagle Grove. He does several water quality conservation practices on his land including a bio-reactor, strip tilling and cover crops.
This summer, officials in Iowa have been asking farmers to voluntarily reduce the amount of fertilizer they use. That’s because the fertilizer contains nitrates that are being washed into state waterways and creating environmental concerns locally and nationally. The runoff has been particularly bad this year, and the outcry over typical crop practices is growing.
Salina, KS – Atrazine is one of the most widely used weed-killers in the country. But farm fields aren't the only place the chemical is commonly found. It's also the most widely-detected pesticide in drinking water, especially in the Midwest. With some environmental groups calling for a ban on Atrazine, the Environmental Protection Agency is currently re-evaluating its safety. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thomspon reports.
Rich Hill, Mo. – March is typically when the outdoor planting season starts for Amish and Mennonite farmers in Missouri. But this year, many of these farmers may be exploring ways to farm using more environmentally-conscious methods. KCUR's Alex Smith reports.