Adoption of saturated buffers could reduce total nitrogen load by up to 10 percent

University of Illinois
Monday, 21 January 2019
By University of Illinois
University of Illinois researchers found that, if adopted on a wide scale throughout the Midwest, saturated buffers could reduce nitrogen pollution entering the Gulf of Mexico by 5 to 10 percent.

The paper Saturated buffers: What is their potential impact across the US Midwest?" is published in Agricultural and Environmental Letters and conservatively estimates that 248,000 to 360,000 saturated buffers could be installed across the Midwest and treat up to 9.5 million acres of drained land. "Saturated buffers don't take a lot of land out of production, and are fairly inexpensive at $3,000 to $4,000 to treat drainage from a field-sized area (roughly 30 to 80 acres) . . . I think saturated buffers fit easily with farming and provide additional benefits like wildlife and pollinator habitat," says Laura Christianson, co-author of the study. | READ MORE

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