Industry News
In recent months, my inbox has been flooded with new studies showing a changing climate will bring more precipitation, deposited by intense storms, in between long periods of dry conditions across much of North America.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has introduced two new nutrient management tools: the Ohio Applicator Forecast, a new online tool designed to help nutrient applicators identify times when the potential nutrient loss from a fertilizer or manure application is low, and the Ohio Agricultural Stewardship Verification Program, a pilot certification for farmers who protect farmland and natural resources by implementing best management practices on their farms.
Springfield Plastics, Inc. (SPI) has received certification verifying the company’s use of only 100 percent virgin resin in the manufacturing of its drainage pipe. This is SPI’s 17th consecutive year receiving the certification. SPI remains the only U.S. company to receive certification for use of 100 percent virgin resin in drainage pipe. 
A 38-page report from the Environmental Integrity Project concludes that the manure runoff from farms in Virginia (Augusta County and three other Shenandoah Valley counties) continues to contribute to unhealthy levels of bacteria, and high levels of phosphorous and algae in the Shenandoah River and its tributaries. But state regulators say the report all but ignores the efforts of farmers in the region who have made marked changes in everything from livestock fencing to crop management procedures to ensure fewer nutrients pollute the area's rivers and streams. | READ MORE
The University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms’ newest project is adding 24 new sites to its tile monitoring project with farms in Brown, Kewaunee/Southern Door, Manitowoc, and Shawano Counties.
A new proposed action plan to reduce phosphorus levels in Lake Erie has been developed by the Canadian and Ontario governments. Called the “Domestic Action Plan,” it summarizes and seeks input on proposed actions to meet commitments under the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
In September 2010, a couple that owns a farm in south-central Saskatchewan contacted the Water Security Agency (WSA) to complain about a neighbor who built 11 drainage ditches on land near their home. After 26 months and two investigations later, the man finally fixed the issues, but the delays led to a new system in place in the province to settle disputes faster, leading to a decrease in complaints against the WSA. | READ MORE
The 2017 LICA summer meeting tour has been announced. The summer meeting will take place in Colorado Springs July 11-16. The first day in Colorado will be spent touring a mining operation in action, allowing visitors to see active mining in just about every phase with various views: from the valley fill/gold recovery operation to the surface mine operation. The tour will outline modern-day methods that keep the historic gold mining legacy alive.  After the mining tour, visitors will spend the afternoon in Cripple Creek for lunch and sightseeing. This historic gambling and mining town is surrounded by mountains and is full of casinos, restaurants, shops, museums and more. Don't forget to book your hotel room here.
Des Moines Water Works will not appeal a recent federal court decision to end the utility’s nutrient runoff legal case, instead deciding to pursue legislative changes through the Iowa General Assembly. However, Bill Stowe, chief executive officer and general manager of DMWW, said during a news conference on Wednesday he believes the current political environment in Iowa makes it difficult to address water quality concerns through the legislative process. | READ MORE
Last week, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources released information on a "six-pack" of options landowners could use instead of a 16.5-foot buffer alongside public drainage ditches and the 50-foot buffer alongside public waters. Alternatives including using cover crops, filter strips or becoming certified under the state's Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program. | READ MORE
Reducing run-off and improving soil health are the best path to address flooding and excess nutrients, according to a University of Manitoba expert on watershed management.These strategies include more collection of surface water before it leaves the farm and adoption of soil management practices that build soil structure and help water infiltrate, says David Lobb, senior research chair with the Watershed Systems Research Program at the University of Manitoba. | READ MORE
To reduce the size of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone, reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus loads have been proposed across the Mississippi River Basin, to a tune of 45 percent. 
Growers who work in the Kootenai Valley in Idaho face earthen dikes that block most of the mountain streams ­­– which are routed into drainage ditches across their farms – from the river. When river flows are high, farmers must close the gravity-fed drains on their ditches and turn on pumps to evacuate the water. This spring, the pumps haven’t kept pace with the runoff of snow melt. | READ MORE
Toledo's 2014 water crisis caused by a toxic-algae bloom in Lake Erie prompted the Everglades Foundation to fast-track the rollout of its George Barley Water Prize — $10 million to the team with the best idea for removing excess phosphorus, the nutrient that toxic algae feed on, from water. | READ MORE
A federal judge has dismissed all of Des Moines Water Works' claims against three counties that accuses them of allowing agricultural drainage districts to send nitrate pollution into the rivers the water utility uses for drinking water, ruling that water pollution is an issue for the Iowa legislature to address. | READ MORE
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