A science and technology-based framework crafted by the Iowa Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Iowa State University to assess and reduce nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediments) flowing to Iowa waters, the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. It directs voluntary efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point and nonpoint sources in a scientific, reasonable and cost effective manner, including the use of conservation practices like wetlands, prairie strips & cover crops to reduce agricultural runoff.

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Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy

Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy

Photo by Alexia and Jackson

Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy

Location: Roland, IA
Featuring: Kent

Iowa farmers can have significant impacts on the quality of ocean life in the gulf of mexico simply by adapting more responsible farming practices.

Iowa thrives as an agricultural state, but current land management plans (including the use of tiles to quickly drain rainwater off fields) don’t do enough to keep harmful nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediments from flowing downstream into the Mississippi River and subsequently the Gulf of Mexico.

Nitrogen and phosphorus are natural parts of any aquatic ecosystem. They support the growth of algae and aquatic plants, which provide food and habitat for fish and smaller organisms. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus levels, however, can create algal blooms, increasing the potential harm to water quality, food resources and habitats, while creating “Dead Zones” that effectively suck all the oxygen out of the water, suffocating fish and killing shellfish.

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