Fertilizer dealers in the Raccoon River basin have formed an alliance in hopes of changing the course of nitrate seepage in the region. Gene Blanshan, a spokesman for the group, says it’s all about cleaning up the Raccoon.Blanshan says the businessfolks are worried their farmer-customers will be forced by the E-P-A to make drastic changes in fertilizer usage if they don’t come up with some ideas themselves.Every two weeks. the group tests nitrate levels at 53 different sites along the Raccoon River watershed. Blanshan says the fertilizer dealers have asked farmers in the region to apply nitrogen to their farm fields later in the fall, when the soil temperature goes below 50 degrees. This keeps the nitrogen from converting into nitrates.Blanshan says the dealers, who apply nearly 100 percent of the fertilizer spread in the region, believe it’s important to boost the amount of wetland areas in the Raccoon River basin, as wetlands help filter out the nitrates before water reaches the river. The Raccoon River basin begins 25-miles north of Storm Lake and ends in Des Moines. The River basin provides just over 10-percent of Iowa’s drinking water.Here’s a list of participating fertilizer dealers: Ag Partners, with offices in Albert City, Alta, Fonda, Rembrandt and Varina; Boyer Valley Fertilizer with officers in Sac City and Wall Lake; Breda Fertilizer Company in Breda; Crestland Cooperative with offices in Creston, Menlo and Stuart; Dedham Cooperative; Farmers Cooperative of Farnhamville with offices in Farnhamville, Bayard, Calendar, Churdan, Coon Rapids, Earlham, Early, Gowrie, Lake City, Linden, Lohrville, Lytton, Paton, Perry, Rinard, Rockwell City, Sac City, Somers, Ulmer, Yale and Yetter; Farmers Cooperative of Glidden with offices in Glidden, Carroll, Lanesboroo and Lidderdale; Farmers Cooperative of Waukee with a branch office in Redfield; First Cooperative of Cherokee with offices in Alta, Laurens, Marathon, Truesdale and Schaller; Heartland Coop of West Des Moines with offices in Booneville, Dallas Center, Dexter, Minburn, Panora, Redfield, Waukee and Rippey; NEW Cooperative in Fort Dodge with offices in Barnum, Knierim, Knoke, Lohrville, Pomeroy, Rands and Roelyn; Newell Cooperative with an office in Sulphur Springs; Pro Cooperative in Gilmore City with offices in Manson and Pocahontas; Simplot Soilbuilders of Sac City; Van Diest Supply Company in Webster City with an office in Barnum and West Central Coop of Ralston with offices in Bagley, Boxholm, Callendar, Gowrie, Halbur, Jefferson, Palm Grove, Paton, Scranton and Dawson.
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