The Iowa Environmental Council is pushing a plan which would reduce the amount of nitrogen run-off into the Mississippi River by 30 percent. That goal is being considered by a group of federal and state officials who’re trying to find a way to cure the so-called “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico where there’s NO plant or fish life.Mark Lambert, is the Iowa Environmental Council’s executive director. Lambert says farmers won’t be forced to reduce the amount of nitrogen they apply.But, Lambert says if farmers don’t voluntarily work to reduce nitrogen run-off, the federal government will impose restrictions. He says there’s been some progress made already.For example, new government money is available for farmers who install grassy “buffer strips” along their fields to reduce nitrogen run-off into streams. A coalition of fertilizer dealers in the Raccoon River basin is urging farmers to apply fertilizer when the soil can best absorb it. State and federal officials trying to come up with a plan to deal with the “Dead Zone” in the Gulf meet again in late September.
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