Watching Water Issues

No matter what part of the country you are in, chances are water issues will impact your membership. When it comes to water issues in our state, there are three things top-of-mind right now. First are pesticide issues.

In the late 1990s, the headlines in some of the newspapers were that we had a lot of drinking water issues due to some notices of violations. That also led to some clean water act issues, when the state and EPA started listing water on the 303d list for impairment due to atrazine. I was with the Missouri Corn Growers Association then, and our association did a lot of scientific research working with the federal and state agencies. We also did a lot of monitoring and educational, proactive work. Through that activity, we got a pretty good handle on the issue. The pesticide issues are fairly calm right now, but we must continue to advocate for responsible stewardship and stay engaged with the regulatory agencies.

The second thing that comes to mind right now as far as water issues is water quality standards. What are water quality standards? They are basically the standards or criteria by which the quality of water is determined.

What is good water? Back in 2000-01, EPA Region 7 rejected Missouri’s water quality standards. From that time on, the state and interested parties have had ongoing conversations as to what the water quality criteria should look like and how “good” the water should be. This is very important work because what we are doing is determining the water quality issues of the future.

Once you’ve got the standards, you monitor and determine where waters don’t meet the standards. Those waters are then listed as impaired and the Total Maximum Daily Loads are established.

One water quality standard that has some in-production agriculture concerned is the development of nutrient criteria. I know EPA has sent out some guidelines and suggestions, encouraging states to develop nutrient criteria. And that’s no different in Missouri. We are collecting information on water quality in the state’s lakes and trying to determine how many nutrients are in them. So we’ve got that information for phosphorous and nitrogen.

By definition, the nutrient criteria look at several factors including where the lake is, what is its designated use in that area, a subjective look at the watershed, and if it’s in a cropland or woodland area, dimensions of lake, and residence time, defined as how much water flows through the lake.

Once they measure these factors, the lakes in Missouri will either be impaired or won’t be impaired.

The Cropland Debate

Cropland is really in the cross-hairs in all this discussion.

The final issue involving water is hypoxia. This is an issue that’s been going on for years, but just recently, EPA released its updated action plan. I think EPA will be tying this issue much more to the states, trying to obligate the state to reduce nutrient runoff. In EPA’s latest action plan, it states that “The greatest source of pollution causing the hypoxia zone in the Gulf is non-point source runoff from agriculture.” The improvised goal, according to this information, is for a 45% reduction in riverine total nitrogen and phosphorous load.

Associated with this are two action steps regarding hypoxia. States are to develop comprehensive nitrogen and phosphorous reduction strategies. EPA will provide direct financial and technical support to state partners in adoption of state numeric nutrients standards.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Legislation Stories

LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsanto-Bayer, GMO-Labeling and TPP
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More
CPP, glyphosate, dicamba, atrazine,
Crop InputsReport: Congress Pressing EPA On Glyphosate Review Handling
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter P.J. Huffstutter: U.S. lawmakers have asked EPA to explain why it published – and then withdrew – Read More
Anhydrous Ammonia tanks
LegislationARA: OSHA Announces PSM Formal Rulemaking Intentions
May 11, 2016
In separate communications earlier this week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced plans to conduct formal rulemaking to Read More
Crop InputsBayer: 5 Reasons We Disagree With Maryland Neonic Ban
April 12, 2016
We’re disappointed that the Maryland legislature chose not to stand up for sound science and the rights of Maryland’s homeowners Read More
Trending Articles
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
Latest News
CHS-Wayland Exterior Dry Fertilizer storage
Retail FacilitiesCHS Expands Michigan Location With New Dome Blending Fa…
July 1, 2016
When CHS wanted to update its Wayland, MI, facility to better serve its customers, it called on Dome Corp. of Read More
Heritage Cooperative
CropLife 100Heritage, Agland Co-op Explore Mutual Merger Interest
June 30, 2016
According to a report in The Ohio Country Journal, Heritage Cooperative and Agland Co-op have entered into negotiations to consider Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Crop InputsDow Launching New Soybean Burndown Herbicide
June 30, 2016
With the 2016 growing season nearing the halfway mark, many growers are scouting soybean fields to find unwelcome marestail plants Read More
ManagementUpdates on Glyphosate Use in the EU and Bayer/Monsanto
June 29, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the latest important developments on these crop protection fronts. Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Names Protassium+ Sales Director
June 28, 2016
Compass Minerals, the producer of Protassium+ sulfate of potash, has named Scott Johnson director of sales for Protassium+ North America. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe British Leave Vote Impact On EU Agriculture
June 27, 2016
Like virtually everyone else in the world this past week, I’ve watched the global reaction to Britain’s vote to exit Read More
Valent David Nothmann
Crop InputsValent Names David Nothmann Vice President Of Marketing
June 27, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has announced the appointment of David Nothmann as vice president of marketing. Nothmann will be responsible for Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stew…
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Contributes To Mayo Clinic
June 27, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty agriculture products, has pledged a sizable donation to the Mayo Clinic Read More
ManagementReport: U.S. Farmland Values On Average Continue Gradua…
June 27, 2016
Land price movement has been in the forefront for farmers, landowners, lenders and land brokers for a decade now during Read More
AdjuvantsPrecision Laboratories Introduces Intact Xtra For Use W…
June 27, 2016
Precision Laboratories announces the launch of Intact Xtra, an adjuvant designed for applicators who want to maximize spray applications and Read More
Key Cooperative’s new liquid fertilizer, crop chemical, and seed facility in Grinnell, IA stores 1.5 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals.
Retail FacilitiesKey Cooperative Facility Features The Latest In Murray …
June 27, 2016
When Key Cooperative wanted to improve the overall efficiency at its new state-of-the-art facility in Grinnell, IA, it turned to Read More
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Trai…
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Kennebec Elevator
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Celebrates Kennebec Elevator Grand Openin…
June 21, 2016
Over 250 patrons and guests were on hand to celebrate Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Elevator grand opening. South Dakota Secretary of Read More
Land O Lakes
Industry NewsLand O’Lakes To Acquire Ceres
June 20, 2016
Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and Ceres, Inc. have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Land O’Lakes Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To …
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsan…
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More