"Meanwhile, a new study has traced almost 80 percent of the nitrogen-based fertilizers largely responsible for the low-oxygen zone to a relatively small number of agricultural counties in the Midwest that are heavily subsidized by the federal government to grow their crops.An important story, with a very impressive thesis: that the dead zone of the Gulf is actually a direct result of Federal farm programs. The writer points out that important farm and business (e.g. fertilizer) interests will oppose changes to remedy the problem.
The study from the Environmental Working Group in Washington says conservation programs intended to offset the runoff of fertilizers from farms have come up woefully short. In some of the counties highlighted by the study, the group said, for every $500 that goes into subsidy programs that could increase fertilizer use, a scant $1 is spent on conservation programs."
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Dead zone linked to farm subsidies: