ForumTouchy Subjects ► Environmental policy and Agriculture
What are your thoughts on environmental policy as it relates to agriculture? There's been quite a bit going on with it, most notably the whole nitrogen deal in the netherlands, and the protests and whatnot over it, as well as canada claiming it will cut fertilizer use 30% by 2050 (date may be wrong). So yeah, what are your thoughts?
  
I have no thoughts as I know nothing about pharming.
  
I would greatly appreciate it everyone north of me didn’t keep letting tons of spent fertilizer spill into my eroding coast and cause crazy algal blooms.
  
I would greatly appreciate it everyone north of me didn’t keep letting tons of spent fertilizer spill into my eroding coast and cause crazy algal blooms.

Valid, though I feel like a lot of that originates more from golf courses and lawns rather than farms. Farming is a business, and fertilizer costs money so lost fertilizer isn’t doing anything for you an as a result is lost profit, assuming they don’t give a shit about the environment.
  
Not accusing of incorrectness but would you happen to have sources for that? Regardless, the less fertilizer people spill down the MS river, the better with me.
I have no thoughts as I know nothing about pharming.
Yeah, and I know nothing about farming. Trade places?
  
Not accusing of incorrectness but would you happen to have sources for that? Regardless, the less fertilizer people spill down the MS river, the better with me.
Not a link or anything, but just personal experience working in agriculture. Less of a statistic and more of a logical bit. I mean fertilizer very much does cost money lol. (Btw no offense taken)
  
Shit my bad I put it all in the quote lol
  
Not accusing of incorrectness but would you happen to have sources for that? Regardless, the less fertilizer people spill down the MS river, the better with me.
I have no thoughts as I know nothing about pharming.
Yeah, and I know nothing about farming. Trade places?

Is that how you spell it?
  
I would greatly appreciate it everyone north of me didn’t keep letting tons of spent fertilizer spill into my eroding coast and cause crazy algal blooms.

Valid, though I feel like a lot of that originates more from golf courses and lawns rather than farms. Farming is a business, and fertilizer costs money so lost fertilizer isn’t doing anything for you an as a result is lost profit, assuming they don’t give a shit about the environment.


Mostly from farming afaik. You can reduce fertilizer runoff by fertilizing in the winter instead of the spring and by not plowing your fields as much. But it costs more money/efficiency to farm in a fertilizer-saving way than it does to just buy more fertilizer.
Runoff from animal farms is also an issue.
Initiatives are really hard to get going because a lot of the people causing the problem are upstream from it and therefore aren't directly impacted by it. Lake Erie has some pretty mongo algae blooms too.
  
Coldfrost said:


Mostly from farming afaik. You can reduce fertilizer runoff by fertilizing in the winter instead of the spring and by not plowing your fields as much. But it costs more money/efficiency to farm in a fertilizer-saving way than it does to just buy more fertilizer.
Runoff from animal farms is also an issue.
Initiatives are really hard to get going because a lot of the people causing the problem are upstream from it and therefore aren't directly impacted by it. Lake Erie has some pretty mongo algae blooms too.

It depends on the fertilizer tbh. Things like phosphorus and potassium are immobile in the soil, so they aren’t moving unless the soil is going with it. Stuff like nitrogen on the other hand can leech. It can benefit to do this in the winter, because it’s less likely to volatilize in low soil temps. The problem is in northern latitudes the ground is frozen rock hard all winter. The best times for nitrogen are either during or right before winter, or during the growing season when the plant will use it pretty quickly. Tillage reduction is a mixed bag imo, but everything has its pros as well as cons.
  
Okay so here’s what’s getting me. I live in Louisiana. The Mississippi River ends right at our coast and spills into the Gulf of Mexico. Look at a map of the US, make a line from the southeasternmost tip of Louisiana all the way up to just above northeastern Montana into Canada. Now another directly up into middle Minnesota. Now another into southwesternmost Pennsylvania. Here’s a map of that helps better. All of this water ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. Now every major US source I can find (on top of everything I’ve learned about it in my life from elementary school through the end of undergrad) implicates agricultural fertilizer; synthetic or manure.

https://mississippiriverdelta.org/learning/explaining-the-gulf-of-mexico-dead-zone/
https://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/topics/deadzone/index.html
https://oceantoday.noaa.gov/deadzonegulf-2021/welcome.html

Now again, I’m not saying you’re incorrect because of course farms aren’t the only things to make intensive use of fertilizers and I have no doubt that places like country clubs, college campuses, municipal parks, homeowners use fertilizers much more flippantly than farmers would but they clearly contribute to the problem.

Now you came here asking us for our opinions on this idea of making farmers use less fertilizer.
Could you perhaps link me to details of these proposed measures/laws?
Moreover, could you tell me your opinion?
  
Here’s the best I could find with the Netherlands, most people are focusing on the protests against it as a pose to the law itself, so it’s a bit hard to find the original law
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62335287.amp
Here’s the Canadian reduction goal thing
https://www.wsj.com/articles/canada-urges-farmers-to-cut-fertilizer-emissions-prompting-backlash-11661090581
As for my opinion, I personally think that these policies aren’t great. All of these things are more or less naturally happening naturally due to it being in the best interests of farmers themselves. I think the laws may put ultimately unnecessary pressure on farmers. it could cause high food prices, or even insecurity as a consequence. In the end though, I’m probably biased due to my own experience in the industry.
  
Valid, though I feel like a lot of that originates more from golf courses and lawns rather than farms. Farming is a business, and fertilizer costs money so lost fertilizer isn’t doing anything for you an as a result is lost profit, assuming they don’t give a shit about the environment.

This is a niche situation, but manure/fertilizer runoff in some Pennsylvania Anabaptist (Amish, Mennonite) communities has been a big problem for the nearby river(s) and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. A large part of it has to do with some of these communities not wanting to adopt modern storage methods. Obviously this doesn't apply broadly to farmers in general so I'm not arguing against what you said, but it's an interesting specific example of the profit motive actually not mattering enough to at least this subgroup and I figured it was interesting enough to mention.
  
Very interesting. Tbh I kinda forgot about the Amish communities and such lol
  
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