Each year, farmers managing more than 2.2 million acres of croplands in the Bay watershed pull out plans that guide how they apply animal manure and commercial fertilizer on fields of corn, wheat, hay and other crops.
What they do with those plans, and exactly how much their actions reduce the amount of nutrients entering the environment, is at the center of a long-running controversy.
Most in the agricultural community embrace nutrient management — an effort to optimize fertilizer applications with crop yields — as the cornerstone for on-farm stewardship.
But others are skeptical of its real-world benefits and question whether the plans are fully implemented.[Continue Reading]
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