Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Farmers Keeping Nutrients on the Field, Out of Streams

Clean water is a priority for all of us. When farmers manage nutrients, they are also helping to minimize the runoff of nutrients into local streams and rivers.
 
Farmers rely on two major nutrients in fertilizer — nitrogen and phosphorus — to help crops grow. When excess fertilizer leaves the field and enters local waterways in surface water runoff, those nutrients cause algae in the water to bloom much faster than it would under normal conditions. The algae eventually breaks down, and the bacteria involved in decomposition deplete oxygen in the water to unhealthily low levels. Ultimately, fish and other aquatic organisms often die as a result of this oxygen depletion. This process is called eutrophication.
 
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