Conservation Training

Preliminary Assessment of Economic Impacts on Wisconsin Farms of Reducing Nitrogen Losses and Understanding the Economics of Nitrogen Management and Next Steps

September 16, 2021

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Location: Online

The webinar is a discussion about preliminary assessment of economic impacts on Wisconsin farms of reducing nitrogen losses.

Groundwater pollution from human activities and natural sources occur across Wisconsin, which is particularly concerning for the 70% of Wisconsin residents who get their drinking water from groundwater.

Nitrate is Wisconsin’s most widespread groundwater contaminant, according to Wisconsin’s Groundwater Coordinating Council. Nitrate contamination of groundwater is increasing in extent and severity in the state.

Nearly 90% of nitrate in groundwater is due to agricultural activities, including manure spreading and fertilizer application. Other common sources of nitrate include septic systems and sewage treatment practices.

Nitrate dissolves easily in water and does not adsorb onto the soil. It can easily be carried into the groundwater by rainwater and melting snow as they make its way through the soil and bedrock into the underlying aquifer.

Nitrate impacts Wisconsin’s largest source of drinking water and is an economic loss to farmers. Initiatives completed by university researchers, government and the agriculture industry can help us understand the multiple tools – approaches and agricultural best practices – to reduce nitrogen loss from agriculture.