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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Program for farmers lowers the risk of reducing nitrogen application

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author Mark Moran, Producer-Editor

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Thursday, March 28, 2024   

A farm group is helping Iowa agriculture producers find ways to reduce the amount of nitrogen they use on their crops.

Excess nitrates can wind up in ground and surface water, and cause health problems.

Practical Farmers of Iowa is encouraging farmers to find just the right amount of nitrogen they need for their crops - while avoiding applying too much, which the group says is common.

PFI's Field Crops Viability Coordinator - Chelsea Ferrie - said thanks to federal grants and private funding, the group will pay farmers up to $35 for every acre that has a lower than normal yield if they didn't apply enough nitrogen.

"No cost to the farmer, either," said Ferrie. "We're trying to help incentivize them. This is something that farmers want to do - I mean, they want to be good stewards of the land - but also, that they need to have a profitable farm."

The application period for the program is open through the end of April.

To help them reach the right nitrogen balance, Ferrie said PFI will help farmers on the front end of the process, too - so they aren't left guessing how much to apply.

"Talk through what your typical fertilizer plan is, and what your reduction plan would be," said Ferrie. "Then you would implement this year, going into the spring and into the season."

Farmers have relied on nitrogen-based fertilizers for generations - but when applied in excess, nitrates run off into ground and surface water, posing health concerns for animals and people.




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