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  1. #1

    Default Possible solution to Nitrate pollution?

    Ok, I grew up on a small farm as a child, and but I've been living in the city for 50 years. But I have distant relatives who still run farms. And on Thanksgiving, I had a chance to talk to some distant relative farmers.

    We were talking about nitrate pollution in Florida, and I asked my third cousin how his dairy farm got rid of all the cow manure.

    He said the corn farmers would pick it up for him. They did not actually "buy" the manure, but they did haul it away for free.

    Corn is so nitrate intensive, that you either have to rotate the land used for corn, OR add massive amounts of nitrate to the soil every year. Fertilizer, or manure.

    SO... If a million acres or so (1,600 sq miles) of Florida was planted with corn, would the continuous planting of corn leach enough nitrates out of the Florida water table to make a difference? I used to see that much orange groves between Gainsville and Orlando 30 years ago, now returning to wild forests.

    I know this board is visited by some of the most highly respected ecologists, and would like to hear how hair-brained this idea is.

    p.s.- Happy Thanksgiving.

    Take only photos, leave only bubbles, kill only time.

  2. #2

    Default

    Gary -- I forwarded this to another former journalist, John Moran as we thought he should see it. Gene


  3. #3
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    Default

    I would think the problem would be that you would have to irrigate to expose the corn to the high nitrate water.


  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by bamafan View Post
    I would think the problem would be that you would have to irrigate to expose the corn to the high nitrate water.
    But that would still remove the nitrates from the water cycle? I am presuming that nitrates do not evaporate with the water cycle and remain in the soil. If the corn rendered the top 5-10' of water table nitrate free (or markedly reduced level), would that reduce the nitrate level in the deep water table as the nitrate free water percolated down thru the water table?

    My theory is that corn would remove significant nitrates from an otherwise closed system, the Florida water cycle.

    Or maybe I just did not take enough medication this month?

    Take only photos, leave only bubbles, kill only time.

  5. #5

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    Corn is already grown heavily in N. Florida and manure is used quite a bit for fertilization. Unfortunately the sandy souls allow much of it to leech into the water table.


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