On The Radio – Paper examines manure application laws in Iowa

Dry poultry manure being applied to an Iowa farm field. (Angela Rieck-Hinz/Iowa State University Extension)
(Angela Rieck-Hinz/Iowa State University Extension)
Nick Fetty | May 16, 2016

This week’s On The Radio segment looks at a recent paper by a CGRER researcher which examines manure application laws in Iowa and suggests ways to revise the laws to improve water quality and soil health.

Script: Paper examines manure application laws in Iowa

A revision of Iowa’s manure application laws could help to improve water quality in the Hawkeye State and beyond, according to a recent report by a University of Iowa researcher.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

David Osterberg – a clinical professor in the UI’s College of Public Health – recently wrote a paper for the Iowa Policy Project analyzing manure application laws in Iowa. The paper examined the water crisis that struck Toledo, Ohio in 2014 and how Ohio’s legislature changed its manure application laws to prevent future water problems. When fertilizer nutrients such as nitrate run off of farm fields it can lead to toxic algal blooms and other water contamination issues.

Osterberg – who is also a member of the UI’s Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research – recommended that Iowa’s legislature enact measures similar to Ohio’s in regard to manure application dates and confined animal feeding operations or CAFOs.

Osterberg: “The state of Iowa does not have strong legislation preventing manure from being a problem.  It can easily roll off of saturated ground, frozen ground, snow-covered ground, and our laws are very weak. We ought to adopt what the state of Ohio has. Their laws are stronger. It will help our environment.”

For a link to the full report, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Betsy Stone.