(Posted Thu. Apr 28th, 2016)
This week, National Corn Growers Association staff took a deeper look into water quality issues during the Hypoxia Task Force Meeting in St. Louis. The HTF is a partnership of 12 states, five federal agencies and tribal representatives focused on collaborative efforts to reduce nutrient loading in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya River Basin and subsequent hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The Task Force heard presentations from several non-governmental groups and the Missouri Corn Growers Association, and its soy counterpart, discussions on how they approach finding solutions to ensure clean water for future generations.
NCGA staff looked at the ways a variety of stakeholders are addressing the hypoxia issue currently, while examining possible opportunities to find new partners and innovative approaches to further its sustainability programming.
The Missouri Corn Growers representatives, along with their counterparts from soy, discussed the collaboration developed among Missouri farmers, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Department of Natural Resources and other organizations to improve water quality. Additionally, they presented the priorities Missouri farmers are placing on environmental protections, as well as economics and productivity.
In addition to MCGA, the Southern Extension and Research Activities Committee number 46, a formal group of USDA National Food Institute of Food and Agriculture and land-grant university funded committees that promotes multistate research and extension activities, updated attendees on their work in water quality monitoring and presented opportunities for collaboration.
The Nature Conservancy rounded out presentations with an update on their Mississippi River Strategy. TNC’s strategy works with growers in various watersheds to find solutions that benefit both the environment and enhance production agriculture.