A federal judge last week dismissed a lawsuit from Des Moines Water Works, which was seeking damages from drainage districts in northern counties for nitrate loads in the Raccoon River. The federal judge upheld an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that the matter should be resolved through its state legislature.
While the ruling is viewed as a victory for farmers in and beyond Iowa, nitrate loads and water quality will continue to be points of discussion. Lauren Lurkins is director of environmental and natural resources for Illinois Farm Bureau.
Jean Payne, president of Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, echoes those remarks, saying farmers must continue to keep their nutrients for the crops and prevent them from leaving their fields.
Groups like the Illinois Nutrient Research Education Council are conducting research to provide farmers practical ways to make environmental improvements without losing production and incurring significant costs.