There’s a project underway in Montana to learn more about how high nitrate levels are getting into the groundwater. They are including farmers as “full partners” on the project to deal with these issues in a comprehensive way. Read the news article below!
A USDA-funded Montana State University-led project to identify the causes of high nitrate levels in shallow wells in the Judith Basin is well underway. At high concentrations, nitrate is potentially unhealthy. The research team is working closely with local farmers and community members to learn about potential sources of nitrate and to test the effectiveness of certain agricultural practices on nitrate leaching. The project started in fall 2011 and will continue until at least fall of 2014.
Initially the research team formed a 14-member Advisory Committee consisting of several farmers, two extension agents, a county commissioner, the CARC superintendent, Natural Resources Conservation Service employees, the Montana Salinity Control Association program director, and a county health representative. The AC has helped the research team better understand perceptions concerning the nitrate issue and provided feedback on the team’s initial research approach.