Ag News

Gulf ‘Dead Zone’ Grows, May Mean More Regulation For Iowa Farmers

Statewide Iowa — A federal report on the so-called “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico finds it’s much larger than initially forecast earlier this year.

The report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration blames runoff from Midwestern farm fields for the massive area where there’s too little oxygen to support marine life. Iowa Farmers Union President Aaron Lehman says the state’s been working to address the growing problem.

The NOAA report is concerning, Lehman says, and could lead to more regulations on agriculture. He’s hopeful that won’t happen and that government will work -with- farmers on their environmental practices.

Because there will likely be more regulatory pressures put on agriculture following this report, Lehman says it’s even more important the incentive fixes are made to the nutrient reduction strategy.

The NOAA report says the dead zone is ten times the size of New Orleans’ Lake Ponchartrain. The area off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas now covers more than 63-hundred square miles, about a thousand square miles larger than it’s been the past five years.

Previous ArticleNext Article