Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letter: Inefficient fertilization polluting the Bay

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

Delegate Morgan makes many excellent points in the article "Restoring the Bay makes environmental and economic sense" published in the Sept. 22 issue of the Gazette-Journal. But he, like most politicians, fails to place the blame for Bay pollution squarely where it belongs, on inefficient agricultural fertilization.

Half the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of Chesapeake Bay is due to agricultural fertilization, a fact known with certainty for decades and most recently documented in Virginia’s TMDL document submitted to EPA. Half of agricultural pollution comes from about 90 percent of farm acreage fertilized with conventional chemical fertilizers, which are only about 65 percent efficient. If 150 pounds of nitrogen are applied per acre, about 100 pounds of nitrogen are removed in the grain. The remaining 50 pounds of nitrogen constitutes pollution from runoff, infiltration to groundwater or volatilization to the atmosphere.

We must pha...

To view the rest of this article, you must log in. If you do not have an account with us, please subscribe here.