Source: Iowa State University

Iowa has rich soils and a climate well suited for producing crops for food, fuel and fiber. But when it rains, farm fields can be susceptible to nutrient loss.

This can impact not only Iowa's water quality, but also is a concern downstream in the Gulf of Mexico. Hypoxia is a large area of low oxygen that can't sustain marine life. Nutrients that lead to algae growth are the main culprit.

To help reduce this problem, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have launched a new initiative.

"Working with scientists at Iowa State, we are starting technical assessments needed for the development of a statewide strategy to reduce nutrients to streams and the Gulf of Mexico," said Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. 

Original news release