Across the United States, 41,509 water bodies are considered too polluted to meet water quality standards. When it has been determined that a river, lake or stream cannot be used for drinking, swimming, or fishing, local authorities often face difficult decisions to address these water quality deficiencies. Constructing water quality treatment infrastructure can be a costly means of meeting water quality standards. Alternatively, addressing non-point sources of nutrient pollution can improve water quality at a much lower cost. As more states and watersheds adopt nutrient reduction strategies, increasing numbers of local entities will look for innovative ways to improve water quality through agricultural stewardship. In particular, cover crops are proving to be a valuable agricultural practice that can significantly reduce pollution flowing into water bodies and help meet nutrient reduction goals.
Cover crops are non-commodity crops that are typically grown during the non-growing season, when the soil would otherwise be bare. Farmers who invest in cover crops typically do so for higher yields, nutrient retention, soil tillage, forage for livestock, reduced erosion, reduced input costs, and a more sustainable cropping system overall.
As many Americans gather this week with family and friends to mark Thanksgiving, we want to take the time to recognize the different meanings this day holds for Indigenous Peoples.Read More
Promoting more-inclusive outdoor experiences for allRead the Story
A groundbreaking bipartisan bill aims to address the looming wildlife crisis before it's too late, while creating sorely needed jobs.Read More
A Year of Staying Close: Winners of Our 2021 Photo ContestSee the Winners
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.