Set Common Sense Limits on Fertilizer Application for Farms

Protect our Drinking Water Supplies! Set Common Sense Limits on Fertilizer Application for Farms

Fertilizer contains nitrogen that easily moves through the soil when it rains or crops are irrigated. When more fertilizer is applied than crops can uptake, the leftover nitrogen moves through the soil and contaminates ground water supplies and adjacent spring-fed streams, rivers, and wetlands.

According to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, over half the nitrogen applied as fertilizer ends up as waste discharge to the environment. Currently, farms discharge ten times more nitrogen on average than levels deemed protective of drinking water and the environment.

Over-application of fertilizer is the biggest source of pollution to our groundwater supplies. Records show that the vast majority of farms egregiously over-apply fertilizer. The Regional Board has issued findings that “groundwater nitrate (fertilizer) contamination is widespread and severe, and degradation is increasing in many areas.”

Nitrogen pollution from fertilizers makes drinking water supplies unsafe for human consumption. Too much nitrogen also causes harmful algae blooms that choke our waterways and harm wildlife.

To address this problem, the Regional Board is proposing to limit the amount of fertilizer that farmers can use by requiring farmers to use only as much fertilizer as their crops can reasonably utilize.

To support clean water, please sign our petition to support fertilizer application limits.