Preventing Toxic Algae Outbreaks

 

Fertilizer ordinances save people money.
Fertilizer ordinances save people money.

Smart Lawns. Floridians love to keep beautiful yards, but applying too much fertilizer means that it will be wasted — studies show that, when it rains, three-fourths of it washes off into rivers, lakes, bays and springs. Runoff from ferti-lizer in residential areas causes a third of the problem. In most of Florida, no fertilizer at all is needed for a beautiful lawn. That’s why some counties and cities in Florida have adopted Smart Fertilizer ordinances that ban lawn ferti-lizer during the summer rainy season. These or-dinances also encourage native trees and shrubs that need no fertilizer. Homeowners save mon-ey and don’t have to pay local government taxes for new expensive water treatment systems to handle polluted stormwater. While a pound of nitrogen fertilizer costs only about $5, the cost of a water cleanup project to deal with nitrogen pollution is a whopping $225 per pound of nitro-gen! Smart Fertilizer rules save everybody mon-ey and keep lawns and waterways healthy.

 

Fertilizer ordinances save people money.
Fertilizer ordinances save people money.

Smart Farms. Cleaning up polluted waterways is expensive, so the best way to treat nutrient pollu-tion is to eliminate it at its source. This means be-ing smarter about how we use fertilizer on our farms. The only fertilizer that runs into lakes and rivers is fertilizer that’s wasted. Properly applied, it is supposed to be used by the plants. All that ferti-lizer runoff wastes money too. Instead of this waste, farms need to implement smart fertilizer practices. These include: 1) performing scientific soil testing – down to where the roots actually reach – to determine the actual needs of crops; s) applying fertilizer only to the root zone of the plants; and 3) applying fertilizer only in the amount needed by the plant. If we required fertilizer to be used more carefully on our farms, we could protect our waters without wasting