Farmers could get some help in the fight to keep phosphorous from running off their fields, under a bill supported by a northeast Wisconsin lawmaker. Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI) is pushing a plan that would make $30 million in grants available to those who want to make their farms more environmentally friendly.
The money could be used by multiple farmers to buy equipment that prevents runoff, such as low impact tillers. It could also be used to build buffer zones around fields, which can keep phosphorous from flowing into streams and lakes.
Ribble says it’s a small step to improve water quality in the Great Lakes region. Environmental groups partially blame farm runoff for algae blooms that deplete oxygen and create “dead zones” in places like the Bay of Green Bay.