What's Cropping Up? Newsletter

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What's Cropping Up? is a bimonthly digital newsletter distributed by the Section of Soil and Crop Sciences at Cornell University. The purpose of the newsletter is to provide timely information on field crop production and environmental issues as it relates to New York agriculture.  The current issue is below.

The latest articles are always available at the What's Cropping Up? blog. PDFs of previous issues are also available in the archive and on Issuu.

In The Current Issue:

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Series: Phosphorus and the Environment, 1. An Introduction to Phosphorus

Aug 11, 2017
In 1999, “What’s Cropping Up?” featured a series of articles on phosphorus (P) and agriculture. At the time, P and water quality was a big topic. New York had just released its first Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Permit and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) and Cornell University personnel worked closely together to frame up New York’s version of the Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) system. Read more

Series: Phosphorus and the Environment, 2. Setting the Record Straight: Comparing Bodily Waste Between Dairy Cows and People

Aug 11, 2017
A lawsuit filed against the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in March 2017 incorrectly compares the amount of waste produced by 200 cows to that produced by a city of 96,000 people.  This error is more than 10-times too high and has been picked up and repeated by the media.  In order to make a legitimate comparison it is necessary to answer the question: how much urine and feces are excreted each day by a dairy cow and a person and what are the nutrient contents of that excretion that are an environmental concern? Read more

Series: Phosphorus and the Environment, 3. Protecting our lakes: shoreline septic system concerns.

Aug 11, 2017
Phosphorus (P) chemistry is very complex in farm fields as well as streams and lakes.  Only a small portion of the total quantity of P in the environment is bioavailable, meaning that it is readily available to living organisms.  In this article two methods or tests that water chemists use to measure P are referred to: Total Phosphorus (TP) and Soluble Reactive Phosphorus (SRP). The TP represents most or all of the various forms of P that are present, while SRP is a fraction of TP, representing what is immediately available to organisms in the lake. Read more

Series: Phosphorus and the Environment 4. Greatly Improved Nutrient Efficiency Demonstrates New York Dairy Farmers’ Environmental Stewardship

Aug 11, 2017
The deadline has been looming for years: all states that are part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed must reduce nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loads from agricultural sources by 2025. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for N and P for each state to achieve water quality goals for the Chesapeake Bay region. The headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed originate in New York’s Upper Susquehanna Watershed (USW) and include part or all of 17 New York counties. Read more