A recently-published study by the U.S. Geological Services found steady or declining levels of pesticide in Corn Belt waterways from 1996 to 2006, despite record increases in per-acre yields. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said the study shows that U.S. farmers can produce more corn using environmentally-sustainable practices.
The USGS study tracked 11 herbicides and insecticides frequently used for agricultural weed control in the Corn Belt, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio, but including parts of adjoining states. The study tracked those pesticides in 31 stream sites over two overlapping time periods: 1996 to 2002 and from 2000 to 2006.
According to Buis, with increasing frequency farmers are using advanced practices to reduce runoff and protect water supplies. This report shows that each year those practices can be advanced both to manage the environment and increase yields of corn for animal feed and ethanol.