Fertilizer runoff causes toxic algal blooms. This one covered a third of Lake Erie in 2011.
© Peter Essick/National Geographic
April 19, 2013 This week's explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant in Texas reminds us of the "cursed" side of the nitrogen that powers most of agriculture around the world. Through habit or necessity, we've come to depend on it. But there are costs.
Thick jets of processed sewage arc out 30 to 40 feet from giant moving spreaders at Birmingham Farm in Kansas City, Mo.
Frank Morris for NPR
April 10, 2013 Cities are finding beneficial and lucrative ways to dispose of solid waste, while also helping farmers. But a lot of sewage still ends up in landfills or being processed at big, industrial incinerators.
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A tractor spreads fertilizer at a dairy farm in Morrinsville, New Zealand.
Sandra Mu/Getty Images
February 17, 2013 An environmental researcher argues the heavy phosphorus footprint of meat is good reason to eat less meat, given that phosphorus is a finite resource and critical for food security. But not everyone thinks we should be worried.
December 14, 2011 With the release of a new standard, the federal government wants farmers to stop the spread of nutrients outside farm fields into waterways. It involves putting farmland on a sensible diet.
August 18, 2010 Canadian Fertilizer Giant Gets Hostile Bid From Australian Firm
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