Nitrogen fertilizer

Nitrogen fertilizer is a chemical fertilizer made primarily from petroleum. Although nitrogen is needed for plants to grow, too much of it depletes the soil. Over the years, farm fields require more and more of this fertilizer to maintain productivity. The run-off from farms using nitrogen fertilizer pollutes many waterways. Health advocates claim cancer and other health risks are associated with the use of nitrogen fertilizers, saying nitrates from this product also enter our water supplies through groundwater seepage. Recent research shows that nitrogen-based fertilizers have also spurred worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by stimulating microbes in the soil to produce more nitrous oxide, the third most potent greenhouse gas.

Farmers say nitrogen fertilizers are the most effective crop supplement available and are necessary to maintain the productivity needed to feed the world’s population. Organic farming uses no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, but has been often criticized by those who claim these methods are unable to produce enough food to feed Earth's masses. Organic farmers say it is true that farmers could experience lower crop yields for several growing seasons when converting to organic growing methods. However, studies show the production of organic farms to be nearly equal, and in some cases exceeds, crops grown with conventional fertilizers and pesticides. They claim this finding holds true in nearly all areas and climates of the world.

Proposed Legislation: To introduce legislation to enact incentives for organic cultivation methods
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Ron Kind (WI)

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May 22, 2023
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May 28, 2023

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