Wisconsin Farmers Test Natural Filter to Improve Soil and Water Quality

June 26, 2018

The natural filter allows farmers to reclaim nitrogen that may have leaked from the roots zone

Farmers in Kewaunee and Door counties in the state of Wisconsin have teamed up over past years in order to improve soil and water quality in their respective areas. Said farmers are now implementing a new natural method to aid in this process.

In order to provide improved soil and water quality, farming operations are utilizing pits lined with plastic. These pits are subsequently filled with bark and serve as a natural filter.

Specifically, this natural filter can help capture any dissolved nitrogen that may have escaped the roots zone after its initial application. Nitrogen is a commonly applied nutrient in farming practices in order to help growth. After the dissolved nitrogen is captured in the pit, the farmers can then remove it and convert it to atmospheric nitrogen, according to Lee Kinnard of Kinnard Farms.

Kinnard claims that the filter installed at his farm is only the second of its kind throughout the state.

“Being that it’s kind of anew practice, we want to get a few of them out there,” said Barry Bubolz of the Natural Resources Conservation Service of Wisconsin. “We want to do some water quality monitoring which we’re trying to get lined up so we can see how effective these practices are here in northeast Wisconsin.”

Farmers very much care about the water that goes to rivers and bays. It’s part of their communities, they want it to be pristine and pure, so it was really our goal to make something very repeatable, economical, just makes sense and farmers can afford to do it,” said Kinnard.

Image courtesy Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).
All images courtesy of Ecosorb.