Gemma Del Rossi and Collegues Publish New Findings on Nutrient Pollution from Agriculture

October 6, 2023

PhD student Gemma Del Rossi and colleagues from Cornell and Iowa State University recently published their findings on nutrient pollution from Agriculture. Check out a summary of the article below and read the full article here:

The United States is a major global producer of agricultural products, with a total output worth of $164.7 billion in 2021 (ERS USDA, 2023). Despite these massive economic benefits, the agricultural industry also causes environmental damage and harms human health from the excessive application of nutrients – Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) in particular – that can either runoff from agricultural fields or rangelands in the form of nonpoint-source pollution into our surface freshwater or through aerosolization. Further, these damages can be quantified in economic terms and demonstrate how there are negative externalities associated with agricultural production. This review paper aims to document the long-term trends in nutrient application in US agriculture and runoff into surface waters; we also summarize the full linkages of nutrient pollution from how excess N and P in agriculture impacts the physical environment to documented economic damages. We conclude by discussing cost-effective policies that could lead to reduced nutrient pollution and propose future research avenues.

Economic Research Service (ERS), USDA. 2023. Ag and Food Sectors in the Economy. Retrieved from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.