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USDA Says Farmers Can Do More To Reduce Runoff

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In a USDA draft report, the agency says that while farmers have improved their conservation practices, they could do a great deal more.

Stretching from New York to Virginia, there are 4.5 million acres of farmland that drain into Chesapeake Bay. According to the Department of Agriculture, 80 percent of that land isn't being properly treated to control runoff from fertilizer and sediment.

This doesn't mean farmers aren't doing anything--they're doing more than urban areas, which count for almost as much pollution in the bay and current measures have prevented a significant amount of pollution.

But it does mean that in some areas not enough farmers are doing enough. The Department of Agriculture didn't single out farmers from any of the six watershed states but only Maryland has received a passing grade from the Environmental Protection Agency for its plans to reduce the agricultural runoff.

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