Corn supplies down as industrial agriculture driving soil salinity, Gulf eutrophication

The number of acres in 'agroecosystems' has tripled since the 1940s but poor ag practices like tiling have made soils unable to absorb rainfall creating toxic runoff and flooding. 

In the 90s and 2000s my conservationist father wept as shelter belts were being cleared for center-pivot irrigation and as fossil water was being pumped from fragile aquifers for the industrial agriculture now killing his once-beloved Brookings County.  Today the Chinese ring-necked pheasant isn't wildlife but it is a canary in a chemically and genetically engineered corn mine.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated stock at 1.502 billion bushels (bb), a 50 million bushels (mb) drop which came from the same revision upward in exports. [WNAX]
Jim Ristau is the sustainability director for South Dakota Corn.
Salinity issues impact more than 2 million acres in South Dakota, according to estimates. Barren areas are expanding as more rainfall – especially in spring and fall when crops aren’t growing – becomes the norm. The Plains were once covered by a saltwater lake, and the water table is high because soils are built on a clay-based Pierre shale that is fairly close to the surface – especially along the James River Valley down the middle of eastern South Dakota. Tile drainage can alleviate water problems in some areas, Ristau said, but drainage systems can cause issues with soil structure in some cases. Other nutrients leave before sodium, and soil structure falls apart. [Tri-State Neighbor]
Canada is the top export market for US ethanol taking some 326.4 million gallons in 2020 and total exports were around 1.3 billion gallons, down 9.8 percent from 2019.
Every summer, a low-oxygen area called a dead zone develops off the coast of Texas and Louisiana when nutrient-polluted water from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Over the last five years, the dead zone averaged 5,770 square miles in size, slightly larger than the state of Connecticut. Mainly caused by nitrogen-rich fertilizer runoff from Midwest farms and livestock operations, nutrient pollution streaming into the Gulf promotes massive algal growth, which depletes oxygen, killing fish and other marine life if they cannot escape. [Union of Concerned Scientists]
Most East River lakes are already eutrophic shit holes filled with toxic algae and unable to even support fish populations so the Prairie Pothole Region is becoming increasingly threatened by the encroachment of industrial agriculture but more irrigation means pumping from depleted aquifers mainly recharged by the Prairie Pothole Region.

South Dakota's socialized dairies are wreaking habitat havoc all along the state's border with Minnesota and like most of East River, southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa are Republican strongholds where dairies, swine units and other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have devastated water supplies by contaminating wells with nitrates.
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has reintroduced the Adopt GREET Act, legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt the Argonne National Lab’s Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model for ethanol and biodiesel.

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