Today, non-point source pollution is the greatest threat to the nation’s water and the main reason why our waters remain polluted. The vast majority of these nutrients come from corn and soybeans production in the upper Midwest. These nutrients not only contaminate drinking water wells and local surface waters, but are chiefly responsible for the Gulf’s hypoxic zone, the largest hypoxic region in the U.S. and the second largest in the world. This CenUSA video, Enhancing The Mississippi River Watershed with Perennial Bioenergy Crops, focuses on the role perennial grass energy crops can play in improving water quality. Compared to row crops, perennial grasses have been shown to reduce runoff, erosion and nutrients by as much as 90%. The video discusses the role perennial grasses can plan in improving the Mississippi River Watershed and the Gulf of Mexico. It features interviews with and Gulf Hypoxia co-chairs Nancy Stoner (Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water at EPA) and Bill Northey (Iowa Secretary of Agriculture) and CenUSA project director Ken Moore. It discusses land use modeling research being conducted by CenUSA co-project directors Cathy Kling (Iowa State University) and Jason Hill (University of Minnesota). The video also features farmer and bioenergy pioneer Jamie Derr and University of Minnesota scientist Bonnie Keeler.

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