Nitrates and fertilizer

To the editor:

Nitrogen fertilizer does not cause high nitrates in well water? What? I read the article of the U of M person talking about water quality. I have been researching. I can only find half truths in his comments.

Nitrogen and Oxygen cause nitrates period. They come from organic matter and nitrogen based fertilizer. Nitrogen readily dissolves in water. If the nitrogen from the fertilizer did not stay in the ground long enough to soak into the ground, it would not help the plants we are fertilizing.

Now about this malarkey about preventing blue green algae. Yes, it will kill off this bacterium – but only because it does not like oxygen. It will eventually make it worse. Lets take a lake like Lake Hanska. The nitrates fertilize the real algae and other plants. They produce a lot of oxygen, preventing the bacterium called blue green algae. But now winter comes and the lake freezes over. The lack of light causes a die-off of all that algae. The bacterium eating the dead algae uses the oxygen. Without the oxygen, the blue green algae is unaffected by the nitrates. It may now thrive.

This guy should work for Monsanto. If you had a blue green algae problem, he would say it is good, because it locks nitrogen in, making it accessible to plants. Half truths are not truths at all.

William Jenkins

New Ulm

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