GFM Network News

The size of the Gulf of Mexico dead zone in 2011. The coloured gradients indicate the oxygen levels that present in the water at that recorded time.

Fertilizer run-off is just one piece of the dead zone puzzle

More perennial crops and protecting wetlands would help reduce 
the low-to-no-oxygen zone in the Gulf of Mexico

It’s true that fertilizer run-off, sewage, and other pollutants from the Corn Belt have significantly boosted dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s because up to half of the fertilizer applied isn’t absorbed by crops, and in order to grow more food we’re using 20 times more fertilizer in the Corn Belt today than