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Cleaning the watershed, protecting farmers’ bottom lines

When farmers on Virginia’s Eastern Shore were told they had to curb the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous seeping from their fields into the Chesapeake Bay, Zach Easton stepped in to find a solution. Easton, an assistant professor of biological systems engineering, may have found a way to save the bay while maintaining farmers’ profits with the development of a bioreactor buried under the coast’s fertile agricultural grounds.

“The ultimate hope is that this will be a cost-effective system that producers can use to protect water quality and help keep agriculture profitable in Virginia,” said Easton, a Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist whose research is conducted at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Painter. Continue reading

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