Monsanto funds research on preventing water pollution from farms
By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Louis – St. Louis-based agribusiness giant Monsanto says it will spend $5 million to help environmental groups find better ways to keep farm fertilizer out of the Mississippi River.
Grant recipients include the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society and a group in the Mississippi Delta.
Diane Herndon is Monsanto's director of public policy and corporate responsibility. She said the effort is not just about public relations; helping farmers operate more efficiently makes good business sense.
"We're an agricultural company," Herndon said. "We only do well when farmers do well. This is a way we think we can provide value to both farmers and the environment. And it's a logical role for us to play."
Herndon said the environmental groups will study a variety of methods to reduce farm nutrient and pesticide runoff. Those include planting anti-erosion cover crops, creating wetlands and installing drain tile.
Herndon said landscapes vary, and the research is aimed at finding which methods are best for particular areas.