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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.


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