Great Lakes farmers received a passing grade for using conservation practices to reduce sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus runoff, according to a new U.S. Department of Agriculutre study.
The Great Lakes Conservation Effects Assessment Project found that conservation tillage and other practices cut in half the sediment entering rivers and streams.
In addition, those practices reduced phosphorus and nitrogen runoff by 36 percent and 37 percent, respectively.
But the study also found more than half of the area's cropland is in need of additional conservation practices to reduce sediment and nutrient losses.
The study covered about 174,000 square miles, including nearly all of Michigan and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
It only examined the U.S. side of the Great Lakes region.
Read more about the study, including a copy of the full report, on the Natural Resources Conservation Service website.