Cornell researchers awarded $1 million for agricultural product development

A team at Cornell University received a $1 million reward in Tulane University’s Nitrogen Reduction Challenge, an international competition to find solutions to reduce harmful nitrogen runoff from farms to waterways.

New Orleans-based Tulane has taken a particular interest in the effects of nitrogen runoff, as excess nitrogen used at farms in the Mississippi River Basin seeps into the river and flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

There, the nitrogen nourishes an expanding algae population. When the algae dies and begins decomposing in late summer, it absorbs oxygen in the water, creating a deadly, low-oxygen environment – or “deadzone” – for the Gulf’s fish and wildlife.

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