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Change in agricultural practices

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Nutrient leakage from agricultural activities is a major cause of eutrophication and poor water quality. Changes in land use practices can be implemented to reduce this leakage, particularly nitrogen and phosphorous, and the resulting nutrient pollution of waterways. Changes to more sustainable land use-practices aim to increase the ability of soils to retain nutrients, limit the amount of excess nutrients added to soils and minimize soil-loss from erosion. Practices such as crop rotation (rotating crops according to seasonal and soil conditions), inter-cropping (planting of two or more crops in the same field, e.g. combining one crop with nitrogen-fixing plants), and agroforestry (trees or shrubs are grown amongst or around crops) help diversify or increase plant cover to increase nutrient-use efficiency and improve soil stability and fertility (reducing the need for added fertilizers). No-tillage agriculture (farming with minimal or no soil-disturbance), and leaving previous crop residues on fields also stabilize soils, decreasing the risk of erosion and surface runoff and improving sediment control.…