SOUTH BEND — University of Notre Dame biological sciences professor Jennifer Tank has received the 2016 Rodney F. Ganey Community-Based Research Award for work related to agricultural runoff in Kosciusko County.
Tank worked with farmers and local conservation staff to reduce nutrient runoff in the Shatto Ditch watershed.
The Ganey Award is a $5,000 prize presented annually to a faculty member who has completed at least one research project addressing a need in the South Bend area.
Tank's research involved the use of cover crops to reduce agricultural runoff.
In Indiana, cover crops are used on average on less than 15 percent of land that can be used for crops, and that is considered high compared to the national average. Kosciusko County farmers in the Shatto Ditch watershed are now growing winter cover crops on about 70 percent of their acreage, a rate that has significantly reduced the amount of nutrient runoff to local waterways while increasing fertilizer nutrients in soils, which farmers hope will lead to higher crop yields, according to the university.
The Ganey Award is funded by local entrepreneur and philanthropist Rodney F. Ganey and awarded by Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns.