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Aquatic Plant Harvesters Used in Madison Lakes for 50 years
Floating weed harvesters have opened passages through Dane County’s dense tangles of underwater plants for about 50 years.

The barges wield rotating cutting bars like those on farm combines to cut a submerged crop that is fertilized too well by runoff of nutrients like dairy manure.

Each spring, the county launches a flotilla of 10 paddle-propelled aquatic mowers to cut and remove thousands of tons of soggy vegetation to improve navigation and reduce flood risk.


 
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County Strengthens Fertilizer Ban to Prevent Future Algae Blooms - Commissioners passed a new fertilizer-control ordinance that requires buffer zones between applications and the lagoon, a prohibition on the use of phosphorus without a soil test, and a requirement that at least 50 percent of the all fertilizer used contain slow-release nitrogen.


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