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The flow of nitrates from farm fertilizer and treated wastewater into the Illinois River that contributes to a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico has fallen, a new study says. Researchers believe one likely factor, the use of newer, more robust varieties of corn, could make the drop a long-lasting one. The study from the University of Illinois found that the level of nitrates dropped 10% between 2010 and 2014. Adding in data from 2015 that was not available when the study was written, that level dropped by 15%, as reported by the Associated Press.

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