In one of the most intensively farmed parts of America’s Dairyland, where 29 percent of the county’s private wells test unsafe due to bacteria or nitrates, residents have a new concern: estrogenic well water.
“A well-managed place is not going to get manure into the groundwater,” said Laurence Shore, a physiologist in Israel who studies the fate of hormones in the environment. With a video tour of an anaerobic digester at the two-dairy, 8,000-cow Holsum Dairies in Calumet County.
Males exposed to chemicals managed to mate if other males were not around. But if they had to compete with the control males, however, they “suffered nearly total reproductive failure”: They had no game.
Endocrine disruptors have been called a “global threat” to people and wildlife, but Wisconsin is lagging behind Minnesota in testing its waters for them.