DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A task force established by the Environmental Protection Agency to curtail farmland pollution that flows into the Mississippi River has reached an agreement with 12 universities.

The EPA says states already collaborate with universities on local water quality research and agricultural programs but to date there hasn’t been a formal process for sharing university research and ideas across the 12 task force states.

READ MORE: MPD's New 3rd Precinct Inspector Working To Rebuild Trust: 'We Need The Community More Than Ever'

The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Task Force will work with Purdue University, University of Illinois, University of Arkansas, University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University and Ohio State University. Others include University of Tennessee, University of Missouri, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University and Louisiana State University.

READ MORE: Byron Buxton, Twins Relish 'Little Wins' Of Crash-Free OF Plays

The EPA says the agreement announced Wednesday brings additional expertise to develop farm runoff reduction strategies.

MORE NEWS: Gov. Walz Signs Agriculture Bill With $18.4M In Drought Relief

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)