- Is tillage stealing your soil?
Soil erosion often conjures up visions of blinding dust storms or soil mired in tar-like gullies. Yet, soil loss keyed by tillage can dwarf those of wind and water erosion. A 1994 erosion analysis by researchers in Southwestern Ontario found tillage erosion accounted for at least 70 percent of total soil loss.
- As harvest nears, cover crops come to life in Cotters' operation
Harvest is just a couple weeks away. The crops are starting to turn brown and dry up. The once thick and impenetrable leaf canopy is starting to fall, exposing the ground to sunlight once again. As the rows crops start to die, Tom Cotter's cover crops begin to green up and grow.
- What needs to be done to stop wildfires in drought-killed forests
A century of fire suppression followed by the worst drought in recorded history has put California's forest landscapes and water supply at risk. A study led by Van Butsic of UC Berkeley proposes a new way to manage forests.
- Climate solution in soil?
The land under our feet and the plant matter it contains could offset a significant amount of carbon emissions if managed properly. More research is needed to unlock soil's potential to mitigate global warming, improve crop yields and increase resilience, say researchers.
- Clear lakes disguise impaired water quality
Look at a hundred lakes in the United States' agricultural heartland and you'll likely see green lakes surrounded by green fields. Agricultural fertilizers that help crops grow also fuel growth of algae and cyanobacteria that in excess can turn lakes the color of pea soup. Yet when scientists looked at 13 years of data from 139 lakes in intensively agricultural areas of Iowa they saw lakes that were surprisingly clear despite extremely high nutrient concentrations.
- Healthy soil at DREC ranch needs livestock grazing
Researchers at the NDSU Dickinson Research Extension Center's ranch are reaping two forage crops a year, called dual cropping. This was the seventh crop year in a crop and livestock rotation study at DREC’s ranch, seeing the rotational effect on soil health and crop productivity.
- Land conservation may serve dual purpose of providing buffer for military operations
Officials with the New Mexico Land Conservancy were invited by the U.S. Army to explore conservation opportunities adjacent to White Sands Missile Range near Alamogordo to help create what they call "Army Compatible Use Buffers." The buffers are intended to limit expanding residential and commercial development of open lands near or adjacent to the range to avoid or minimize potential adverse impacts to the Army's testing and training mission and operations, according to information from the conservancy.
- Sustainable irrigation may harm other development goals, study shows
Pursuing sustainable irrigation without significant irrigation efficiency gains could negatively impact environmental and development goals in many areas of the world, a new study has found. Over-extraction of groundwater for crop irrigation is one of the main causes of groundwater depletion in regions including Mexico, Northeast China, Northern Africa, the Middle East, and the Midwest, South and Western U.S.
- Government and farmers team up to fight Great Lakes algae blooms
Federal officials are launching a two-year study to determine the best ways to convince farmers to help fight water pollution in the Great Lakes region. The pollution has created conditions ripe for excessive algal blooms that perennially appear in Lake Erie and other lakes and bays and threaten water quality. The culprit: nutrient-laden runoff, much of which comes from farmland.
- Timing is important for cover crops
Timing is important when it comes to using and managing cover crops. This means cover crops should have a level of management similar to cash crops to get the most out of the investment and avoid any potential issues.