agroecology


Map of the US highlighting the hypoxic "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico and the watershed that feeds it. Photo: NOAA

There’s Nothing Average About This Year’s Dead Zone Forecast

, Kendall Science Fellow

Yesterday, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its annual forecast for the size of the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” – an area of coastal water where low oxygen is lethal to marine life. They say we should expect an “average year.” That doesn’t sound so bad, but as we wrote last year, the dead zone average is approximately 6,000 square miles, or the size of the state of Connecticut. Average is not normal. Read more >

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Let’s Talk Trash: Berry Good Progress on Food Waste

, agroecologist

As spring charges around the corner, New Year’s resolutions may be a distant memory. However, I said it before and I will say it again—it is never too late to start slimming your food waste. Read more >

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Soils to Reverse Climate Change: “Carbon Farming” and the Untapped Potential in Ecological Approaches

, Kendall Science Fellow

Are there agricultural practices that might offer more potential than the ones commonly discussed in the “carbon farming” conversation? In a companion post, I wrote about what the science tells us about cover cropping and reduced tillage, two practices getting a lot of attention in what I’ve called the “carbon farming” rage. Read more >

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Soils to Reverse Climate Change: What Do We Know about “Carbon Farming” Practices?

, Kendall Science Fellow

“Carbon farming,” in my world as a scientist who studies soils and crop production, seems to be all the rage these days in the media. The idea is to build up carbon in soil while drawing down carbon in the atmosphere through improved soil management. Read more >

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Corn Belt Farmers Managing Weather-Related Risks Through Greater Soil Stewardship

Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, Ph.D. Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology, , UCS

Spring planting season in the Corn Belt reminds those of us living in the region that soil erosion is still a serious concern as we gear up for another year of intensive corn and soybean cultivation. For example, the Environmental Working Group, with the Iowa Daily Erosion Project, estimate that millions of acres of Iowa farmland are losing dangerous amounts of soil through wind and water erosion at levels far exceeding the so-called tolerable rate of soil loss (5 tons per acre). This has serious impacts on water quality via sedimentation and carries an economic cost to farmers and to society. Read more >

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