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The Second Worst Flooding in Iowa History That You Probably Didn’t Read About

, Kendall Science Fellow

“No news is good news” was a take-home message from heavy rains that soaked Northern Iowa in late September, raising river levels to their second highest mark ever. Thanks to proactive work of emergency responders, community leaders, flood scientists and eager volunteers, there were not damages on the scale of other recent deadly floods in Louisiana and North Carolina.

However, the increasing intensity and frequency of heavy rainfall means that the damages escaped this time around should not lead to complacency. Rather, even more proactive planning will be required, particularly in agricultural areas, in order to prevent future floods from making headlines. Read more >

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Why the Loss of Grasslands Is a Troubling Trend for Agriculture, in 11 Maps and Graphs

, Kendall Science Fellow

Grasslands provide substantial climate benefits. Shouldn’t we be protecting them? The obvious answer is yes, but a few maps and graphs illustrate what is really happening. Read more >

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Good News and Bad News on This Year’s Dead Zone Measurement

, Kendall Science Fellow

For the first time since monitoring began in 1985, there will be no official measurement of the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone. That’s the bad news. The good news is that we already know how to cost effectively reduce water pollution. Read more >

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Four Things to Think About When Heavy Spring Rains Fall

, Kendall Science Fellow

Spoiler alert: It’s more than just packing an umbrella.

As a kid I remember repeating the phrase in the spring “April showers bring May flowers.” Now, in my adult life as a weather-conscious agricultural scientist, I cannot help but think about how spring rain brings with it not just the promise of pretty flowers, but also the damage of floods. 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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