Marcia DeLonge

Senior scientist

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Marcia DeLonge is a senior scientist in the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Dr. DeLonge conducts scientific research and analyses identifying practices that lead to healthy, sustainable food and farming systems. See Marcia's full bio.

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Marcia's Latest Posts

4 Questions for the New Census of Agriculture

Every five years, number-hungry analysts eagerly await the release of the US Census of Agriculture to get a fresh glimpse at the state of the US food and farm system. The newest version, which contains data reflecting conditions in 2017, is expected to be released on April 11, marking the first update to the crucial dataset since 2012. In addition to offering updated data for many characteristics that have been monitored for decades, this Census included some new questions expected to offer critical insights for a rapidly changing world. Read more >

Photo: Lance Cheung/USDA
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The Bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill Brings Some Consequences, Cautious Optimism for Conservation

Last week, 11 weeks since the 2014 farm bill expired, Congress passed the latest version, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which President Trump is expected to sign into law. Although there are many things to celebrate in the new farm bill, there were also disappointments. This was the case for conservation, which was a bit of a mixed bag—and worth a closer look. Read more >

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Let’s Celebrate Soil! New Science and Stories for World Soils Day

There’s never a bad time to celebrate soil—it’s an incredible living ecosystem and a foundation for much of the food, fiber, and fuel we use every day. But if there was ever a time when celebrating soil seemed particularly important, it might be now. And it’s not just because another World Soils Day has rolled around. Read more >

Photo: NRCS Soil Health/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)
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Five Takeaways From the Fourth National Climate Assessment and What They Mean for Food and Farms

This year’s harvest season has been bittersweet. Interspersed with delightful treats like apple cider and pumpkin pie has been a disheartening stream of news from America’s farmers, many of whom are struggling to stay afloat amidst low crop prices, trade wars, and disasters stretching from east coast hurricanes to west coast wildfires. As if there weren’t enough to worry about, the newly released Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) sends a sobering message that things likely won’t get easier anytime soon. Although, spoiler alert: it’s also clear that farmers have agency on climate change matters, and could play a pivotal role to make things better. Read more >

USDA /Cynthia Mendoza
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Photo: IIP Photo Archive/Flickr

With The Farm Bill Expired, Will Science Stall?

All the stranded programs together account for only $2.8 billion of the nearly $1 trillion farm bill. But they provide significant value, and none less than the research and education programs now in budgetary limbo. In this post, I’ll focus on the three such programs: Organic Agriculture Research and Extension, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. Depending on how long Congress leaves these programs hanging before passing a new farm bill, important agricultural research and extension, and the field of agroecology, could suffer. Read more >

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