sustainable agriculture


Facing Climate Change on US Farms: An Urgent Need for Science-Based Policy

, senior scientist

It’s already November, but farmers across the nation are still suffering in the aftermath of a series of extreme weather events that wrought havoc this year. It began with devastating spring flooding and wet weather that was record-setting, visible from space, and had ripple effects far beyond the farm.

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USDA
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Photo courtesy of Apricot Lane Farms

Healthy Soil, Coming to a Theater Near You: 5 Lessons from “The Biggest Little Farm”

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

An email in my inbox last month caught my attention. It was from author, environmental advocate, and Academy Award-winning film producer Laurie David (“An Inconvenient Truth”), and it offered a preview of “The Biggest Little Farm,” a new documentary film David had coming out soon. “I promise you that any person that goes to see this film will leave inspired and caring a whole lot more for the planet,” her note said. “I promise you it will help your organization achieve your goals!”

I clicked on the link, watched the trailer, was intrigued. The movie looked gorgeous. But would it hold up to scrutiny from skeptical agricultural scientists? Read more >

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Photo: iStock.com//Alija

Vegetable Production in the US: Lots of Potatoes, More Kale, and Other Trends

, Economist

Vegetables—they’ve got me working overtime lately. That’s because my preschool-age daughter recently seems less than excited about these healthy foods. She’ll likely outgrow her (very common) picky-eater phase and enjoy vegetables. I hope.

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Map: USDA/NASS
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May 2000 Iowa State University delegation, Habana Province, Cuba. Photo: Jennifer Gay.

What if “Sustainable Agriculture” Weren’t Theoretical? The Case of Cuba

, Director, Food & Environment

“Are you farming without fossil-based chemicals because you have to? Would you do it if you had a choice?” We put our hosts on the spot with this question. They were agronomists at Habana’s Agrarian University, and they had just finished presenting some of their organic agriculture innovations to us. We were a group of 13 researchers, students and farmers visiting from the U.S., most of us from Iowa. Read more >

Photo: Jennifer Gay.
Source: World Bank
Photo: Jennifer Gay.
Source: The U. S. Energy Information Administration, The Global Economy
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Crops and livestock integrated in a regenerative agricultural system. Photo: Farmland LP

Here’s What Agriculture of the Future Looks Like: The Multiple Benefits of Regenerative Agriculture Quantified

, Director, Food & Environment

At the Union of Concerned Scientists, we have long advocated agricultural systems that are productive and better for the environment, the economy, farmers, farmworkers and eaters than the dominant industrial system. We refer to such a system as our Healthy Farm vision. Based on comprehensive science, we have specified that healthy farm systems must be multifunctional, biodiverse, interconnected and regenerative. Read more >

Photo: Farmland LP
Graphic: Our World In Data.
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