This spring, the Biden administration began allocating $3.1 billion to hundreds of agriculture organizations, corporations, universities, and nonprofits for climate-smart projects. As Gabriel Popkin writes in FERN’s latest story, published with Yale Environment 360, “The USDA estimates that the 141 funded projects will, collectively over the project’s five-year lifetime, eliminate or sequester the equivalent of 60 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, on par with removing more than 2.4 million gas-powered cars from the road over the same period.”
Over a 10-year period, conservation tillage became the most popular tillage practice on U.S. cropland, said a USDA agency on Thursday. The Natural Resources Conservation Service said the practice, which leaves crop residue on at least 30 percent of the soil surface to reduce erosion, had been adopted on 53.4 million acres by the mid-2010s.
More than a half century after the first Earth Day, with our planet in worse shape than it’s ever been, the challenge of slowing global warming and the environmental, economic and social devastation underway can sometimes feel like too much — too expensive, too complicated and too politically divisive to overcome. But when we wake up every morning in rural Marion County, Iowa, we aren’t filled with despair. We’re filled with hope in a revolutionary idea: that farmers will help mitigate climate damage that farmers will help mitigate climate damage if we pay them to make their operations more resilient and sustainable. (No paywall)
Midwestern farmers, seeking to expand their crop lands, are destroying millions of trees that helped protect the region's soil after the catastrophic Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The removal of these trees is expected to worsen the impact of a drought that could come as climate warms the region, says Carson Vaughn in FERN’s story with Weather.com.