Where corn is king, the stirrings of a renaissance in small grains

To the untrained eye, Jeremy Gustafson’s 1,600-acre farm looks like all the others spread out across Iowa. Gazing at his conventional corn and soybean fields during a visit in June, I was hard-pressed to say where his neighbor’s tightly planted row crops ended and Gustafson’s began. But what distinguished this vast farm in Boone, Iowa,… » Read More

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A Little Fish In Big Trouble

One of the most spectacular fisheries collapses in U.S. history occurred off the West Coast in the 1950s, when hundreds of boats severely overfished a Pacific sardine population already in decline from a natural down-cycle. The resulting crash decimated the largest fishery in the Western Hemisphere, closed down Monterey, California’s famed Cannery Row, and so… » Read More

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As Himalayan Glaciers Melt, Two Towns Face the Fallout

Recently, Buddhists at a nunnery in Zanskar Valley, a 30-mile-long alley of gray stone high in the Himalayas of northwest India, took the unprecedented step of planting an apricot tree. The valley is known as a “cold desert,” because just half an inch of rain falls a year. Temperatures in Zanskar’s highest villages drop to… » Read More

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