Friday, August 19, 2022


A look at lack of representation as a deterrent for young voters; Maine's DOT goes green while Washington state aims to make homes more energy resilient; and a growing momentum for trauma-informed care.


Florida judge says Mar-a-Lago search affidavit should be partially released, former chief financial officer of Trump Organization pleads guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud, and the Biden administration says it's moving monkeypox vaccine production to U.S.


More women enter politics in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade, one owner of a small town Texas newspaper fights to keep local news alive, and millions of mental health dollars could help reduce the suicide rate among farmers and ranchers.

Restoring Soil Through Carbon Sequestering Benefits Farmers, Climate


Tuesday, June 7, 2022   

With Nebraska farmers facing runaway costs for herbicides and fertilizers this year, a new Center for Rural Affairs report suggested adopting simple conservation practices can help restore soil and improve bottom lines.

Kayla Bergman, policy manager at the Center, said the practices also put carbon, the greenhouse gas linked with climate change, to work improving crop yields.

"Our agriculture soils can actually sequester carbon and become a carbon sink," Bergman explained. "The carbon is not in the air, it's actually in a form in the soil and can be stored long term."

Some farmers have been reluctant to adopt conservation practices in the past due to their upfront costs, which can be significant. But Bergman pointed out funds are available through the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Money, and technical support for getting started and staying on track, can be accessed at your county's U.S. Department of Agriculture service center.

The seven practices recommended in the report help reduce the use of chemicals on lands which can compromise drinking water, soil health and wildlife habitat. Bergman noted now is a great time to shift away from fertilizers and herbicides, which have more than doubled in price over the past year.

"These conservation practices can assist with reducing input costs," Bergman observed. "They also build that healthy soil on farms that leads to better yields and long-term reduced inputs on farms."

The conservation measures aim to restore historically rich topsoil in the nation's breadbasket, which has been completely removed from approximately one third of the Midwest. Bergman added farmers can increase their land's water-holding capacity, aggregate stability and nutrient availability through common-sense management.

"Including things like cover crops, which helps protect the soil from eroding in the winter," Bergman advised. "Also practices like no-till, which is actually just not tilling the land in between crops."

Disclosure: Center for Rural Affairs contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Environment, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Rural/Farming. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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