Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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Banking woes send consumers looking for safer alternatives, some Indiana communities resist a dollar chain store "invasion," and a permit to build an oil pipeline tunnel under the Great Lakes is postponed.

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Republicans say it is premature to consider gun legislation after the Nashville shooting, federal officials are unsure it was a hate crime, and regulators say Silicon Valley Bank was aware of its financial risks.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Montanans Learn About Healthy Agriculture with Soil Crawls

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Friday, July 1, 2022   

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls.

The presentations highlight innovative agricultural methods designed to increase the sustainability and productivity of agricultural lands.

Bob Quinn, an organic farmer in Big Sandy who specializes is innovative growing techniques in arid climates, is being featured this month, and said the main concern for growers in northern Montana is water.

"Every drop that falls on your land, you want to keep on the land and not have it run off," Quinn explained. "That's what we've been trying to do is learn how to better increase the water absorption and the water-holding capacity of our soils, which goes hand in hand with soil health."

Quinn pointed out healthy soil provides greater yields and more nutritionally-dense foods. The soil crawl, which includes an on-site workshop, is on July 9 and costs $15 to attend.

Quinn noted the region has faced increasingly severe droughts in recent years. A similar event was planned on Quinn's farm last summer but had to be canceled because of the dry conditions.

He emphasized typically, there are intense droughts followed by wet cycles, but they've skipped a few of those rainier seasons recently. Quinn added it makes some of the techniques he is pioneering for arid conditions even more crucial.

"That's really important in these days," Quinn stressed. "Where water shortage is going to just be a looming and a more pressing problem continuously."

Some techniques they will explore at the soil crawl include drought-resistance practices, such as heavy mulch and cover crops grazed down with animals.

Disclosure: Northern Plains Resource Council contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, and Rural/Farming Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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