Conservation

Reducing Nitrogen Fertilizers in Farming

Nitrogen is a vital element for plants. Unfortunately, farmland is often in short supply of it. Though 80% of our air is made of nitrogen, atmospheric nitrogen isn’t usable for plants. Instead, they need nitrates, which they take from soil.  Nitrates occur naturally from decomposing plants and animals, animal waste, rainfall, and even lightning. However, farming techniques such as tillage and planting the same crops year after …

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What Happens if Our Pollinators Die?

Last month, we discussed the reasons why so many of our major pollinators are dying. For honeybees, it’s because of Colony Collapse Disorder, which itself remains somewhat of a mystery. For bumbles, butterflies, and other pollinator species, however, it’s largely due to a loss of habitat, the use of harmful pesticides, changing climate conditions, and more.  With so many pollinators suffering, it’s important that we take …

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Carbon Sequestration Through CRP

While carbon, specifically carbon dioxide, is important for crops, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Carbon dioxide makes up just .04% of our atmosphere, yet it serves some important functions. As a greenhouse gas, it’s responsible for absorbing the suns rays and keeping our planet warm enough for life to thrive. Additionally, it’s a critical component of …

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Improving US Water Conditions Through CRP

Recently, Cargill announced a new initiative set to drastically reduce water usage and improve water quality in critical areas around the world. By 2030, they plan to restore 159 billion gallons of water to priority watersheds. As one of the largest US-based ag companies, Cargill is hoping these changes can inspire similar actions across the industry.  Agriculture is currently responsible for 80% of water use in the US.  While much of this water ultimately returns …

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