"Over the past decade, farmers in the Great Southern Plains have suffered the worst drought conditions since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. They've battled heat, dust storms and in recent weeks, fires that devoured more than 900,000 acres and killed thousands of cattle. These extreme conditions are being fueled by climate change. But a new report from an environmental advocacy group says they're also being driven by federal crop insurance policy that encourages farmers to continue planting crops on compromised land, year after year."
"A federal judge has dismissed Des Moines Water Works' lawsuit against drainage districts in three northern Iowa counties the utility claimed are funneling high levels of nitrates into the Raccoon River, a source of drinking water for 500,000 central Iowa residents."
"Agriculture leaders including lawmakers from President Donald Trump's Republican Party on Thursday criticized his planned 21 percent cut to discretionary spending at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), saying it could take a toll on the rural communities that helped elect him last November."
"The reputation of Roundup, whose active ingredient is the world’s most widely used weed killer, took a hit on Tuesday when a federal court unsealed documents raising questions about its safety and the research practices of its manufacturer, the chemical giant Monsanto."
"The detection of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu at a Tennessee chicken farm has poultry farmers stepping up security in an attempt to prevent an outbreak like the one in 2015 that required the destruction of millions of chickens and turkeys in the Midwest. The appearance of milder forms of bird flu at a Wisconsin turkey farm and another Tennessee chicken farm has heightened concern."
"Fast-moving wildfires that burned through nearly 2 million acres (809,380 hectares) of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas this week have devastated ranches and left thousands of cattle and other livestock dead, officials said on Thursday."
"Later this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plans to launch the JPSS-1 satellite. Completing a polar orbit 14 times each day, it will give NOAA an unprecedented amount of infrared and atmospheric data – information that’s necessary to keep weather forecasts, agricultural outlooks, and disaster plans accurate as Earth’s climate warms."
"If President Trump tries to overhaul the contentious Clean Water Rule, he may find himself in much the same legal quagmire as his predecessor."
"President Trump has proposed large cuts to foreign aid at a time of acute need across Africa and the Middle East, with four countries approaching famine and 20 million people nearing starvation, according to the United Nations."