"Extreme weather left its mark across the planet in 2016, the hottest year in recorded history. Record heat baked Asia and the Arctic. Droughts gripped Brazil and southern Africa. The Great Barrier Reef suffered its worst bleaching event in memory, killing large swaths of coral. Now climate scientists are starting to tease out which of last year’s calamities can, and can’t, be linked to global warming."
"Minnesota became the latest U.S. state on Tuesday to restrict controversial weed killers made by Monsanto Co and BASF SE that were linked to widespread crop damage, while Arkansas took a step back from imposing new limits."
"Advocates on both sides of the aisle say doubling funding for the USDA’s organic research program will help farmers meet demand and remain competitive."
"North Dakota's agriculture commissioner says he's scrapping a new requirement that people inform the state before applying the weed killer dicamba, but he's keeping a new restriction on when the herbicide can be sprayed."
Purges of EPA science panels by Administrator Scott Pruitt are just one among many moves in an ongoing dispute over the integrity of the environmental sciences in government policymaking. The latest Issue Backgrounder takes a deep dive with a briefing on five likely battles ahead for the coming year.
"Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years, a senior UN official said".
"OAKLEY, Kan. — The need to take better care of America's rural lands came to the nation's capital — literally — on March 21, 1935."
"America’s cars run partly on fuels derived from corn and soy. That’s because of a decade-old federal mandate beloved by Midwestern farmers but opposed by an unusual coalition of oil refiners and environmentalists. On Thursday, the Trump administration sided with the farmers and announced that it would stick closely to the current rules and quotas for fuel."
"The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has blocked an attempt to rein in emissions from concentrated animal feeding operations in the state."
"ATWOOD, Kan. — Kevin Holle's farm field is crowded with dried cornstalks that crackle in the breeze and ground that's dusty despite recent rain. Three years ago, this tract was one of the Earth's most endangered ecosystems: native prairie."