A new model for suburban development is springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement. Farms, complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees, are serving as a way to entice potential buyers to settle in a new subdivision.
This Thanksgiving, hungry families all over the country will finish off their holiday meal with a little slice of the Midwest. That’s because the vast majority of all pumpkin that comes from a can and winds up in a pie got its start on a vine in Illinois.
The next farm bill is all but certain to contain cuts to the food stamps program. Long championed by legislators from urban districts, the food stamp program isn’t just an urban concern. Families living amid fertile farmland struggle to put food on the table and increasingly rely on SNAP benefits.
As farmers across the Midwest have simplified the landscape and plowed up grassland to grow more corn and soybeans, habitat for pheasants, quail and other grassland birds has become increasingly scarce. And their numbers are falling.
Across the Midwest, farmers are taking a hard look at their water usage. In Nebraska, which leads the nation in the number of irrigated acres, they've had to become more efficient as water grows scarcer.
Microbiologists have long-studied plant soil. And now, some researchers are focused on how to harness the good things microbes can do, with the goal of diminishing farmers' dependence on chemical inputs.