“Green Deserts:”

How Large-Scale Farmland, Dedicated to Corn and Soy the Size of the East Coast, Has Neglected Wildlife

NPR’s Morning Edition reports on an agricultural sustainability crisis: Only 10% of U.S. farmland is designated for wild grasses and wildflowers, key to soil preservation and wildlife habitat. One key problem: many farmers do not own the farmland to enable them to control the environmental damage. In fact, farmers only own half, the remainder by absentee landlords who are elderly or inexperienced with farmland management. Adding further concern: about 10-15% of all acres in Iowa are not profitable, according to Steve Bruere of the Peoples Company in Des Moines, a farm profitability consultant.
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