Agricultural News


ASWM is keeping an eye on the development of the 2012 Farm Bill. On this page you can find updates on the Farm Bill as well as agricultural news in the context of wetlands and related issues. For Farm Bill 2012 resources on the web, click here.

Farming for improved ecosystem services seen as economically feasible

Science Codex – April 9, 2014

By changing row-crop management practices in economically and environmentally stable ways, US farms could contribute to improved water quality, biological diversity, pest suppression, and soil fertility while helping to stabilize the climate, according to an article in the May issue ofBioScience. The article, based on research conducted over 25 years at the Kellogg Biological Station in southwest Michigan, further reports that Midwest farmers, especially those with large farms, appear willing to change their farming practices to provide these ecosystem services in exchange for payments. And a previously published survey showed that citizens are willing to make such payments for environmental services such as cleaner lakes. For full story, click here.

Scientists Frustrated by Factory Farms

By Jim Lundstrom – Peninsula Pulse – April 11, 2014

Professor Robert Lawrence is in a select company of researchers.

"I think the only other group of scientists who probably are more frustrated than we are are the climate scientists," Lawrence said in a recent telephone call.

Read more...

Playing catch-up with runoff: Farmers plow new ground on water quality

By Scott Cooper Williams –  Green Bay Press Gazette–March 22, 2014

Randy Hallet hauled his cow manure out into the field to fertilize his soil every single day. Even in winter, he kept up the routine, knowing that the ground was frozen and that most of the manure would wash away into nearby creeks and streams. For generations, farmers throughout Northeastern Wisconsin have adhered to the same regimen. In the process, they have contributed to what is widely regarded as the region’s most serious threat to water quality. But a growing number of farmers are changing their ways and implementing practices aimed at protecting the environment by controlling runoff pollution from agriculture. For full story, click here.

Obama proposal doesn't change ag rules--why are farm groups worried

By Annie Snider– E & E Publishing, LLC – April 7, 2014

Today, farmers and ranchers can freely do any number of things on their property affecting rivers, creeks and wetlands that no other sector could undertake without going to the federal government for permission. Agriculture is different, Congress decided when passing the 1972 Clean Water Act. For the most part, the people who grow the country's food can plow their fields, build roads, spread fertilizer and drain water off their crops without needing a permit for filling in wetlands or washing pollutants into streams. For full story, click here.

Center for Food Safety sues USDA over genetically modified alfalfa

By David Pierson – Los Angeles Times – March 13, 2014

A food safety group filed a lawsuit in hopes of forcing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to release documents in court that could explain why the federal agency approved genetically engineered alfalfa despite its misgivings about environmental safety.  The Washington-based Center for Food Safety said Thursday the USDA may have come under pressure by seed giant Monsanto Co. to grant approval of its Roundup Ready alfalfa, which is designed to withstand multiple applications of herbicide. For full story, click here.