Agriculture

Close-up of hands holding soil above tall grass.

New Documentary Highlights Regenerative Agriculture and Climate Change

Common Ground is a recently released documentary which urges viewers to rethink our relationship with soil and approach to agriculture and food production.

May 7, 2024 - In These Times

Aerial view of large solar panel installation in rural area in Indiana.

Solar Production Threatens Fertile Farmlands

Solar installations are causing soil erosion and raising concerns among farmers in some of the nation’s most productive agricultural regions.

April 30, 2024 - Reuters

Aeriel view of white sheep grazing on green grass between rows of solar panels.

Coming Soon to Ohio: The Largest Agrivoltaic Farm in the US

The ambitious 6,000-acre project will combine an 800-megawatt solar farm with crop and livestock production.

April 24, 2024 - Columbus Dispatch

Group of donkeys walking under photovoltaic solar panels in green field.

Making Solar Energy Land Use More Efficient

How an ‘ecovoltaic’ approach can balance energy production with conservation of sensitive land.

March 20, 2024 - Honolulu Civil Beat

Aerial view of Glen Canyon Dam on Colorado River among red rocks

Calls Grow for ‘One-Dam Solution’ on Colorado River

California growers and others in the river’s Lower Basin want the federal government to consider draining Lake Powell to conserve more water downstream.

September 13, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Graphic of Maggi Adamek superimposed over green field and image of hands holding tabletfor The Planning Commission Podcast

Do You Want Fries With That? Exploring the Intricacies of Food Systems Planning

Food systems expert Maggi Adamek talks with The Planning Commission Podcast about the complexities of food policy, from local zoning ordinances to international trade agreements.

June 9, 2023 - The Planning Commission Podcast

Compost Field

Human Waste as a Climate Solution

Using treated waste as an agricultural fertilizer is controversial, but the practice has several climate-related benefits.

November 21, 2019 - Yale Climate Connections

Pinal County Arizona

Insufficient Groundwater for Arizona County's Planned Development

New projections for Pinal County in Arizona show that water demand will exceed the area’s supply.

October 24, 2019 - Arizona Republic

Energy Use

Study Promotes 'Better Biofuels' by Focusing on Waste Sources

There are many environmental benefits to bioenergy, particularly when the feedstock comes from waste, as opposed to agricultural products that could be used for food. A new study applies life cycle analysis to four types of waste matter.

August 27, 2019 - Daily Energy Insider

Texas Wetlands

Texas Program Pays Landowners to Leave Coastal Lands Untouched

In an effort to preserve coastal Texas ecosystems and fight global warming, a new nonprofit is paying landowners to not develop their land.

August 23, 2019 - Houston Chronicle

Hydroponic Farming

Is This Chicago Indoor Vertical Farm the Future of Agriculture?

A new indoor vertical farming venture in Chicago seeks to change agricultural production by harnessing technology.

August 15, 2019 - Chicago Tribune

Agriculture

Land Use the Subject of Latest IPCC Report

Not urban land use, but in the literal sense: land used to produce food, graze livestock, supply drinking water, grow trees, and sequester carbon. As the climate warms and the population grows, crop yields will decrease and land will be degraded.

August 12, 2019 - The Washington Post

Bio Gas Installation Cows

Renewable Natural Gas Makes Inroads in California, Oregon, and Missouri

What is expected to be the nation's largest dairy biogas operation opened in the Central Valley. To the north, Gov. Kate Brown signed the nation's first bill to establish goals to add renewable gas to pipelines, and pigs in Missouri also made news.

August 10, 2019 - NGT News

Mississippi River Missouri

Polluted Chicago Water Travels Over 1,000 Miles and Wreaks Havoc in the Gulf

An algae bloom in the Gulf of Mexico has resulted in an oxygen-starved area the size of Massachusetts. Part of the problem is sewage runoff flowing south from Chicago.

June 22, 2019 - Chicago Tribune

corn field in polk county iowa

Summertime Ethanol Restriction Lifted to Help Corn Farmers—But at What Cost?

President Trump made good on his promise last October to lift the E15 ban in time for the summer driving season. Not mentioned by the Des Moines Register are the downsides to allowing the higher ethanol blend to be sold during the summer, e.g., smog.

June 14, 2019 - Los Angeles Times

Ticky tacky

Report: Sprawl Affecting Farmers in Greater Washington Region

According to a recent report, the self-sufficiency of agriculture in the Washington, D.C. region is declining. Encroachment from suburban sprawl, driven by a region-wide housing crunch, is one causal factor.

February 22, 2019 - Greater Greater Washington

Sierra Nevada Drought

U.S. Appeals Court: Climate Crisis Justifies California Clean Fuels Rule

California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which requires fuel producers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by at least 10 percent by 2020, has been opposed by corn ethanol producers and the oil industry since its inception in 2011.

January 28, 2019 - Transport Topics

Cattle Farmers

Meeting the Challenge of Feeding 10 Billion People Sustainably in 2050

With world population to grow by about 2 billion by 2050, and with more people eating higher on the food chain as nations develop economically, can world agriculture reduce its carbon footprint? A new World Resources Institute report shows how.

January 5, 2019 - Forbes

Pumping Gas

Trump Announcement Unites Big Oil and Environmentalists

President Trump announced at a campaign rally in Iowa that he would lift the ban on summertime sales of a 15 percent blend of ethanol, expected to increase smog levels. Both environmentalists and the oil industry oppose the action.

October 14, 2018 - PBS NewsHour

Philadelphia Urban Farm

Minnesota Grants May Bolster Urban Farming's Legitimacy

For the first time, the state of Minnesota is offering money specifically for urban agriculture, in a win for urban farmers who want to challenge the notion that agriculture is necessarily a rural enterprise.

October 10, 2018 - MinnPost

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