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Paying Farmers not to Farm Eco-Sensitive Land

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Touch the Soil News #309 This year the USDA is celebrating 30 years of the CRP (Conservation Reserve Program). In prior decades, breaking out land for farming was not particularly eco-sensitive. Once the politics worked out, it was decided that the best plan was to give incentives to farmers to voluntarily not farm the land and plant it back to native species – and allow wildlife to return. The lands targeted for the program were often hilly farms with excessive erosion and key to wildlife and wetland restoration. The payments are minimal – often between $35 and $45 per acre. The government put a statutory cap on the number of…

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When it Comes to Food – The Three Big Ominous Shadows Humanity Faces (Part 1 of 3)

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Touch the Soil News # 161 An old wisdom says big future events cast big shadows in the present. This is not trying to predict the future, but simply looking at the shadows showing up on the paths humanity has elected to travel upon. If we don’t like the shadows, humanity can choose a different path if it so chooses. One of the difficulties that arise when detecting big shadows is what to do about them. Since our readership is made up of folks with diverse backgrounds, experience and knowledge, we’ll just leave answering that question to our readers. As we present the three dilemmas, we could not assess which…

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