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Midwest

EWG’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. In the Midwest we pursue our mission by working to move agriculture in a more sustainable direction. Farmland dominates the landscape and watersheds in the Midwest. The way that land is used and managed has profound effects on our health through the water we drink and the food we eat.

Farming can actually make water cleaner and the environment healthier. Farms doing exactly that are scattered across the Midwest. We bring a unique combination of remote-sensing, big data and landscape analysis to bear to build pressure to change policy to heal the damage done by poor farming practices and to build excitement about how much healthier the environment could be through often simple changes in the way we farm.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Critics of EWG research that highlights the runaway conversion of pasture, forest and rangeland to grow row crops like to claim that our findings are contradicted by the Census of Agriculture published by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. They say that the census shows that acreage under cultivation is actually dropping. There’s just one problem with that.

 

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AgMag
Blog Post
Friday, November 7, 2014

Many of the Democrats who lost their seats this week voted for the 2014 farm bill – only to see farm groups donate to their Republican opponents.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Friday, November 7, 2014

According to a new study from the Department of Energy, corn ethanol has helped drive down the energy content in a gallon of gasoline by 3 percent since 1993.  And less energy per gallon means fewer miles per gallon.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Blog Post
Friday, October 31, 2014

Clean, cheap water from your tap might soon be a thing of the past.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Policy makers seem to freeze with fear when confronted with terrifying algae. Regulatory and voluntary programs still haven’t produced a comprehensive and effective effort to stem nutrient pollution and combat the blooms. Left unchecked, water overloaded with nutrients willl cause more blooms in the future.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Blog Post
Thursday, October 9, 2014

Defenders of genetically engineered crops regularly claim that these varieties cut erosion by encouraging farmers to use tillage practices that enhance soil conservation.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A new analysis by economists at Ohio State University and the University of Illinois concludes that lavish subsidy programs created in the 2014 farm bill could cost taxpayers billions more than expected.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Thursday, September 11, 2014

From 2003 through 2012, crop insurance premium subsidies cost taxpayers $42.1 billion – 72 percent of the federal crop insurance program’s total costs.   If Congress had paid attention when it had the chance, it would have trimmed premium subsidies – instead of ballooning the deficit.       

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AgMag
Blog Post
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The problem of drift could worsen if the Environmental Protection Agency approves Dow AgroSciences’s new weed killer, Enlist Duo, which contains 2,4-D and glyphosate.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Friday, September 5, 2014

Corn-based ethanol is a major cause of the water pollution that is ravaging the Mississippi River basin and the Gulf of Mexico, a report by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inspector general concluded this week (Sept. 4).

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AgMag
Blog Post
Thursday, September 4, 2014

A new audit from Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds the agency’s strategy to reduce nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin and Gulf of Mexico is ineffective.

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News Release
Thursday, August 28, 2014

Working with nature is not simple. But you can make a good living at it when you get your business model and growing system in place.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Blog Post
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

In 2013, an Environmental Working Group report titled “WASHOUT” documented that soil erosion across Iowa farm land during that spring’s heavy rains had been far worse than previous estimates – in some cases carrying away a devastating 40 tons of soil in a single week from fragile and poorly protected fields. In many places, runoff carved “ephemeral gullies” as a result of growers’ inadequate conservation measures.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Monday, August 4, 2014

A new survey of Iowa farmland finds that “ephemeral gullies” are still ravaging many crop fields despite a few welcome signs of improvement compared to a year ago. Unprotected fields were once again battered by spring storms this year, according to a report released today by the Environmental Working Group.

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News Release
Monday, August 4, 2014

Simple, well-understood conservation measures would go a long way toward saving Lake Erie and hundreds of other water bodies afflicted with periodic algal blooms.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Next Tuesday (Aug. 5), Missourians will decide if their state constitution should be amended to enshrine a so-called “Right-to-Farm” provision. The vaguely worded and open-ended amendment states, “the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state.”

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AgMag
Blog Post
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A new study from the University of Minnesota confirms what we’ve been saying – big agriculture is contaminating your drinking water.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Blog Post
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

When people think about the causes of global warming, the food they eat typically doesn’t make the short list. But agriculture is responsible for 80 percent of human-caused emissions of nitrous oxide, which is a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

And now a new study by researchers at Michigan State University shows that using more fertilizers than crops need is even more harmful to the climate than previous estimates indicated.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Monday, April 28, 2014

Although Minnesota has a unique policy designed to curb agricultural water pollution by requiring a 50-foot buffer zone between farmland and the state’s river and stream banks, less than a fifth of the waterways in the southern part of the state are fully protected, an Environmental Working Group report shows.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Blog Post
Saturday, April 26, 2014

Nearly 170 waterways in southern Minnesota get a grade of D or F because they lack the required protective strips of vegetation that prevent farm runoff from polluting nearby rivers and streams, according to a report card rating developed by Environmental Working Group.

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News Release

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