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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.

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Supporters of the House and Senate versions of the stalled farm bill are arguing that they represent historic reform because both would replace Direct Payments with a suite of new subsidies designed to cover “losses” too small to be compensated even by the over-generous crop insurance program.
 
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Reports & Consumer Guides
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A report released today (Aug. 27) by the Natural Resources Defense Council supplies the latest evidence that the federal crop insurance program desperately needs fundamental reform.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

With interactive maps from EWG’s new report Going Going Gone!, you can find the “hot spots” where wetlands and other fragile lands are being torn up for crops and wildlife habitat is being destroyed.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Monday, July 29, 2013

It’s just common sense: If you’re not sick, your doctor doesn’t prescribe you medicine. Why should the animals we eat be treated any differently?

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AgMag
Blog Post
Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Across America’s heartland, in county after county and state after state, the landscape-devouring machinery of modern agriculture has been churning through millions of acres of irreplaceable wetlands and fragile, highly erodible grassland and prairie.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Media attention has understandably focused on flooding, especially given the devastating floods that have repeatedly struck the region in recent years.This year, it looks as if the Midwest will dodge the bullet – flooding has been damaging and heart-breaking for those affected, but nothing yet has resembled the scope and devastation of the 1993 and 2008 floods.

But the Corn Belt’s rich soil and streams, especially in Iowa, haven’t been as lucky. The storms that pushed streams and rivers out of their banks have battered largely unprotected cropland soils throughout the region, sending tons of mud and farm chemicals into road ditches and streams across the heartland.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How many members of Congress receive farm subsidies? If the House adopts an amendment to the farm bill requiring disclosure of subsidy recipients, including those who get crop insurance subsidies, we’ll finally get to know.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Thursday, May 23, 2013

Since it was first authorized in the 1996 farm bill, USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program has grown into the single most important federal program that helps farmers and ranchers protect farmland and the environment as they grow America’s food.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Monday, May 13, 2013

Two out of every five farmers who seek assistance in reducing water pollution from their fields or the amount of pesticides and antibiotics they use are being turned away because USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service lacks sufficient funding.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The reality is that the nation’s primary prairie and wetlands protection program – the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) – was not designed to meet the environmental challenges being created by record prices for farm commodities. Because the majority of the land in the program is taken out of agricultural production under 10- and 15-year rental agreements with the owners, cropland that had been “restored” with grasses and trees is increasingly being plowed under to grow crops again as soon as these agreements expire. As a result, the benefits of taxpayers’ investment in these short-term agreements have proved to be fleeting.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

There were two reasons that Environmental Working Group commissioned agricultural economist Bruce Babcock of Iowa State University to analyze how the heavily subsidized federal crop insurance program performed during the Corn Belt drought of 2012.  The 2012 drought drastically cut crop yields across several states and Congress is about to take up the farm bill again under serious pressure to cut spending.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, April 26, 2013

We’ve all heard of pink slime. Now, there’s green slime too.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Thursday, April 4, 2013

March 26 report by the Environmental Protection Agency has found that 55 percent of the nation’s stream and river miles are in poor condition, mainly because of industrial agriculture.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Blog Post
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Forty years after the Clean Water Act became law, the data are clear: Iowa's rivers and streams are still murky. The pollution that continues to degrade them has become a case study on the consequences of the most serious flaw in this historic and otherwise effective federal law: It does little or nothing to address agricultural pollution.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Forty years after passage of the federal Clean Water Act, it is clear that farm pollution, which remains exempt from the law, is standing in the way of clean water in Iowa and across the nation, a new Environmental Working Group analysis shows. The law succeeded in cutting pollution from cities and industries, but 80,000 miles of rivers and streams in the U.S. remain badly polluted by chemical fertilizers and manure.

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News Release
Monday, August 6, 2012

High crop prices and unlimited crop insurance subsidies contributed to the loss of more than 23 million acres of grassland, shrub land and wetlands between 2008 and 2011, wiping out habitat that sustains many species of birds and other animals and threatening the diversity of North America’s wildlife, new research by Environmental Working Group and Defenders of Wildlife shows.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

High crop prices combined with unlimited insurance subsidies are contributing to the rapid loss of wetlands and prairie grasslands in the “prairie pothole” region of North and South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa.

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AgMag
Blog Post
Thursday, April 12, 2012

Water that runs off fields treated with chemical fertilizers and manure is loaded with nitrogen and phosphorus, two potent pollutants that inevitably end up in rivers and lakes and set off a cascade of harmful consequences, contaminating the drinking water used by millions of Americans. Treating this water after the fact to clean up the contamination is increasingly expensive, difficult and, if current trends continue, ultimately unsustainable. The only solution that will preserve the clean, healthy and tasty drinking water that people expect is to tackle the problem at the source. 

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Sunday, April 1, 2012

View and Download the report here: Giving it Away Free

A simple, free program to insure farmers against actual crop losses at full market price would be cheaper and fairer than today’s hopelessly inefficient and costly system.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Monday, August 29, 2011

Last week, the corn lobby posted a blog that abruptly declared its independence from so-called “advanced biofuels.”  This announcement made it painfully clear that corn ethanol will never gain America independence from our dangerous oil addiction and that the evolution of advanced biofuels is near non-existent.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Blog Post

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