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Our land, our food, our water - OLD

America's farmland is worth protecting. Farmers can do more than producing food and fiber. They can also produce clean air, clean water, and abundant habitat for wildlife.

Many farmers are producing food in ways that protect family farms and the environment. But, farm policies are doing too little to reward good stewardship and too much to underwrite unsustainable crop and animal production by the largest and most successful farm businesses.

To protect America’s families, farms and natural heritage, Congress must enact a farm bill that fully funds conservation programs, that links farm subsidies to environmental protection, and that supports transition to farming practices that reduce the need for antibiotics, toxic pesticides and hormones. Conservation programs must be reformed to produce longer-term protection of air, water and soil and to encourage farmers to work together to deliver these public goods.

Blogs

Conservation Success Stories

Why Environmentalists and Every American Should Reject House Farm Bill

The budget-busting farm bill approved Wednesday night (May 15) by the House Agriculture Committee and its leaders –Reps. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) – is nothing but bad news for the environment. Here’s why:

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Conservation Success Stories

Many Farmers Seeking Conservation Help Get Turned Away

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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Conservation Success Stories

Balancing Act Would Protect Food, Farms and Families

Americans have never been more interested in their food and how it’s grown. And the disturbing reality is that the way most of our food is grown today hurts families, threatens future generations of farmers and squanders our natural heritage.

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Conservation Success Stories

Programs to Reduce Ag's Water Use Must Be Strengthened Not Cut

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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Conservation Success Stories

Conservation Success Stories

Dick and Linda Grotberg began their transition to sustainable farming largely by accident.

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Balancing Act Would Protect Food, Farms And Families”

Balancing Act Would Protect Food, Farms And Families

 

We think America's families, farmers and food are worth protecting. That's why EWG is proud to support the Balancing Food, Farm and Environment Act introduced today (May 9) in the House and Senate.

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Hail to the Chiefs”

Hail to the Chiefs

 

Six former chiefs of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service today (May 7) urged the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to once again require farmers to adopt basic conservation practices in exchange for crop insurance subsidies.

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Mother Nature's Perfect Storm”

Mother Nature's Perfect Storm

 

Mother Nature has good news for people who love bad news.

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Great Plains

Satellite Study Documents Vast Loss Of Midwest Grasslands

America’s Midwest and Great Plains are often derisively described as fly-over country. And now unblinking, data-collecting satellites soaring over the western Corn Belt have recorded a devastating manmade environmental disaster.

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Green Slime

Green Slime

We’ve all heard of pink slime. Now, there’s green slime too. Unregulated pollution from farm fields is triggering slimy green blooms of algae around the globe, according to National Geographic. Its story documents how fertilizers that wash off farm fields feed massive growth of algae, setting off chemical chain reactions that create low-oxygen “dead zones” where fish and other aquatic life cannot survive.

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Dust Bowl

Meet The New Dust Bowl, Same As The Old Dust Bowl

Ken Burns, America’s premiere documentarian, has tackled topics from jazz to the Civil War. His new film chronicles the Dust Bowl, the massive ecological disaster that plagued a large swath of U. S. farmland during the 1930’s

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Reports

Troubled Waters

Troubled Waters

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. Read More
 
Murky Waters

Murky Waters

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.Read More
 
Losing Ground

Losing Ground

Across wide swaths of Iowa and other Corn Belt states, the rich, dark soil that made this region the nation’s breadbasket is being swept away at rates many times higher than official estimates. That is the disturbing picture revealed by new techniques that track soil erosion with unprecedented precision.Read More
 
Plowed Under

Plowed Under

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. Read More
 
Conservation Compliance

Conservation Compliance

America’s farmers need a safety net, but so do the rich soil and clean water that sustain not just agriculture but the entire fabric of American society. Read More
 
honor the conservation compact

Honor the Conservation Compact

Some commitments should be honored. In exchange for farm subsidies, farmers have for decades committed to adopt land management practices that reduce the runoff from their fields – a provision of the 1985 farm bill called "conservation compliance." Read More