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Policy Plate BLOG

Your daily serving of food and farm policy.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A new analysis released by Environmental Working Group shows that 1.9 million acres of wetlands and nearby habitat, and 5.3 million acres of highly erodible land were plowed up in the United States between 2008 and 2012 to grow row crops.

Using modern mapping and geospatial technologies, researchers documented that the most dramatic loss of wetlands occurred in three states – South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota – the core of the critically important Prairie Pothole Region. Exploitation of highly erodible land is more widespread, with 10 states – Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Montana, North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska – accounting for 57 percent of all the highly erodible land converted to cropland.

The new analysis, titled, “Going, Going, Gone!”, is a follow-up to EWG’s widely cited Plowed Under report, which was released in 2012.

See the full report here.

Go to Business Week and the San Francisco Chronicle for more Going, Going, Gone coverage.

Table Scraps:

Reuters and the New York Times write on the GAO report that found $22 million in crop insurance subsidies were paid to deceased policyholders over the past four years.

Tweet of the Day:

@NBCNews USDA paid out $32 million in soil conservation payments & crop insurance aid to dead farmers 2008-12, GAO says 

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