May 1, 2015

Technology to Help Us Deal with Drought

Dennis O’BrienAgricultural Research Service

With droughts becoming more severe, water tables getting lower and an increasing demand for water from growing suburbs and cities, farmers know they need to use water more sparingly. That’s why recently patented technology developed by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Texas is so important. Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the […]

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April 29, 2015

Mapping Restoration Opportunities through Soil Surveying

Stephanie J. ConnollyUSDA Forest Service

Recent collaborative research by West Virginia University (WVU), the USDA-NRCS and USDA-Forest Service has linked spodic soil properties to the historical range of red spruce (Picea rubens) in the Central Appalachians. The data collected has allowed researchers to map the occurrence of these properties to help project the historical extent of red spruce before railroad […]

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April 27, 2015

Felines in trouble: a Brazilian scenario

Francine SchulzRio Grande do Sul State Sanitation Company Larissa Rosa de OliveiraUniversidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos Rodrigo Cambará PrintesBrazilian Institute for Biodiversity Conservation

Carnivores, such as large cats, are extremely important to maintain the ecological equilibrium in areas because they guarantee the diversity and resiliency of ecosystems. As predators, large cats can help control herbivore populations. Also, large cats usually leave behind a great part of their prey for several reasons, including providing food for scavenger and decomposer […]

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April 24, 2015

An Old but Still Pertinent Soil-ution from West Sumatra

Carol J. Pierce ColferCornell University CIFOR

In 1983, our team (from the University of Hawaii, North Carolina State and the Indonesian Center for Soils Research) began a multi-year program in Sitiung, West Sumatra. We began our work using a Farming Systems approach, living in a village and working collaboratively with local farmers. The Indonesian policy at the time called for food […]

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April 23, 2015

The African oil palm in Bahia, Brazil: Past, present, and potential of an Afro-Brazilian landscape

Case WatkinsLouisiana State University

In 1991, the Secretary of Culture in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia officially designated an eighty-kilometer strip of its Atlantic shores as the Costa do Dendê, or Palm Oil Coast, in a formal nod to the dense stands of African oil palms that had come to dominate local landscapes. Part of a broader initiative […]

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April 22, 2015

The sustainable solutions at our feet: Top five reasons you should “root” for soil health farmers on Earth Day 2015

Ron NicholsUSDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service

To meet the growing sustainability challenges of the 21st Century, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is reminding people that many of the solutions are right at our feet — in the soil. Here are the top five reasons NRCS says why on Earth Day, you should “root” for soil health farmers: A lot of people […]

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