cover crops

Grant Gerlock /Harvest Public Media

Like all business owners, farmers want to get paid for their work. Sometimes, that work creates problems for the environment, so regulators are advancing the idea of creating environmental markets to allow farmers to make money off of their conservation practices.

Abby Wendle

Corn and soybeans are the two crops at the center of the U.S. food system. In order to grow massive amounts of the crops, farmers in the Midwest typically apply hundreds of pounds of fertilizer on every acre they farm. This practice allows food companies to produce and consumers to consume a lot of relatively cheap food.

Michael Whiffen

Kirk Hanlin calls soil, "dirt where you want it." 

Hanlin, assistant chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in Hamilton, Illinois, and now has a second home in Nauvoo. 

Dry Weather Could Hurt Cover Crops

Aug 22, 2013

The USDA has issued a report saying over half of Illinois, and over 80 percent of Iowa is abnormally dry but corn and soybeans are not the only crops at risk if the dry weather continues.