(Data: Nancy Rabalais, LUMCON; R Eugene Turner, LSU. Credit: NOAA)

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico grabs the media's attention every summer when scientists funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) boat around the Gulf, taking its annual measurement. This year, it was bigger than expected at 6,474  square miles - roughly the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. 

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.