skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Researchers: Mother Nature Knows Best

play audio
Play

Friday, March 25, 2016   

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – A new program aimed at improving water quality in the nation's heartland by using watershed-scale conservation to reduce nutrient runoff from farms has been recognized by the Obama Administration during the United Nations World Water Day Summit.

The program is a collaboration between the University of Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative and Indiana University.

The idea is to plant cover crops in the winter so the roots will hold the soil in place and nutrients and fertilizer won't run off into streams to contaminate the water.

Jennifer Tank, Environmental Change Initiative director and a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, explained they have been studying two Indiana watersheds, in Kosciusko and Jasper counties.

"You get a burst of green and it's keeping the soil nutrients on the fields, instead of having that stuff run off into the streams," said Tank. "So, it's really just using biology to keep nutrients where farmers intended them to be."

It is a U.S. Department of Agriculture project that pays farmers to plant winter cover crops over four years, and to install two-stage ditches.

Notre Dame and IU worked with Iowa State University, The Nature Conservancy, Walton Family Foundation, Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council on the project.

Tank said the next phase is to see if it will make economic sense for farmers.

"It does increase the workload and the uncertainty, and that's really something that we have to acknowledge when we ask farmers to do these additional conservation practices," she said. "It adds a lot to what they're doing."

Tank says planting winter crops is what farmers in past generations did – following Mother Nature's guide.

"In all natural systems, you find river flood plains or stream flood plains help during storms. Our channelized ditches that drain the ag fields don't have those and that means water runs off really quickly," she explained. "And so, we're not using Mother Nature's approach very effectively."

The project will last at least another year and Tank hopes it can then be used as a model for other states.



get more stories like this via email

more stories
The wells providing water on Santee Tribal lands had manganese levels more than 50 times greater than what is considered safe for adults. Excessively high manganese can cause problems with memory, attention and motor skills. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the Nebraska Santee Sioux Tribe hope a solution to their five-year water ordeal may be on the way. Their tap water has been unusable for …


play sound

Hurricane season is here, and conservationists are shining a light on the role salt marshes play in protecting coastal North Carolina communities…

Social Issues

play sound

This weekend, Father's Day will be tough for children with a dad in jail or prison. More than 200,000 kids in Michigan have had an incarcerated …


Social Issues

play sound

Local election administrators have new guidance from Wisconsin's highest court on alternative early voting sites. A political expert says the timing …

Between 2017 and 2022, Minnesota saw a more than 30% increase in farm acres planted with cover crops. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

When Minnesota farmers watch their crops grow this summer, some will monitor land that has better soil health. It's because of a fairly popular …

Environment

play sound

Close to 200 events are planned now through Sunday at California state parks for the third annual State Parks Week. The events advance Gov. Gavin …

Environment

play sound

As New York and New Jersey transition to electric vehicles, consumers have mixed feelings about it. Polls show fewer than half of New York drivers …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021