Saturday, September 24, 2022


The health-care subsidy extension a relief for small businesses; Consumer groups press for a bill to reform credit reporting; and an international group aims to transform how people view peace and conflict.


Condemnation of Russian war on Ukraine continues at the U.N, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there's need for worker training to rebuild Puerto Rico, the House takes on record corporate profits while consumers struggle with inflation.


The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Researchers: Mother Nature Knows Best


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

Nonprofit organizations employed nearly 30,000 Montanans in 2019. (Artur/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The work of some nonprofit organizations has only increased with the pandemic and the needs that have come from it. An author and expert in the field …

Social Issues

By Lourdes Medrano for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Arizona News Connection, reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Social Issues

Hispanic Heritage Month began in mid-September and runs through Oct. 15, and a financial institution in Washington state is finding unique ways to …

Fans of solitude say the route density in Labyrinth Canyon can make it difficult to escape the noise of motorized vehicles. (Bureau of Land Management)


Conservation groups say more needs to be done to protect the natural and cultural resources of Utah's Labyrinth Canyon from off-road vehicles…

Social Issues

Despite being aimed at children in kindergarten through third grade, Florida teachers say what's often referred to as the "Don't Say Gay" law has …

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., says she plans to call a legislative hearing on the practices of credit reporting agencies. (Kalafoto/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Consumer groups are pressing for legislation to reform the way credit agencies handle errors on credit reports. The calls to amend the Fair Credit …


A relatively small number of so-called "super emitters" are responsible for 40% of the methane emissions in oil and gas hotspots such as California's …

Social Issues

As "Banned Books Week" comes to a close, Connecticut libraries have been celebrating with great fervor - despite numerous book bans and challenges…


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