The dirt on soil loss from the Midwest floods

As devastating images of the 2019 Midwest floods fade from view, an insidious and longer-term problem is emerging across its vast plains: The loss of topsoil that much of the nation's food supply relies on.

Studying Midwest soil erosion from space

Geologist and geochemist Isaac Larsen at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is used to tramping around in the dirt to conduct his soil research, but satellite photos of the Iowa farmhouse where he grew up have added ...

Agricultural bacteria: Blowing in the wind

The 1930s Dust Bowl proved what a disastrous effect wind can have on dry, unprotected topsoil. Now a new study has uncovered a less obvious, but equally troubling impact of wind: Not only can it carry away soil particles, ...

No-till farming improves soil stability

A joint Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-multi-university study across the central Great Plains on the effects of more than 19 years of various tillage practices shows that no-till makes soil much more stable than plowed ...