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Midwest

EWG’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. In the Midwest we pursue our mission by working to move agriculture in a more sustainable direction. Farmland dominates the landscape and watersheds in the Midwest. The way that land is used and managed has profound effects on our health through the water we drink and the food we eat.

Farming can actually make water cleaner and the environment healthier. Farms doing exactly that are scattered across the Midwest. We bring a unique combination of remote-sensing, big data and landscape analysis to bear to build pressure to change policy to heal the damage done by poor farming practices and to build excitement about how much healthier the environment could be through often simple changes in the way we farm.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Congress could dramatically cut spending on the federal crop insurance program without sacrificing anything other than the political objective of propping up a crop insurance industry that only exists because of taxpayer support. Cutting this spending would not necessarily mean providing farmers with less money, because the freed-up funds could be spent on programs that benefit both farmers and the public.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Obama Administration is ramping up efforts to link crop insurance subsidies with conservation requirements.

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, November 21, 2013

There has long been bipartisan support for conservation compliance by farmers and politicians alike. Now more than ever, those leading the way in reauthorizing the farm bill may hear a growing number of prominent Republicans voicing their support to relink to crop insurance the vital conservation compact between taxpayers and farmers.

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AgMag
Article
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dust storms have re-emerged across much of Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas, fueled by the same combination of persistent drought, plowing up fragile land and poor public policy that led to the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s.

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, November 14, 2013

As the cost of crop insurance has ballooned – from less than $500 million a year in the 1990s to more than $14 billion in 2012[1] – the program’s most ardent defenders keep repeating the same mantra: Crop insurance is better than budget-busting ad hoc disaster programs.

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AgMag
Article
Monday, November 4, 2013

Seven U.S. senators last week called for re-linking the federal crop insurance program to conservation compliance during a House-Senate conference committee meeting on the 2013 farm bill. The ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee also endorsed the linkage.

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, October 24, 2013

Last month, the National Wildlife Federation reported that more than 398,000 acres – 620 square miles – of grasslands, forests and other land were plowed, cleared or otherwise converted to grow crops over a 12-month period from 2011 to 2012.

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Supporters of the House and Senate versions of the stalled farm bill are arguing that they represent historic reform because both would replace Direct Payments with a suite of new subsidies designed to cover “losses” too small to be compensated even by the over-generous crop insurance program.
 
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Reports & Consumer Guides
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A report released today (Aug. 27) by the Natural Resources Defense Council supplies the latest evidence that the federal crop insurance program desperately needs fundamental reform.

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AgMag
Article
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

With interactive maps from EWG’s new report Going Going Gone!, you can find the “hot spots” where wetlands and other fragile lands are being torn up for crops and wildlife habitat is being destroyed.

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AgMag
Article
Monday, July 29, 2013

It’s just common sense: If you’re not sick, your doctor doesn’t prescribe you medicine. Why should the animals we eat be treated any differently?

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AgMag
Article
Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Across America’s heartland, in county after county and state after state, the landscape-devouring machinery of modern agriculture has been churning through millions of acres of irreplaceable wetlands and fragile, highly erodible grassland and prairie.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Media attention has understandably focused on flooding, especially given the devastating floods that have repeatedly struck the region in recent years.This year, it looks as if the Midwest will dodge the bullet – flooding has been damaging and heart-breaking for those affected, but nothing yet has resembled the scope and devastation of the 1993 and 2008 floods.

But the Corn Belt’s rich soil and streams, especially in Iowa, haven’t been as lucky. The storms that pushed streams and rivers out of their banks have battered largely unprotected cropland soils throughout the region, sending tons of mud and farm chemicals into road ditches and streams across the heartland.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How many members of Congress receive farm subsidies? If the House adopts an amendment to the farm bill requiring disclosure of subsidy recipients, including those who get crop insurance subsidies, we’ll finally get to know.

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, May 23, 2013

Since it was first authorized in the 1996 farm bill, USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program has grown into the single most important federal program that helps farmers and ranchers protect farmland and the environment as they grow America’s food.

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AgMag
Article
Monday, May 13, 2013

Two out of every five farmers who seek assistance in reducing water pollution from their fields or the amount of pesticides and antibiotics they use are being turned away because USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service lacks sufficient funding.

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AgMag
Article
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The reality is that the nation’s primary prairie and wetlands protection program – the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) – was not designed to meet the environmental challenges being created by record prices for farm commodities. Because the majority of the land in the program is taken out of agricultural production under 10- and 15-year rental agreements with the owners, cropland that had been “restored” with grasses and trees is increasingly being plowed under to grow crops again as soon as these agreements expire. As a result, the benefits of taxpayers’ investment in these short-term agreements have proved to be fleeting.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

There were two reasons that Environmental Working Group commissioned agricultural economist Bruce Babcock of Iowa State University to analyze how the heavily subsidized federal crop insurance program performed during the Corn Belt drought of 2012.  The 2012 drought drastically cut crop yields across several states and Congress is about to take up the farm bill again under serious pressure to cut spending.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, April 26, 2013

We’ve all heard of pink slime. Now, there’s green slime too.

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, April 4, 2013

March 26 report by the Environmental Protection Agency has found that 55 percent of the nation’s stream and river miles are in poor condition, mainly because of industrial agriculture.

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AgMag
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