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From the Corn Belt to the Gulf: Societal and Environmental Implications of Alternative Agricultural Futures                                                                                   June 15, 2007


A briefing with the editors of a forthcoming book to be published by RFF Press.

Book Cover: From the Corn Belt to the Gulf
From the Corn Belt to the Gulf: Societal and Environmental Implications of Alternative Agricultural Futures

Edited by:
Joan Nassauer
Mary Santelmann, and Donald Scavia

Nutrients from farms in the Mississippi River Basin are the leading cause of the Gulf of Mexico's "Dead Zone," a 5,000 to 7,000 square mile region where declining oxygen levels are threatening the survival of marine life. From the Corn Belt to the Gulf explores how new agricultural policy can help alleviate this problem, and at the same time improve water quality overall, enhance biodiversity, improve the quality of life for the people who live and work in Corn Belt communities, and relieve downstream flooding.

The work concludes that innovations in conservation and cropping practices could reduce the amount of nitrogen reaching the Gulf by 40 percent. Those innovations include improvements in the precision of fertilizer applications, targeted upland habitat and wetland restoration, and the production of perennial crops like switch grass.

The presentation had an accompanying Powerpoint slideshow that can be downloaded here.

Viewing video presentations requires Real Player.

Listen to this event: Link to Audio

 

Introduction
Scott Faber, Director of Farm Policy, Environmental Defense

 

Scott Faber
Real

Donald Scavia, University of Michigan

Donald Scavia is a professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, where he is also director of the Michigan Sea Grant Program, and director of the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research.

Donald Scavia
Real

Joan Iverson Nassauer, University of Michigan

Joan Iverson Nassauer is professor of landscape architecture in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan.

Joan Nassauer
Real

Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers
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