Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Environmental Science: Iowa Flooding and Wetland

Iowa's Rising Flood Risk: Blame Corn and Soybeans?
01/26/11 filed by Kate Wells
With Iowa experiencing heavier rainstorms and rising rivers each year, scientists say it's only a matter of time before the state is hit by yet another major flood. Communities are still recovering from previous disasters, like the ones that befell Cedar Rapids in 2008 and central Iowa in 2010. Environmentalists are trying to lower that risk by conserving land to slow run-off. But as market demand for corn and soybeans increases, there's little hope that conservation will win the battle for Iowa's acres. Iowa Public Radio's Kate Wells reports.

You can download and listen to the whole story here: 3 mins 45 sec Audio Clip

Environmental Science: A tale of two Seeds

Genetic Modified Sugar Beets vs Organics Swiss Chard

farmers in Oregon are struggling with growing organic crops near geneticly engineered sugar beets. The sugar beet are modified with the same gene that resist Roundup herbicide. The organic Swiss Chard is grown to produce seeds that sells to growers that want organically pure produce. The problem cross pollenation.

The chard and the beets are actually the same species. They're all Beta vulgaris, the way black Labradors and golden retrievers are all dogs. So anyone growing these plants for seed has a special concern: windblown pollen.

You can read more of the story here: A Tale of Two Seed Farmers: Organic vs Engineered

You also listen to the audio story as well by following the above link to NPR: All Things Consider.