Returning the 'three sisters' – corn, beans and squash – to Native American farms nourishes people, land and cultures

For centuries Native Americans intercropped corn, beans and squash because the plants thrived together. A new initiative is measuring health and social benefits from reuniting the "three sisters."

Christina Gish Hill, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Iowa State University • conversation
Nov. 20, 2020 ~9 min

agriculture nutrition native-americans indigenous-peoples food-deserts us-history us-midwest vegetables corn thanksgiving food-sovereignty indian-removal-act reservations

Farmers are depleting the Ogallala Aquifer because the government pays them to do it

An invisible crisis is brewing in US farm country as the overpumped Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer drains. The key drivers are federal farm subsidies and the tax code.

Jacob A. Miller, PhD Student in Sociology, Kansas State University • conversation
Nov. 9, 2020 ~10 min

agriculture water farming drought corn irrigation water-conservation

A few heavy storms cause a big chunk of nitrogen pollution from Midwest farms

New research shows that one-third of yearly nitrogen runoff from Midwest farms to the Gulf of Mexico occurs during a few heavy rainstorms. New fertilizing schedules could reduce nitrogen pollution.

Chaoqun Lu, Assistant Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University • conversation
Nov. 2, 2020 ~9 min

climate-change agriculture rainfall nitrogen gulf-of-mexico us-midwest nutrient-pollution corn fertilizer sustainable-agriculture dead-zones fertilizer-runoff heavy-rainfall mississippi-river

New test is a better gauge of how much nitrogen corn needs

A better test for gauging nitrogen needs in corn fields could mean economic benefits for farmers and be better for the environment, too.

Fred Love-Iowa State • futurity
March 10, 2020 ~4 min

machine-learning soil nitrogen farmers earth-and-environment corn

Tool detects maize cooking in archaeological record

There's now have a way to detect a crucial cooking process in the archaeological record: the nixtamalization of maize.

Shelly Leachman-UCSB • futurity
Jan. 8, 2020 ~5 min

archaeology food crops indigenous-people science-and-technology society-and-culture corn

Rotating corn and soybeans may take a toll on soil

Rotating corn and soybeans offers environmental and management benefits to farmers, but could pose long-term tradeoffs for the health of the soil.

Fred Love-Iowa State • futurity
Oct. 3, 2019 ~3 min

agriculture soil crops farmers earth-and-environment soybeans corn

Gene discovery could boost corn’s nutrition

A new discovery could make corn more nutritious.

Todd Bates-Rutgers • futurity
May 23, 2019 ~3 min

agriculture food genes science-and-technology corn

Mutation ‘middle ground’ made corn good to domesticate

New research digs into the genetic changes in corn that came with domestication.

Fred Love-Iowa State • futurity
April 25, 2019 ~4 min

agriculture food genes domestication science-and-technology corn

To stop wasting fertilizer, find dud spots in corn fields

Almost all fields have certain areas with consistently low or high yields. Big data can help farmers avoid wasting fertilizer on them.

Caroline Brooks-Michigan State • futurity
April 19, 2019 ~6 min

agriculture data-science emissions earth-and-environment corn

Will a new pest beat transgenic corn to African farms?

An emerging pest called the fall armyworm is spreading rapidly in Africa. Researchers urge the adoption of Bt corn, but face skepticism.

Fred Love-Iowa State • futurity
Dec. 11, 2018 ~4 min

agriculture science-and-technology corn genetic-modification