Discover stories in Agriculture
Follow the Cow that Follows the Burn
At the Chippewa Prairie in Minnesota, conservationists are using GPS tracking to learn the secret movements of an important grassland animal: Cows. Wait. Cows?
Wild Pollinators Are Critical in Keeping our Picnic Baskets Full
Bees may seem like uninvited guests at your picnic – but before you shoo them away from the fruit salad, think twice, as they play a critical role in making your picnic possible. Some of the most healthful, picnic favorites – including blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber, avocados and almonds – would not make it to the table without the essential work by bees and other insects. Most crops depend on pollinating insects to produce seeds or fruits. In fact, about <a href="http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/274/1608/303.long"><b>three-quarters</b></a><b> of global food crops</b><b> </b><b>require insect pollination </b>to thrive; <b>one-third of our calories and the </b><a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0021363"><b>majority of critical micronutrients</b></a>, such as vitamins A, C and E, come from animal-pollinated food crops.
A Bull Fight for Conservation
Studying bison interactions may help managers make better decisions on fenced preserves and ranches -- where most bison roam today.
Building Wetlands for Clean Drinking Water
Can building wetlands reduce dangerous high nitrate levels and thus provide clean, safe drinking water for thousands of people? Yes. But, when it comes to ensuring clean water, not all wetlands are created equal. Biologists know how to restore great wetlands to draw in ducks and shorebirds. Restoring wetlands to also help people may require a different approach. That’s the focus of an intensive research effort conducted by Nature Conservancy scientists on the Mackinaw River watershed in central Illinois. The wetlands—while providing wildlife habitat and healthier rivers—are being designed and tested to provide safe drinking water for the 90,000 residents of Bloomington, Illinois and surrounding communities where the town’s primary reservoir has had a history of high nitrate levels.