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Friday, October 11, 2013

Farmers Convert Prairie Into Cornfields

A pasture near Ord, Neb., in June 2012 before it was broken out for farmland. Wildlife biologist Ben Wheeler called it an extreme case of land being converted from grass to corn. (Wheeler/Pheasants Forever and Nebraska Game & Parks Commission via Harvest Public Media)

A pasture near Ord, Neb., in June 2012 before it was broken out for farmland.  (Wheeler/Pheasants Forever and Nebraska Game & Parks Commission via Harvest Public Media)

In recent years, farmers in the Midwest have transformed millions of acres of prairie grass into rows of corn.

High crop prices were the primary motivation, but some also believe crop insurance is encouraging farmers to roll the dice on less productive land.

A provision in the farm bill, which is still making its way through the halls of Congress, may help stem the tide.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Grant Gerlock of Harvest Public Media reports.

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