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'Unpredictability is our biggest problem': Texas farmers experiment with ancient farming styles
by Nina Lakhani with photographs by Veronica G Cardenas in the Rio Grande Valley
The Guardian Translate This Article
5 June 2023
On 5 June 2023 The Guardian reported:
A study is under way in the water-scarce Rio Grande Valley region to see if commodity farmers can use the regenerative technique of cover cropping as a way to adapt to rapidly changing weather conditions. In one of the toughest growing regions in the US, commercial farmers like Frank Machac are experimenting with a style of ancient agriculture more known for soil health than profit.
Global Good News service views this news as a sign of rising positivity in the field of environment, documenting the growth of life-supporting, evolutionary trends.
... The 400-acre field is part of a real-farm collaborative research project to figure out how -- or if -- cover cropping, a regenerative agricultural technique, can help commodity farmers become more climate resilient.
Cover crops are planted between growing periods for cash crops -- grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits farmed to sell or eat -- to nourish and stabilize the soil rather than leave it exposed. It's an ancient practice being heavily promoted by the US government, as a way to help 21st-century farmers mitigate and adapt to rapidly changing weather conditions.
... The RGV [Rio Grande Valley] is located on a floodplain near the mouth of the Rio Grande, a hot and humid region that stretches across the southern tip of Texas and northern Tamaulipas in Mexico, where the weather is notoriously unpredictable and ultra-localized. ...The valley has been getting gradually hotter since the 1980s, but temperature rise has accelerated since 2010 -- mirroring global heating trends.
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