Study gauges insecticide effects on monarch butterflies

A newly published study sheds light on how insecticides commonly applied to crops affect monarch caterpillars. Conservation efforts to protect monarch butterfly populations depend on planting milkweed on agricultural land, but doing so may put caterpillars in close proximity to harmful insecticides.

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Diverse cropping systems don’t increase carbon storage compared to corn-soybean rotations

Diversified crop rotations protect water quality and have other environmental benefits, but recent experiments show that farms can’t rely on such rotations to improve carbon storage in the soil. The findings contradict widely held expectations that the extensive root systems of perennials and cover crops would deposit carbon in soils.

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Corn and soybean rotation could pose long-term tradeoffs for soil health

A new study examines the mechanisms that drive the decomposition of organic matter in soils that undergo long-term corn and soybean crop rotations. The study shows how corn and soybean rotations can provide important environmental and management benefits for farmers, but the practice also comes with tradeoffs that some farmers may wish to address by adjusting their management practices.

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