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Growth Spurts blog
Biotech Scares Organic Growers in Kansas
Some Kansas farmers are worried about the implications of a plan to recruit bioscience companies to the state, according to a report in USA Today. "I do not believe that in corn country we can keep a genetically engineered crop segregated from a commercially grown crop," said Paul Johnson, an organic farmer who lives near Perry. "There will be cross-pollination. So the question becomes: Do you really want heart medicine in your morning corn flakes?"

The Organic Food Guide: 
How to Shop Smarter and Eat Healthier

All Flesh Is Grass
Friendly Solution to Revegetation
Planting grass in a series of small "islands" across western rangelands may be the most environmentally friendly way to reclaim these lands from invasive weeds, according to an Agricultural Research Service scientist. For years, scientists have used various methods to try to revegetate western rangelands overrun by invasive weeds. Now ARS weed ecologist Roger Sheley is studying "seed source islands" as a way to spread desired native grasses across rangelands that the weeds have taken over. To create the islands, Sheley plants a small plot of the desired species in the middle of a weedy area. Examples of the species he's tested include purple coneflower and cudweed sagewort. These plots are fenced off for several years, to allow new plants grow. In the meantime, livestock eat the weeds around the island. full text

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