The world’s soil is in trouble. Ecologists say without dramatic changes to how we manage land, vast swathes of grassland are at risk of turning into hard-packed desert. Farmers and ranchers know in a few decades they’ll have to feed a lot more people, while at the same time, keep the soil healthy and make money doing it. KUNC and Harvest Public Media reporter Luke Runyon takes us to eastern Colorado, where researchers are turning to some unexpected partners to revive the soil.
When unapproved genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn’t take long for accusations about how it ended up there to start flying. A flurry of initial finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Fort Collins, Colo., which housed the same strain of wheat, developed by Monsanto Corp., for about seven years up until late 2011.