ASWM is keeping an eye on the development of the 2012 Farm Bill. On this page you can find updates on the Farm Bill as well as agricultural news in the context of wetlands and related issues. For Farm Bill 2012 resources on the web, click here.

By Apoorva Joshi – Mongabay – July 23, 2015

Around the world, humans have razed billions of hectares of forests, grasslands, and other ecosystems in our pursuit of land on which to grow our food and expand our infrastructure. Ecological restoration is a widely recognized way of reversing some of the damage done to converted land. Now, a new study recently published in Frontiers in Ecology finds it may help save one of the most imperiled ecosystems on the planet – while still allowing room for agriculture. For full story, click here.

The Wetlands Initiative – August 18, 2015

August has been an exciting and ground-breaking month for the Wetlands Initiative—literally! During the week of August 3, 2015, the Wetlands Initiative's senior environmental engineer, Jill Kostel, coordinated construction of the first farm-based wetland designed for nutrient removal in the Big Bureau Creek Watershed in north-central Illinois. The small wetland was built at Thacker Farms in Bureau County during a three-day Conservation Expo, co-organized by TWI and the Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association (ILICA). Nearly 100 people from 13 counties participated in the expo, learning about various conservation practices and observing the wetland's construction firsthand. For full story, click here.


By Laura Arenschield – The Columbus Dispatch – May 21, 2015

The farmlands of the Midwest are contributing to a dead zone the size of Connecticut in the Gulf of Mexico, where low oxygen levels have made it impossible for fish and other aquatic life to survive. On Wednesday, policymakers from across the Midwest met in Columbus to talk about ways to ease that dead zone and solve other agriculture-runoff problems, including the kind of toxic algae that plagues Lake Erie each summer. For full story, click here.

By Mychel Matthews – Idaho PressTribue – July 26, 2015

Nestled in a valley west of the Big Wood River lies a pricey chunk of land where cattle graze in the shadows of brush-covered foothills. Spiked Diamond Ranch operated for years as a traditional cattle ranch. But big changes are coming to the 750-acre spread. The ranch has no choice but to change, says its manager, Dan Vandermeulen. Using traditional farming methods, the ranch was not able to pull its own weight — and pay its increasing property taxes — forcing Vandermeulen’s family to think about selling. Farmers and ranchers all over the country have found themselves in similar predicaments and are experimenting with ways to survive in the competitive field of agriculture. For some, it means finding ways to increase production. For others, it means finding ways to reduce costs. For those in drought-threatened areas, it means finding ways to conserve water. For full story, click here.

Carey Gillam – – May 5, 2015 

The Environmental Protection Agency has wrapped up its review of the world's most widely used herbicide and plans to release a much-anticipated preliminary risk assessment no later than July, the regulator's chief pesticide regulator told Reuters. The EPA review of the health and environmental impacts of glyphosate comes at a time of intense debate over the safety of the chemical, and after the World Health Organization's cancer research unit declared in March that glyphosate was "probably carcinogenic to humans." For full story, click here.