SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- A new study documents a loss of 1.3 million acres of grassland over a five-year period here in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.
The research by Christopher Wright and Michael Wimberly of the Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence at South Dakota State University says a doubling in commodity prices has created incentives for landowners to convert grassland to corn and soybean cropping.
The authors say the conversion rates have not been seen in the Corn Belt since the 1920s and 1930s, the era of rapid mechanization of U.S. agriculture.
Grassland conversion between 2006 and 2011 was mostly concentrated in North Dakota and South Dakota, east of the Missouri River.
The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
All content © Copyright 2001 - 2014 WorldNow and KTTC, a Quincy station.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Jodi Neyens at (507) 280-5104. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.