Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media
The flood damage in Colorado is immense, reaching beyond homes and small businesses. The raging rivers also spilled into low-lying farm and ranchland, wrecking costly equipment and stranding livestock.
Across the High Plains, many farmers depend on underground stores of water, and they worry about wells going dry. A new scientific study of western Kansas lays out a predicted timeline for those fears to become reality. But it also shows an alternative path for farming in Kansas: The moment of reckoning can be delayed, and the impact softened, if farmers start conserving water now.
Across the Midwestern corn belt, a familiar battle has resumed, hidden in the soil. On one side are tiny, white larvae of the corn rootworm. On the other side are farmers and the insect-killing arsenal of modern agriculture.