Gregory McIsaac is Associate Professor Emeritus with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and Senior Research Scientist (adjunct) with the Agricultural Watershed Institute. He holds MS and PhD degrees in Agricultural Engineering and has researched the impacts of agricultural practices on hydrology and water quality for over 30 years.

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Agriculture in much of the Midwestern United States is dominated by farms that produce two annual row crops—corn and soybeans—and have no livestock. Such grain-only farming operations became the norm roughly between 1950 and 1970. They produce a bountiful harvest for many food and non-food uses, but are heavily reliant on fossil fuels. And, …

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