Monocultures of corn and soybeans carpet 75% of the U.S. Midwest, leading to soil erosion, water pollution, and massive greenhouse gas emissions.
However, a new wave of farmers is breaking the monocrop monotony by growing these annuals between long rows of perennial shrubs like American hazelnuts, which keep soils intact while harboring beneficial bugs and sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere.
Hazelnuts are a huge market internationally and have big potential in the U.S. either as a snack or an oilseed, since the fatty acid profile is very similar to olive oil.
Listen to an April 2021 report published at Mongabay.com about this news via this episode of Mongabay Reports, which shares evergreen articles from Mongabay.com, read by host Mike DiGirolamo.
This episode features the popular article, "Nuts about agroforestry in the U.S. Midwest: Can hazelnuts transform farming?"
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Episode artwork: Hazelnuts. Photo by George Hodan, CC0 Public Domain
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