December 6, 2023



The Nation’s Corn Belt Has Lost a Third of Its Topsoil


Seth Watkins has been farming his family’s land in southern Iowa for decades, growing pasture for his cows as well as corn and other row crops. His great-grandfather founded the farm in 1848. “He came in with one of John Deere’s steel plows and pierced the prairie,” Watkins recounted. With its rolling hills and neat lines of corn stretching to the horizon, broken by clumps of trees, it’s a picturesque scene.