Dying lands: Farmers fight to save the ‘skin of the Earth’

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By Rod Nickel, Ayenat Mersie and David Stanway WINNIPEG/NAIROBI/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – In America’s dusty Corn Belt this spring, the land was drowning. In China’s Yangtze river basin, it’s bone dry. Farmers in both are fighting a losing battle to save the soil that produces our food. Carolyn Olson figures she did everything she could to protect her 1,100-acre farm near Cottonwood, Minnesota. She grows three-foot-high tall-grass buffer strips around her fields to protect the soil and in winter plants crops to provide ground cover. But torrid rainstorms in May washed away so much soil during plant…

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