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Environmentalists look to carbon markets to slow grassland conversion

Spurred largely by high crop prices and increased demand, landowners in the Great Plains have converted hundreds of thousands of acres of native grasslands over the past several years into fields of corn and soybeans. Environmentalists have long warned that increased conversion to cropland, while boosting the pocketbooks of farmers, has led to a loss of habitat for wildlife and declining water quality. But researchers are beginning to quantify that it's also meant a significant loss of the soil's potential to store carbon.

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