Wednesday marked the 1-year anniversary of the deadly dust storm crash that claimed the lives of 8 people in central Illinois.

Extreme winds blew dirt from tilled fields, causing a 90-vehicle pileup on Interstate 55. Some say the tragedy could’ve been avoided if the fields were no-tilled. During the 2024 National No-Tillage Conference Innovator panel, retired USDA deputy secretary of agriculture Jim Moseley speculated on the regulation that could come from tillage-related incidents.

“Dust comes at all times of the year, and it's all dependent upon the conditions, but the fact that we're bearing this soil in large quantities across the Midwest does not bode well. I've worked in the policy arena for 30 years, and the moment will arise when it will end up in the courts or in legislative bodies. There's going to be action taken. When that happens, farmers are going to be very unhappy because I think we're going to begin to see the insurance companies walk away from the great risks that are being felt. I-55 was really a major tragedy that I think has set the stage for that to happen.”    

We have much more from the Innovator panel on the cost of erosion and a look back at the deadly dust storm in a new article from managing editor Michaela Paukner on

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