Ag + Environment

U.S. Senate clears measure to undo Biden WOTUS rule on wetlands

BY: - March 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — Both Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to repeal the Biden administration’s intensely contested expansion of what qualifies as wetlands that the federal government can regulate. The Senate approved a resolution, sponsored by West Virginia Republican Shelley Moore Capito, that would revoke the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of […]

Public lands bill gets second nod from Iowa House subcommittee

BY: - March 29, 2023

A bill that has the potential to restrict new public lands acquisitions — and that was shifted to its second Iowa House committee after passage by the first committee was in doubt — got preliminary approval on Wednesday. The bill would prioritize the maintenance of state-owned lands over acquisitions. Its supporters in a Wednesday subcommittee […]

USDA secretary battles with U.S. House Republicans over costs of federal nutrition programs

BY: - March 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans tussled with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Democratic committee members over work requirements in federal nutrition programs as well as spending levels for those programs at a Tuesday hearing. Republican members of the House Agriculture Committee charged Vilsack with evading bipartisan oversight in the USDA’s 2021 redesign of the Thrifty Food […]


Will GOP senators defy Iowa voters to protect unpopular pipelines?

BY: - March 27, 2023

We may learn this week who Iowa Senate Republicans fear most: The governor and the ethanol industry or the Farm Bureau and the voters. The pivotal issue is about pipelines. The majority Republicans in the Iowa Senate need to decide this week what to do about legislation to increase landowners’ power over encroachment by liquid […]

D.C. Dispatch: Iowa lawmakers address TikTok and tech issues

BY: - March 25, 2023

Iowa’s legislators touched on tech and TikTok this week with hearings that highlighted a continued focus on China. Lawmakers also worked to block emissions tests for livestock production while promoting ethanol and advancing technology in health care and agriculture. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks participated in the House Energy and Commerce committee’s grilling of TikTok CEO Shou Zi […]

DNR issues fines for manure spills and uncertified application

BY: - March 24, 2023

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently issued three fines for incidents that stemmed from manure spills or people spreading manure on land without being certified. One of the penalties went to Sutter Finisher, near Pleasantville, which reported a manure spill in April 2022. The farm has nearly 2,500 hogs and was pumping manure when […]

Third person fined for burning tires in eastern Iowa

BY: - March 24, 2023

The state has now fined three people for burning tires to accelerate a brush fire in eastern Iowa in December, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Mike Burken, of Blue Hyll Dairy near Clinton, had a nagging problem of people dumping tires on the dairy property, so those tires went to a nearby […]

Native American agricultural leaders detail farm bill priorities at U.S. Senate hearing

BY: - March 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — A roundtable of Native American agricultural leaders at a recent U.S. Senate hearing lobbied for increased sovereignty and social justice in the coming farm bill by expanding tribes’ jurisdiction over U.S. Department of Agriculture programs. It’s called “638” authority and refers to Public Law 93-638, which gives tribes the power to manage certain federal […]

House passes bill to restrict eminent domain for pipelines

BY: - March 22, 2023

Legislation that would restrict carbon dioxide pipeline companies’ ability to use eminent domain was overwhelmingly approved by the Iowa House on Wednesday. “I believe that the issue before us today — and the vote that we will take on this issue — is indeed historic,” said Rep. Steven Holt, the Denison Republican who led House […]

Trial delayed for pipeline trespassing case

BY: - March 21, 2023

The trespassing trial of a land surveyor for Summit Carbon Solutions has been delayed for a month because of a pending appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court, according to court records. The appeal asks the high court to review a judge’s denial of a motion to dismiss the case in January. Stephen James Larsen, 28, […]

Biden officially designates new monuments in Nevada and Texas at conservation summit

BY: - March 21, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden stressed that his administration’s efforts to conserve the nation’s land and waters are an expression of fundamental American values at the White House Conservation In Action summit Tuesday afternoon. Biden also announced the designation of two new national monuments in his address, Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in southern Nevada, and the […]

Stalled public lands bill moves forward in Iowa House

BY: - March 20, 2023

A Republican lawmaker who was a holdout last week on a bill that would prioritize the maintenance of public lands over new acquisitions has now decided to advance it. In the face of considerable public opposition, Senate File 516 was tabled Thursday for further discussion by an Iowa House subcommittee because only one of its […]