Ag + Environment

Struggle over tax break for inherited farmland churns below surface in reconciliation bill

BY: - September 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Agricultural groups and farm-state lawmakers notched a significant win when U.S. House Democrats chose not to touch a big tax break for inherited property, avoiding for now a confrontation. But opponents remain wary that the idea could come back at any time as Democrats shape their massive $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, and search […]

Biden administration to move land bureau HQ back to D.C.

BY: - September 18, 2021

President Joe Biden’s administration has announced it will return the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management to Washington, D.C., reversing a controversial decision by the Trump administration — with the support of a bipartisan array of Colorado political leaders — to relocate the office to Grand Junction. The BLM’s Grand Junction office will instead […]

Dairy farmer: Fix ‘broken’ milk pricing system

BY: - September 15, 2021

A Granville, Iowa, dairy farmer appealed to a Senate subcommittee Wednesday to help fix a “broken” milk-pricing system she said has worsened conditions in an era of financial uncertainty. Christina Zuiderveen, managing partner of Black Soil Dairy LLC and an industry leader, said the federal milk marketing orders system “promised dairy producers that if their […]

Agriculture section of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, enhancing research

BY: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in farming. The $66 billion […]

Four big climate items in the reconciliation bill in Congress

BY: - September 12, 2021

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee late last week approved its first piece of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion spending blueprint on a party-line 24-13 vote. Among the highest priorities for President Joe Biden in the plan was addressing climate change, and the panel included initiatives ranging from oil and gas reform to offshore wind ventures. […]

State panel approves status-quo DNR spending ordered by governor

BY: - September 8, 2021

The state’s lead environmental agency would operate with the same $104.2 million in appropriations as this year under a proposed fiscal year 2023 budget limited by Gov. Kim Reynolds.  The governor-appointed Natural Resource Commission endorsed the appropriations request at its meeting Wednesday. Following Reynolds’ guidelines for budgeting, the department would begin with virtually every program […]

Axne: U.S. House to include $1 billion for biofuels in budget bill

BY: - September 8, 2021

The U.S. House will include $1 billion in biofuels funding in its initial draft of the budget bill, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne said Wednesday. “With the right infrastructure investments, we can quickly expand the availability of this low carbon fuel across the U.S.,” Axne, D-3rd District, said in a news release. “To fight climate change, […]

Preservation group to buy 50 acres along East Okoboji Lake

BY: - September 7, 2021

The last privately owned stretch of undeveloped land along East Okoboji Lake will become a wildlife sanctuary and low-impact public park after a $8.2 million fundraising effort wrapped up with a day to spare. The nonprofit Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation will retain ownership of the 50 acres just north of Elinor Bedell State Park, and […]

As Labor Day holiday begins, state posts nine beaches with warnings

BY: - September 3, 2021

As the Labor Day weekend begins, the state has issued “swimming not recommended” advisories for nine beaches. High levels of fecal bacteria were found in samples taken early this week at seven state park beaches: Backbone near Dundee Keomah near Oskaloosa Lower Pine near Eldora Nine Eagles near Davis City Prairie Rose near Harlan McIntosh […]

‘Tremendous shortage’ of ammunition challenges hunters as fall seasons approach

BY: - September 2, 2021

A shortage of ammunition is likely to drive up prices for hunters and sport shooters through at least part of next year, industry observers say.  National reports have indicated that prices are up 30% for some types of ammo. Some prices have quadrupled from pre-pandemic levels, Forbes reported.  As Iowa’s fall hunting seasons approach, many […]

Iowa is one of the nation's top producers of wind energy. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Axne: Iowa’s work on carbon, renewable energy points to next farm bill

BY: - September 1, 2021

Iowa will be at the center of efforts to use plantings to sweep carbon from the air and to build on renewable energy as the next farm bill approaches in 2023, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne said Wednesday.  Major pandemic-relief funds from the federal government also make this a good time to act on climate change […]

DNR: Pheasant season could be second-best in 12 years

BY: - August 31, 2021

Iowa pheasant hunters could reasonably expect one of the best seasons in the past dozen years, based on an annual population survey.  The Iowa Department of Natural Resources found enough birds on its annual August roadside survey to project a kill of 250,000 to 350,000 roosters, or male pheasants, this season. That would be the […]