Ag + Environment

Nationwide bird flu outbreak leads to online conspiracies

BY: - May 20, 2022

A nationwide outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu, has struck poultry farms, backyard chicken coops and wild flocks of birds. Nearly 38 million birds have been culled in 35 states, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yet despite the horrific effects the disease has had on the state’s flocks, the […]

U.S. Senate confirms Chet Culver for Farmer Mac board

BY: - May 19, 2022

Former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver is returning to his leadership position at the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, which boosts farmers’ access to loans and is better known as Farmer Mac. Culver, a Democrat, was appointed to the 15-member board of directors by President Joe Biden in 2021. That appointment was approved by the U.S. Senate […]

State budget stalemate ends as 10 budget bills advance

BY: - May 18, 2022

An Iowa Senate panel, in a daylong session, advanced 10 budget bills Wednesday after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations among GOP legislative leaders and the governor. Gov. Kim Reynolds and House Republicans had proposed to spend about $8.2 billion from the state general fund for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2022. The House […]

New ethanol law could spark regional trend, biofuels exec says

BY: - May 17, 2022

A new state law that requires most of Iowa’s fuel stations to sell a gasoline blend with 15% ethanol will rapidly expand the fuel’s availability, but the law’s long-term effects might be more potent, according to the executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House File 2128, aimed at boosting […]

Lawsuit: Swift Pork endangered workers with free steak lunch during pandemic

BY: - May 16, 2022

The family of an Iowa meatpacking plant worker who died from COVID-19 is suing the company for allegedly failing to protect employees who were “crammed” into a dining hall for a free steak lunch in appreciation of their attendance during the pandemic. Jose Andrade-Garcia, the lawsuit alleges, was a 21-year employee of the company and […]

Farmers plant nearly half of Iowa’s corn in past week

BY: - May 16, 2022

A hot and dry week finally gave Iowa farmers their best chance yet to plant corn this year, and they put about 43% of the crop seed in the ground in that time, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Monday. Corn planting was about two weeks behind the five-year average a week […]

17 Iowa dog breeders are ranked among the worst in the nation

BY: - May 16, 2022

An Iowa dog breeder who admitted killing some of his unwanted dogs with stomach injections and then leaving them alone in their cages to die is among the Iowans listed in the Humane Society of the United States’ annual list of the nation’s 100 worst dog breeders. As in years past, Iowa has the second-highest […]

U.S. House vote to expand federal firefighters benefits seen as step toward parity

BY: - May 16, 2022

WASHINGTON – Years after firefighters extinguish a blaze, after the smoke has lifted and ashes have cooled, the people who risked their lives to contain the fire face another danger: cancer and cardiovascular disease resulting from exposure to smoke and heat. Government and academic studies have shown firefighters are 9% more likely to develop cancer and 14% […]

Antique tractor parts dealer cited for burning tires

BY: - May 13, 2022

A Strawberry Point man who strips antique tractors for parts to resell had been illegally burning the tires from the tractors until March, when someone reported a fire on his property north of town, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Jerry Everitt, 81, has agreed to stop burning the tires and is in […]

Prairie seed farmer fined for building river levees without permission

BY: - May 12, 2022

A Winterset farmer has twice built earthen levees near rivers on his land without a permit and was recently fined $5,500, according to a recent Iowa Department of Natural Resources order. Dan Allen, founder of Allendan Seed Company, was first issued a notice of violation by the DNR in 2014 for constructing a levee along […]

Biden pledges more support for farmers, ‘the backbone of freedom’

BY: - May 11, 2022

At an Illinois farm on Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced federal assistance to alleviate costs for farmers and consumers and ensure there is enough food to meet world demand as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues. Biden said he will double the recently announced federal funding to boost domestic fertilizer production. He also pledged to extend […]

 Biden administration vows to speed up environmental permits needed for infrastructure projects

BY: - May 11, 2022

President Joe Biden’s administration will seek to hasten construction of roads, bridges, wind farms and more by tweaking the federal review process for environmental and other permits, administration officials said Tuesday. On a press call, administration officials said they were seeking to make permitting easier without sacrificing environmental standards. The new permitting plan includes five […]