Ag + Environment

National parks refine ticketed-entry systems to manage visitor boom

BY: - July 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — Watching the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain at Maine’s Acadia National Park is a gorgeous view — so breathtaking that on some days, as many as 500 cars could be found vying for the scenic overlook’s 150 parking spots. That competition has become more manageable since Acadia officials began using a reservation system in May, […]

Drake prof: Iowa’s water quality approach is ‘magical thinking’

BY: - July 31, 2021

A Drake University law professor called Iowa’s voluntary program to ease farm runoff and improve water quality “magical thinking” designed to “deny and defer any potential action” and to prevent farmers “from having to do something.” Drake law professor Neil Hamilton, former director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center, told the Iowa Farmers Union Thursday […]

Industry officials ‘optimistic’ lawmakers will pass biofuels standard next session

BY: - July 30, 2021

Industry officials are ‘optimistic’ that state lawmakers next year will approve a measure requiring retailers to sell higher blends of biofuels. A member of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board said Friday the legislation stands a better chance next session. Proposed by Gov. Kim Reynolds, the proposed state standard sparked a lively fight between convenience stores […]

‘It’s a tinderbox situation’: Western governors ask Biden for better wildfire prevention

BY: - July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden met virtually with governors from Western and Midwestern states on Friday to discuss how federal intervention can best aid states battling wildfires, amid complaints from states about federal forest management. “We’ve got big, complex wildfires burning across multiple areas,” Biden said. “We’re in for a long fight this year, and […]

Ag experts, Iowa D.C. delegation eye ways to add meatpacking competition

BY: - July 28, 2021

Members of Iowa’s congressional delegation on Wednesday called for greater competition in the meatpacking industry, while others said farmer-owned cooperatives might help. Both U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and a University of Missouri professor questioned whether a $500 million federal aid package for smaller meatpacking operations will change the industry significantly, at least in the […]

Pandemic-era rush to parks continues, hunting license sales up, fishing down

BY: - July 24, 2021

Iowans are continuing their pandemic-era rush to state parks, and resident hunting license sales are the highest they’ve been in at least three years. Some fishing license sales have been below last year, when pandemic restrictions made lakes and rivers some of the few places where people could safely be out of their home. This […]

Lawsuits filed by Tyson workers over COVID-19 still on hold

BY: - July 23, 2021

Before he died of COVID-19 last year, Arthur Scott of Waterloo worked in a Tyson Foods plant that manufactures dog treats. Even so, Tyson claims it cannot be sued in state court for contributing to Scott’s death because the company was trying to secure the nation’s food supply and critical infrastructure when it kept the […]

Stone-Manning nomination set to advance to U.S. Senate after emotions run high at committee vote

BY: - July 22, 2021

In a contentious meeting that distilled a weeks-long fight, the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee deadlocked 10-10 along party lines Thursday on approving Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination as head of the Bureau of Land Management. That means an extra procedural vote will be forced before the full U.S. Senate takes up the nomination of […]

Grassley, Vilsack, pork industry exec call for immigration reform

BY: - July 21, 2021

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Wednesday said Congress needs to overhaul the U.S. immigration system to ease a farm-worker shortage. But he added GOP members are unlikely to support action until Democrats secure the border. Grassley spoke to Iowa reporters on a day that featured a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on overhauling a visa […]

U.S. House passes PFAS bill regulating ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

BY: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water, as well as designate two types of those toxic chemicals as hazardous substances that would spark federal cleanup standards. The bill, H.R. 2467, also known as the PFAS Action Act of 2021, passed 241-183, with 23 Republicans joining Democrats […]

UI scientists: Corps should consider livestock, not just geese, as Red Rock pollution source

BY: - July 21, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ attempt to blame geese for dangerous fecal bacteria in an Iowa reservoir ignores the possible role of widespread livestock manure applications, two University of Iowa water quality experts said Wednesday.  Water-quality records kept by the Des Moines Water Works show a spike of E. coli bacteria last week in […]

Democrats unite around ‘climate corps’ that could employ youth, prevent fires

BY: - July 20, 2021

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged Tuesday to include a Civilian Climate Corps in a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill later this year, as a broad swath of Democrats rallied around a framework of employing thousands of young people to do conservation work. Schumer, D-N.Y., appeared with a handful of congressional Democrats, led by U.S. […]