Ag + Environment

Grassley: ‘The cattle market industry is broken’

BY: - July 23, 2020

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa says a recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on market disruption in the cattle industry underscores the need for congressional action. Grassley called on USDA to disclose the report last month. He is also urging Congress to enact price transparency measures to improve fairness for consumers and […]

Scott County officials, environmentalists blast rollback in car standards

BY: - July 23, 2020

President Donald Trump’s rollback of the nation’s clean car programs is costing Iowa lives and jobs, Scott County political leaders and environmentalists said Thursday. “Before the Trump administration rolled them back, the clean car standards were an effective tool to combat climate change, reduce air pollution, protect public health and also save drivers money at […]

House passes bipartisan public lands bill; next stop president’s desk

BY: and - July 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Major environmental legislation sailed through Congress Wednesday while the nation’s political leaders were stuck in intense negotiations over the contours of a fifth coronavirus relief package. The bill would provide $9.5 billion over five years to pay down the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog and provide permanent funding at $900 million per year […]

Fertilizer spill causes fish kill near Elkader

BY: - July 22, 2020

Fertilizer from a co-operative was linked to a fish kill along Roberts Creek a mile northeast of Elkader, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported. Businesses have to report spills within six hours, but a private citizen reported the Elkader spill. State investigators found dead minnows, carp and suckers among the dead fish along a […]

Iowa cattle growers ask Congress to address a beef over market rules

BY: - July 18, 2020

Several members of Iowa’s congressional delegation want to rewrite the rules governing cattle sales in an effort to help Iowa farmers who fear big meat processing companies are increasingly shutting them out of cattle markets. The rules that Iowa lawmakers are proposing would force cattle producers in places like Texas and Nebraska – where cattle-raising […]

Iowa farm with barn, silo and tractor

Bipartisan bill would allow farmers to pay rent with PPP

BY: - July 16, 2020

U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer on Thursday introduced legislation to allow farmers to use money from a key pandemic-related federal aid package to pay for rentals of equipment, land and buildings.  The Expanding Assistance to Farmers Act of 2020, co-sponsored by Congressman Dan Bishop, R-North Carolina, would clarify the rules governing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which […]

Fireworks pollution in D.M. rocketed three times higher than standard

BY: - July 16, 2020

Fireworks in Des Moines sent small-particle pollution to levels more than three times the federal standards on July 4, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported. Muscatine and Davenport also had health-threatening levels of fireworks-related smoke on the holiday, DNR added. It took a vigorous and pyrotechnic celebration of the nation’s birthday to log the […]

State plans sessions on Missouri River flood risks

BY: - July 13, 2020

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources plans three Zoom sessions in which residents can help identify key issues in Missouri River flooding.  The meetings will be July 28, 29 and 30 and come as a result of near-record flooding along the Missouri last year. The river stayed above flood stage in places for nearly nine […]

State: Western third of Iowa dry, eight counties in drought

BY: - July 13, 2020

Iowa’s strong corn-growing season is being tested in eight west-central counties that are facing drought, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that about the western one-third of Iowa is abnormally dry. Northeast Iowa, on the other hand, is wet. Iowa had 4.85 inches of rain in June. That was […]

DNR: Public water supplies had 120 health standard violations in ’19

BY: - July 13, 2020

A new state report on Iowa drinking water supplies details 120 health standard violations and 520 monitoring violations among the state’s 1,855 public water supplies in 2019.  The report shows that the systems’ failure to properly assess or treat bacteria led to 29% of the violations. High levels of copper accounted for 16.7%, arsenic, 12.5%, […]

COVID’s effect on Iowa’s gaming industry is still uncertain

BY: - July 9, 2020

Gambling revenues in Iowa are expected to show an estimated $300 million decline for the just-ended fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state gaming regulators said Thursday. That’s a decrease compared to last year of about 20%. Last year, casinos alone brought in $1.46 billion in adjusted gross revenues from table games and slots. […]

Judge’s order shuts down Dakota Access pipeline pending review

BY: - July 6, 2020

In a major victory for environmentalists and Native American tribes, a federal judge has ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline to be shut down and drained pending a new review of its impact on surrounding land and water. The ruling comes three years after crude oil began flowing through the pipeline that extends almost 1,200 miles […]