Ag + Environment

Congress rejects expansion of Nevada Test and Training Range into wildlife refuge

BY: - December 5, 2020

A bipartisan deal reached by Congress on an annual defense policy bill keeps protections for Nevada’s Desert National Wildlife Refuge, blocking for at least one more year a military proposal to expand an Air Force bombing range. Conservationists viewed the final agreement on the bill as an all-out victory, avoiding both the Air Force’s proposal […]

Veterinarian: Iowa faces surge in fatal deer disease

BY: - December 4, 2020

Iowa is likely to see a second straight surge in cases of a fatal deer disease this winter, a state veterinarian said. In an interview, Dr. Rachel Ruden of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said the state’s confirmed cases of chronic wasting disease doubled last season and now stands at 91. She predicts another […]

Georgia congressman to be first African American chairman of the House Agriculture Committee

BY: - December 3, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Democratic caucus on Thursday ratified Rep. David Scott’s selection to chair the Agriculture Committee, making him the first African American and the first Georgian to lead the panel. “I was born on my grandparents’ farm in rural Aynor, South Carolina, during the days of segregation, and the hardships, of those, […]

Cedar Rapids businesses lose more than $133 million from derecho damage

BY: - December 2, 2020

The economic fallout from the derecho that swept across Iowa in August resulted in Cedar Rapids businesses losing more than $133 million, according to a new report released by the city. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration named the Aug. 10 derecho as the most costly extreme thunderstorm in history. Cedar Rapids and eastern Iowa […]

Iowa’s ‘ag gag’ has stifled investigations, despite pending court challenges

BY: - November 27, 2020

The legality of Iowa’s controversial “ag gag” law, designed to block undercover investigations at agricultural facilities, could soon be decided by a federal judge. The case is being watched closely by agricultural giants, labor unions, dog breeders and animal-welfare organizations around the country. Currently, a temporary injunction prevents Iowa from enforcing the 2019 law, and […]


Biden’s ambitious energy plan faces headwinds, but can move the U.S. forward

BY: - November 27, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden calls climate change an existential threat to America’s environment, health, national security and economy, and has promised a clean energy revolution to counter it. Biden has pledged that on his first day in office he will bring the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Agreement. He also is expected to restore numerous […]

Farmers likely to see more multinational trade deals crafted in Biden administration

BY: - November 20, 2020

WASHINGTON — American farmers who have gone through the drama and turbulence of trade and agriculture policy in the Trump administration can expect a far more sedate and multinational experience when President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January. On just the third day of his administration, President Donald Trump rattled world leaders and upended exports […]


Biden’s climate change plans can quickly raise the bar, but can they be transformative?

BY: - November 14, 2020

The day Joe Biden becomes president, he can start taking actions that can help slow climate change. The question is whether he can match the magnitude of the challenge. If his administration focuses only on what is politically possible and fails to build a coordinated response that also addresses the social and economic ramifications of […]

D.M. councilman pushes MidAmerican Energy to shelve coal plants

BY: - November 13, 2020

MidAmerican Energy would be pressured to retire its remaining coal plants under a new energy plan being considered by the Des Moines City Council. Council member Josh Mandelbaum, senior attorney for the nonprofit Environmental Law & Policy Center’s Des Moines office, is pushing for all electricity users in the city to get all their power […]

State: Derecho flattened a quarter of Iowa’s forest

BY: - November 12, 2020

The August derecho destroyed a quarter of Iowa’s already sparse forest land, state officials reported Thursday. The Department of Natural Resources plans to sell salvaged timber from at least six parks. The wind storm, which approximated a hurricane at times with winds up to 126 mph on state lands, also robbed Cedar Rapids of half […]

Commission rejects request to ban party barges in West Okoboji bay

BY: - November 12, 2020

Hundreds of boaters still will be able to anchor their boats and tie them together to form party barges near shore in Miller’s Bay on West Okoboji Lake, a governor-appointed state commission ruled Thursday. Neighbors of Miller’s Bay had asked the Natural Resource Commission to ban boaters from anchoring or tying their boats together within […]

Georgia congressman launches bid to lead U.S. House Agriculture Committee

BY: - November 9, 2020

WASHINGTON — A longtime congressman’s reelection defeat is opening up a contest among Democrats for the chairmanship of the House Agriculture Committee, and U.S. Rep. David Scott of Georgia is a leading candidate. Scott has announced that he’s seeking to run the influential panel after the current chair, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, lost Tuesday […]