Ag + Environment

State panel bans Beaver Creek paddling, snowmobiling in Camp Dodge’s line of fire

BY: - May 14, 2020

Canoeing, kayaking and snowmobiling will be banned on a northern stretch of Beaver Creek in Johnston because recreationalists are in danger of being injured or killed by live fire and explosives from nearby Camp Dodge, headquarters of the Iowa National Guard.  The governor-appointed Iowa Natural Resource Commission approved the ban, requested by the Guard. The […]

MidAmerican: Wind tax credit extension would protect consumers

BY: - May 13, 2020

MidAmerican Energy said the Trump administration’s move to extend renewable energy tax credits beyond the Dec. 31 deadline would protect consumers from potential construction delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both of Iowa’s investor-owned utilities, MidAmerican and Alliant Energy, have major wind developments in the works. Both have committed to increasing their renewable energy, with […]

MidAmerican Energy hits 61% renewable energy

BY: - May 12, 2020

Wind energy and other renewable sources supplied 61.3% of the energy that MidAmerican Energy delivered to its Iowa customers last year, the Iowa Utilities Board verified in an order. That is a 10 percentage point increase over the year before in the amount of renewable generation as a percentage of total retail energy delivered. “We’re […]

Sierra Club calls for hearings on water export proposal

BY: - May 12, 2020

The Iowa Chapter of the nonprofit environmental group Sierra Club has called for a scientific study of a northeast Iowa sand mine’s proposal to export water from Iowa’s Jordan Aquifer wells. Pattison Sand Co.’s proposal should also be subject to public hearings, Sierra Club maintained in a news release. The group called on the Iowa […]

The Raccoon River in the Des Moines area is among the most-polluted in the state.

DM public works director, not just about potholes, helps guide $100M flood control effort

BY: - May 12, 2020

Jonathan Gano’s world isn’t just about fixing potholes and making sure trash gets picked up.  He has one eye upstream at all times. Gano’s role as central Iowa flood-fighter has led him to work on a $100 million plan to ease runoff and pollution upstream of Des Moines. He’s public works director for the city […]

Grassley, Farm Bureau ask Pence for meat-price investigation

BY: - May 8, 2020

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley and the head of the American Farm Bureau Federation appealed directly to Vice President Mike Pence in Iowa Friday to support a Justice Department investigation of possible price-fixing in the meat industry.  Pence, head of the federal coronavirus task force, was in West Des Moines in part for a roundtable with […]

Reynolds, Trump predict meatpackers ‘fully back up’ in 10 days or less

BY: - May 6, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday, during a meeting at the White House, that meatpacking plants would be “fully back up” within a week to 10 days. “Maybe sooner,” Trump said. Reynolds said South Dakota plants are coming back on board “and we’ll have most of our facilities up and going […]


To understand the danger of COVID-19 outbreaks in meatpacking plants, look at the industry’s history

BY: - May 6, 2020

Large meatpacking plants have become hotspots for coronavirus infection, along with jails and nursing homes. As of May 1, nearly 5,000 packing plant workers in 19 states had fallen ill, and 20 had died. Packing plants from Washington state to Iowa to Georgia have temporarily suspended operations, although President Trump has invoked the Defense Production […]

The Raccoon River in the Des Moines area is among the most-polluted in the state.

Iowa ag department opens water quality grant applications

BY: - May 6, 2020

Iowa’s Water Quality Initiative is accepting applications for cost-share funds that will be provided in July. The money covers part of the cost of planting cover crops or using other conservation methods such as no-till planting or use of compounds that reduce nitrate runoff. Farmers planting cover crops for the first time are eligible for […]

Iowa attorney general urges federal investigation of beef prices

BY: - May 5, 2020

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is joining a national effort to urge the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue a federal investigation into alleged price manipulation that’s raising the price of beef for consumers. Miller and attorneys general in 10 other states sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr about possible price manipulation […]

Trump’s critics warn his order to keep meat plants open imperils workers

BY: - May 4, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democratic senators are accusing President Donald Trump of putting workers at risk by ordering meat and poultry processors to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate Democrats are asking Trump to amend an executive order he signed last week, which declared meat plants to be “critical infrastructure” and ordered his administration to ensure that they […]

Iowa landfills bracing for possible arrival of hog carcasses

BY: - May 2, 2020

Iowa environmental and agriculture officials moved late this week to firm up plans to dispose of hog carcasses as COVID-19 continued to stress packing plants.  At this point, industry and government officials said hog farmers have not resorted to euthanizing whole herds. But with many packing plants either closed or operating at less than full […]