Ag + Environment

Heavy rains improve drought in southeast Iowa

BY: - September 23, 2022

Heavy weekend rains have helped alleviate “extreme” drought conditions in southeast Iowa. Last week, multiple counties in the area were suffering from extreme drought — the second-to-worst dryness condition in ratings by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Drought conditions were upgraded to “severe” in the Drought Monitor’s most-recent report on Thursday, leaving no “extreme” ratings in […]

Beagles rescued from Virginia dog-breeding facility get the star treatment in D.C.

BY: - September 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — Now-famous beagles rescued from a breeding and research facility in Virginia were on Capitol Hill on Thursday as an animal welfare group and a California congressman pushed for legislation that would promote adoption of research animals. “It’s unfortunate that animals are still allowed to be used in testing. That hopefully is going to […]

Judge set to consider pipeline land survey request

BY: - September 22, 2022

A state district court judge is expected to decide next week whether to grant a pipeline company immediate access to a Woodbury County property for survey work, according to court records. Navigator CO2 Ventures, one of three companies that wants to build a liquid carbon dioxide pipeline in the state, is seeking court orders against […]

DNR drops fine against Ottumwa man for backyard junk

BY: - September 22, 2022

A rural Ottumwa man has cleaned a crater filled with junk in his backyard after the state levied a $7,000 fine against him in June after repeated requests to remove the trash, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. This month, the DNR rescinded the fine. “We finally got his attention,” said Anthony Kerker, […]

USDA to spend $500 million extending high-speed internet to rural America

BY: - September 22, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will send more than $500 million in loans and grants to telecommunications providers to bring high-speed internet to rural areas across 20 states, Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday. The department will spend $360 million in grants and $141 million in loans through its ReConnect Program to benefit sparsely populated communities, […]

Manchin’s energy permitting plan roils U.S. Senate and House Democrats

BY: and - September 21, 2022

WASHINGTON – The energy permitting proposal centrist Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III made a condition of his support for a major Senate Democratic measure would impose timelines on federal agencies responsible for approving energy projects, according to text of the measure released late Wednesday. Congressional Democrats are deeply divided over the Manchin permitting bill, with […]

Clash over climate change funding emerging in farm bill debate

BY: - September 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — As lawmakers begin envisioning the next farm bill, some U.S. House Republicans are wary of making climate change a priority for farmers and ranchers. The pushback from Republicans at a Tuesday hearing came as the Biden administration has tried to make significant new investments in climate change mitigation on farmland, last week announcing […]

Crop conditions steady as harvest begins

BY: - September 19, 2022

With the state’s corn harvest underway, about 64% of the crop is rated good or excellent, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Monday. That’s better than what the state’s corn was rated last year at this time — when it was 58% good or excellent — but the USDA predicts average yields […]

GOP leaders target ‘woke’ investments through state pension funds

BY: - September 19, 2022

Republicans in state capitals across the country are targeting an investing concept known as environmental, social and corporate governance criteria, or ESG for short. Describing these investment criteria as “woke” and “misguided activism”” GOP officials argue that by taking these factors into account when making investment choices, financial institutions are putting ideology ahead of making money. Experts on […]

Biden administration targets deep waters near Oregon, Maine for new offshore wind power

BY: - September 18, 2022

WASHINGTON—The Biden administration will seek to add deep-water offshore wind energy, a developing technology that isn’t yet widely used, to its mix of renewable energy sources, administration leaders said. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland told reporters on a White House call Thursday that their departments would advance efforts to increase capacity […]

Landowners say forced pipeline surveys are unconstitutional

BY: - September 15, 2022

An Iowa law that allows hazardous liquid pipeline companies to access private property for land surveys violates the state’s constitution, several landowners are arguing in state court. That argument is a response to lawsuits that Navigator CO2 Ventures filed against them last month that claim the landowners have barred the company’s agents from conducting the […]

Dairy farm fined for 200,000-gallon manure discharge into creek

BY: - September 15, 2022

The owner of a northwest Iowa dairy farm was ordered to pay the state more than $36,000 for a massive manure release last year that killed nearly 100,000 small fish in a nearby creek, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The manure discharge happened in April 2021 when a worker at Rock Bottom […]