Ag + Environment

Early corn harvests spur optimism about yields despite drought

BY: - September 18, 2023

Farmers so far have reported average or better corn yields despite their worries about the effect of this year’s drought, according to several Iowa State University Extension field agronomists who monitor different areas of the state. Virgil Schmitt, the field agronomist who monitors far southeast Iowa, said farmers have been telling him: “Gosh, I don’t […]

Summit permit process in North Dakota has reached ‘uncharted waters’

BY: - September 18, 2023

It’s not yet clear how utility regulators in North Dakota will proceed with their reconsideration of a pipeline permit for Summit Carbon Solutions. The state’s Public Service Commission granted the company’s reconsideration request with a split vote on Friday. It had unanimously denied Summit’s permit application in August because the company didn’t sufficiently show that […]

Hunters convicted of conspiracy sue TV station’s owner for defamation

BY: - September 18, 2023

A former Ankeny couple convicted of a federal crime related to trafficking in wildlife is suing the owner of a Des Moines television station for its reporting of the case. According to federal court records and the office of U.S. Attorney Steven Russell, Josh T. Bowmar, Sarah E. Bowmar and their company, Bowmar Bowhunting, were […]

Carbon pipeline company has not ‘taken any state off the map’ after SD permit rejection

BY: and - September 15, 2023

A recently failed permit application is not necessarily the end of a carbon capture pipeline company’s goal of building in South Dakota and four other states, according to a company spokesperson. “We have not taken any state off the map,” Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, of Navigator CO2, told South Dakota Searchlight in an interview Friday. The South […]

‘Severe’ drought or worse overtakes Iowa

BY: - September 14, 2023

Almost all of the state is suffering from some measure of drought, and dry conditions intensified over large areas of western Iowa in the past week, according to a U.S. Drought Monitor report on Thursday. The only remaining pocket of the state with normal soil moisture is in the far southwest corner in Fremont County. […]

Feds pledge more than $1 billion to plant trees in cities

BY: - September 14, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced hundreds of grants that total about $1.13 billion to plant new trees and maintain them in cities across the country. Tom Vilsack, the federal agriculture secretary and former governor of Iowa, traveled to Cedar Rapids Thursday to highlight the spending, which is being funded through last year’s Inflation […]

Rastetter resists subpoena request as ‘irrelevant sideshow’ for Summit permit

BY: - September 13, 2023

A request to compel the testimony of Bruce Rastetter, an influential agriculture executive, during Summit Carbon Solution’s permit hearing in Iowa is merely an attempt to “create an irrelevant sideshow,” Rastetter and his company, Summit Agricultural Group, allege. Some opponents of Summit Carbon’s proposed carbon dioxide pipeline seek Rastetter’s under-oath testimony for more information about […]

Iowa utility regulators want to finish Summit hearing by month’s end

BY: - September 12, 2023

The Iowa Utilities Board seeks to complete an evidentiary hearing for Summit Carbon Solutions’ pipeline proposal by the end of September, according to a recent board order. Summit’s hearing is in its fourth week. The company seeks a hazardous liquid pipeline permit in Iowa as part of its five-state project that would transport captured carbon […]

Battles over spending, farm bill, Ukraine and yet more loom over a divided Congress

BY: , , and - September 12, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House and Senate are both back in D.C. on Tuesday following a long summer recess, facing an overwhelming agenda of unfinished work — funding the federal government and reauthorizing major programs set to expire at the end of the month. Congressional leaders and President Joe Biden have only a few weeks […]

Rastetter testimony sought for evidence of Summit’s ‘anticompetitive’ agreements

BY: - September 11, 2023

Bruce Rastetter, the influential co-founder of Summit Carbon Solutions, should be subpoenaed to testify to state regulators in support of his company’s carbon dioxide pipeline proposal, according to the daughter of a landowner who is affected by the project. The daughter, Kerry Hirth, has filed a motion with the Iowa Utilities Board seeking to compel […]

Conditions of Iowa crops decline as they reach maturity

BY: - September 11, 2023

Crop conditions continue to decline in Iowa due to a lack of rainfall and available soil moisture, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on Monday. Only 21% of the state’s topsoil has adequate moisture for growing crops. Last week, the average rainfall in Iowa was 0.07 inches, far short of the typical 0.84 […]

State denies Summit permit; both carbon pipelines proposed in SD now rejected

BY: - September 11, 2023

FORT PIERRE, S.D. — Some landowners who’ve been fighting against a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline shed tears of joy Monday as South Dakota utility regulators denied a permit application from Summit Carbon Solutions. The decision means both carbon pipelines currently proposed in eastern South Dakota have been rejected in their first attempts to gain permits […]