Ag + Environment

Langston named to lead FuelIowa

BY: - January 17, 2020

Ronald Langston has been named president and CEO of FuelIowa, effective Jan. 20. He succeeds 25-year organization veteran Dawn Carlson, who will leave in February to focus on her family and her equestrian business, River Heights Ranch. FuelIowa is an industry group aiding and promoting business in gasoline, diesel, propane, ethanol, biodiesel and other liquid […]

Iowa farm with barn, silo and tractor

USCMA gets final Senate approval, awaits president’s signature

BY: - January 16, 2020

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement Thursday, sending the historic pact to President Trump for his signature. The agreement, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) but has some similarities to it, is big news in Iowa. Canada and Mexico are the top markets  for Iowa goods and commodities. Gov. Kim […]

Aerial view of a combine harvesting soybeans

Iowans praise signing of initial China deal

BY: - January 15, 2020

Reaction from Iowa on President Trump’s signing of the initial trade deal with China and was quick and mostly positive, with a dose of time-will-tell.  The phase one deal includes a promise from China that it will double its purchases from U.S. farmers in the first year, CNN reported. China is one of the largest […]

Legislators call governor’s agenda ‘bold’ but stop short of pledging passage

BY: - January 14, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday announced what may be her most ambitious agenda to date, centered around a one-cent sales tax increase that would be offset by cuts in income taxes, property taxes and other state revenue streams. Her proposals focus significantly on workforce development, environmental challenges and mental health, but also delve into abortion […]

Reynolds backs major water quality initiative, reviews mixed

BY: - January 14, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday called for a sales tax increase to fund $150 million in annual  water quality, conservation and outdoor recreation work. The 1 percentage point increase in sales tax would be offset by accelerated cuts in income taxes and trims in property taxes associated with mental health programs, which also would […]

Bill would create special driver’s license for teen farm workers

BY: - January 13, 2020

For Iowa teenagers helping their families out on the farm, there’s a new bill that would create a new special license that could let them drive a vehicle up to 50 miles in Iowa. The bill, introduced by Iowa Sen. Tim Kapucian, R-Keystone, authorizes the Iowa Department of Transportation to issue a “special minor farm […]

NRCS seeks comment on conservation easement rule

BY: - January 13, 2020

The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service will accept public comments through March 6 on its interim rule on the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, part of changes in the 2018 farm bill. “Through easements, agricultural landowners are protecting agricultural lands from development, restoring grazing lands and returning wetlands to their natural conditions,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr […]

COMMENTARY
he State Capital of Iowa is reflected by the Henry A Wallace Building

Iowa Legislature 2020: IWILL or IWON’T?

BY: - January 13, 2020

IWILL or IWON’T?  That’s a dilemma for Iowa Republican legislators as they open their new session in an election year that could challenge their majority. Will they raise the state sales tax a penny to pay for expensive water quality and mental-health programs? Or won’t they? Here are a few factors lawmakers may consider as […]

COMMENTARY
The Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines serves as a water supply and a growing recreational draw.

Don’t let special interests hijack natural resources fund

BY: - January 10, 2020

I have lived and worked on a small Sac County farm for the past 41 years. During our time on the farm, my family has restored wetlands and used sustainable farming methods. We have planted native trees and shrubs and worked to restore native fish habitats for endangered species. We have planted native grasses in […]

What’s Gov. Kim Reynolds got to worry about?

BY: - January 10, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds doesn’t seem to have a lot of worries these days.  She’s starting the second legislative session of her four-year term.  Her Republican Party controls both chambers of the Legislature. And her campaign just announced record-breaking fundraising for this stage of any Iowa governor’s term. Reynolds sat down with Iowa Capital Dispatch recently […]

‘How do you hide five grizzly bears?’

BY: - January 9, 2020

Many animals from the now-closed Cricket Hollow zoo were unaccounted for when animal-welfare groups arrived to relocate them. “It was apparent that the lion’s share of the animals – no pun intended – were missing when we first arrived there,” said Amanda Howell, an attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Last year brought 6 inches extra rain to Iowa

BY: - January 9, 2020

A new state report shows Iowa got six inches more rain than usual in 2019. It was the 12th-wettest year on record, with 41.5 inches of rain, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and partners reported. “2019 was a very wet year, but so was 2018. The last two years combined were the wettest two […]