Ag + Environment

Aerial view of a combine harvesting soybeans

Mills County gains foreign trade zone, Syngenta operation

BY: - April 9, 2020

Syngenta Crop Protection will be the first tenant in a Wisconsin company’s Glenwood, Ia., industrial logistics project that has obtained a special trade zone designation to reduce tariffs. Warehouse Specialists of Appleton, Wis., worked with the Mills County Economic Development Foundation and the Greater Des Moines Partnership to gain Foreign Trade Sub Zone designation for […]

Iowa investigates fertilizer spill

BY: - April 7, 2020

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday was tracking a fertilizer spill into a stream on the east side of Mount Pleasant in the eastern part of the state. A Liqui-Grow truck carrying 2,400 gallons, a common size for a tank, rolled over about noon Monday near the interchange at U.S. Highways 34 and […]

Iowa officials: Water export plan dead without new application

BY: - April 7, 2020

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has thrown out a northeast Iowa company’s application to export water to drought-stricken states. DNR water officials sent a letter Monday to Pattison Sand Co. of Clayton, stating the company filed the wrong type of application, hasn’t answered a long list of questions, and failed to pay a required […]

Iowa economic development director: Invest in Iowa Act likely dead for this session

BY: - April 2, 2020

Iowa’s economic development director on Thursday said the governor’s signature plan to boost spending on mental health, outdoor recreation and water quality appears to be dead for this session. The Invest in Iowa Act, which calls for a one-cent increase in the state sales taxes and offsetting cuts in property taxes, was at the top […]

USDA approves Iowa’s hemp program allowing farmers to grow crop this year

BY: - April 2, 2020

In a major milestone for Iowa’s hemp program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the state’s production plan, which will allow farmers to plant and produce the crop. Starting this year, Iowa farmers will be allowed to grow up to 40 acres of hemp with THC levels of 0.3% or less, according to the Iowa […]

Iowa AG to Trump: Put the brakes on new regulations

BY: - April 1, 2020

WASHINGTON — Iowa attorney general Tom Miller and 20 other attorneys general from across the country are pressing the Trump administration to freeze pending regulations so officials can focus on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The attorneys general sent a letter Tuesday to the White House Office of Management and Budget requesting that the […]

wind turbines in corn field in Rippey, Iowa

PR firm sued for defamation in long-running court fight

BY: - April 1, 2020

An eight-year, million-dollar legal battle involving stolen seed corn, fraud and claims of racketeering and bribery has resulted in a new round of litigation in Polk County District Court. Just six weeks ago, a series of long-running court battles involving one of Iowa’s largest farm cooperatives appeared to have finally drawn to a close. Since […]

Environmental groups rake DNR, EPA leniency on rules; businesses in favor

BY: - April 1, 2020

Twin actions by federal and state environmental regulators to ease up on monitoring and enforcement during the COVID-19 outbreak has Iowa environmental groups fearing governments are using the virus to further an anti-regulation campaign that could itself cost lives. A key business organization says the moves are warranted and wise. And the U.S. Environmental Protection […]

COVID-19 has suspended bottle returns; grocers want to make that permanent

BY: - March 29, 2020

Iowa grocers hope a temporary reprieve from accepting empty beverage cans and bottles from customers will become permanent, the head of their association acknowledged. But in case that doesn’t happen, grocers and convenience stores in the Iowa Grocery Industry Association also have petitioned the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to change how the so-called bottle […]

Iowa state park restrooms closed, camping limited

BY: - March 28, 2020

Iowa’s state parks have closed restrooms through April 15 and will limit camping to enclosed campers due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported. The parks remain open. Visitors must bring their own hand sanitizers because no soap will be provided. Shelters, camping cabins, youth camps and lodges are closed due […]

Iowa DNR eases environmental rules during COVID-19 outbreak

BY: - March 27, 2020

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has eased a range of environmental regulations and application deadlines through at least April 30 in response to Gov. Kim Reynolds’ emergency declarations related to the COVID-19 outbreak. DNR will suspend fines for violations of various regulations, allow farmers to house extra hogs in barns if needed, extend deadlines […]

Inspections halted at Iowa’s food processing plants

BY: - March 26, 2020

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals has indefinitely suspended all routine inspections at the state’s food-processing plants. The agency is under contract with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to handle the inspection of Iowa’s food processing and manufacturing plants. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA recently issued an order instructing all states […]