Ag + Environment

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Iowa biofuels rep: Oil states’ move to sidestep ethanol mandates ‘galactically stupid’

BY: - April 16, 2020

The head of Iowa’s biofuels association on Thursday called five oil states’ attempt to get the federal government to suspend ethanol supports “galactically stupid” and “pathetic.” The fight is the latest between two of the nation’s most powerful lobbies: agriculture and oil. And it comes after a string of court challenges over a federal law […]

Ainsworth, Ia., pipe blockage leads to sewage spill

BY: - April 15, 2020

A spill in Ainsworth in southeast Iowa’s Washington County about 8 a.m. Wednesday sent 1,000 gallons of sewage per hour into the North Branch of Long Creek. The leak was found about 6 p.m. Tuesday. A contractor removed paper and wipes from the sewer line and the sewage discharge stopped about 10 a.m. Wednesday. The […]

Tyson Foods plant will receive 900 COVID-19 tests amid outbreak

BY: - April 15, 2020

Following the spread of COVID-19 at Iowa’s meatpacking plants, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the state is sending 900 tests to a Tyson Foods plant in southeast Iowa with plans to trace the movement of employees who have tested positive for the virus so far. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported a surge of 189 […]

Report: COVID damage to Iowa ag will top $6B per year

BY: - April 15, 2020

An Iowa State University center in a new report estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic will cost Iowa’s largest agricultural industries at least $6.3 billion per year. Here’s a breakdown of the projected annual losses by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development:  — Ethanol: $2.5 billion — Hogs: $2.1 billion — Corn: $788 million — […]

Upper Mississippi River named most-endangered U.S. river

BY: - April 15, 2020

The flood-prone Upper Mississippi River, which draws Iowa’s eastern border, has been the named the country’s most-endangered river by the nonprofit American Rivers. The annual listing has paid attention to the Mississippi River for decades for a mixture of pollution and flooding problems. This time around, the narrative focused largely on what the environmental group […]

Iowa’s March was wetter, warmer than average

BY: - April 11, 2020

Iowa’s statewide snow and rain was above average in March, which turned out to be one of the warmest on record, state agencies reported. Some spots saw 2 to 2.5 inches more precipitation than normal. That left the Missouri River basin, which fought flooding into December last year, looking at 40% higher runoff than last […]

The Food Bank of Iowa's distribution center in east Des Moines. (Photo courtesy of Food Bank of Iowa)

Iowa governor: 354,000 Iowans face food insecurity during pandemic

BY: - April 10, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has created a task force to address residents’ food insecurity during the COVID-19 outbreak. Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg will lead the ad hoc panel, the Feeding Iowans Task Force. Included will be representatives of the Food Bank of Iowa, Volunteer Iowa and state departments involved in responding to the pandemic. Reynolds […]

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 […]