Ag + Environment

Iowa cattle growers ask Congress to address a beef over market rules

BY: - July 18, 2020

Several members of Iowa’s congressional delegation want to rewrite the rules governing cattle sales in an effort to help Iowa farmers who fear big meat processing companies are increasingly shutting them out of cattle markets. The rules that Iowa lawmakers are proposing would force cattle producers in places like Texas and Nebraska – where cattle-raising […]

Iowa farm with barn, silo and tractor

Bipartisan bill would allow farmers to pay rent with PPP

BY: - July 16, 2020

U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer on Thursday introduced legislation to allow farmers to use money from a key pandemic-related federal aid package to pay for rentals of equipment, land and buildings.  The Expanding Assistance to Farmers Act of 2020, co-sponsored by Congressman Dan Bishop, R-North Carolina, would clarify the rules governing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which […]

Fireworks pollution in D.M. rocketed three times higher than standard

BY: - July 16, 2020

Fireworks in Des Moines sent small-particle pollution to levels more than three times the federal standards on July 4, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported. Muscatine and Davenport also had health-threatening levels of fireworks-related smoke on the holiday, DNR added. It took a vigorous and pyrotechnic celebration of the nation’s birthday to log the […]

State plans sessions on Missouri River flood risks

BY: - July 13, 2020

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources plans three Zoom sessions in which residents can help identify key issues in Missouri River flooding.  The meetings will be July 28, 29 and 30 and come as a result of near-record flooding along the Missouri last year. The river stayed above flood stage in places for nearly nine […]

State: Western third of Iowa dry, eight counties in drought

BY: - July 13, 2020

Iowa’s strong corn-growing season is being tested in eight west-central counties that are facing drought, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that about the western one-third of Iowa is abnormally dry. Northeast Iowa, on the other hand, is wet. Iowa had 4.85 inches of rain in June. That was […]

DNR: Public water supplies had 120 health standard violations in ’19

BY: - July 13, 2020

A new state report on Iowa drinking water supplies details 120 health standard violations and 520 monitoring violations among the state’s 1,855 public water supplies in 2019.  The report shows that the systems’ failure to properly assess or treat bacteria led to 29% of the violations. High levels of copper accounted for 16.7%, arsenic, 12.5%, […]

COVID’s effect on Iowa’s gaming industry is still uncertain

BY: - July 9, 2020

Gambling revenues in Iowa are expected to show an estimated $300 million decline for the just-ended fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state gaming regulators said Thursday. That’s a decrease compared to last year of about 20%. Last year, casinos alone brought in $1.46 billion in adjusted gross revenues from table games and slots. […]

Judge’s order shuts down Dakota Access pipeline pending review

BY: - July 6, 2020

In a major victory for environmentalists and Native American tribes, a federal judge has ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline to be shut down and drained pending a new review of its impact on surrounding land and water. The ruling comes three years after crude oil began flowing through the pipeline that extends almost 1,200 miles […]


Who were the winners and losers of the 2020 legislative session?

BY: - July 6, 2020

The 2020 legislative session was historic mainly for 11 weeks of inaction as the session was suspended due to COVID-19.  Even so, lawmakers racked up a surprisingly robust list of actions. Here’s a look at some of this year’s winners and losers: Winners Iowa Black Caucus and racial-justice protesters: The police reform legislation approved unanimously […]

MidAmerican Energy doubles some rebates

BY: - July 2, 2020

MidAmerican Energy Co. will increase rebates for certain appliances and other equipment by 50%, the utility announced this week. The extra cash will be offered to residential and small business customers in Iowa and Illinois through the end of the year. The program covers high-efficiency air conditioners, which now will qualify for a $750 rebate, […]

ethanol plant

Reynolds adds $7 million in biofuels aid, extends tax credits

BY: - June 30, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday added $7 million in federal aid to the state’s $3 million biofuels infrastructure program. She also signed legislation extending tax breaks for the industry. Reynolds held a news conference at Pine Lake Corn Processors in Steamboat Rock, where she signed Senate File 2403 to extend tax breaks for higher […]

ethanol plant

Ernst, Grassley join flared-up fight over ethanol

BY: - June 26, 2020

Backers of Iowa’s ethanol industry are fighting a federal government effort to exempt more small refineries from buying the corn-based fuel while also pushing Congress to offer pandemic-related aid.  U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, both Iowa Republicans, joined Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and 12 other senators […]