Farmers can sign up for new farm bill programs starting next MondayIowa farmers can sign up for two new programs that were included in the latest Farm Bill starting next week. Val Dolcini , administrator of the Farm Service Agency, says farmers actually have several months to determine what works best for them and to make a selection between the Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs. Sign-up begins next Monday, November 17th.
Dolcini says farmers have until March 31st to make a selection. Also, farmers need to update their base acres and planting history information with their local F-S-A office. The deadline to complete that is February 27st. Continue Reading
Plans are moving forward for Iowa to become home to North America’s largest indoor fish farming operation. A Canadian company has gotten the approval from Webster City leaders to take over two vacant buildings for the new plant while creating 150 new jobs. Keith Driver, president of Vero Blue Farms, says they plan to occupy the former Beam Vacuum Manufacturing facility and the former Kenco warehouse. The Beam vacuum facility closed two years ago, while the Kenco warehouse has been vacant since the closing of Electrolux Home Products in March of 2011. Driver says Webster City was a perfect fit for the fish farming operation since a similar facility operated by cousins Jeff and Mark Nelson near Blairsburg opened a few years ago. Continue Reading
Iowa is no longer in the running to land a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant.
Officials with Cronus Chemicals have chosen Tuscola, Illinois as the site for the plant. The company had also been considering a site in northern Iowa’s Mitchell County. Cronus had initially looked at dozens of potential sites in nine states, but narrowed the decision down to Illinois or Iowa. The Tuscola location is roughly two-and-a-half hours south of the company’s headquarters in Chicago. Iowa already has two massive fertilizer projects in the works. Continue Reading
WELLMAN, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating what happened to two men found dead in southeastern Iowa. The Washington County Communications Center says it received a report Friday afternoon of a possible electrocution near a road in Wellman. Emergency personnel responded and found 38-year-old Chad Allen VanVoltenburg, of South English, and 47-year-old Paul Joseph Duello, of Kinross. They were pronounced dead at the scene. Additional information was not released. Continue Reading
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new Iowa clean water rule designed to increase inspections of livestock farms and provide stricter enforcement over manure spills is now in effect, after a year of hearings and deliberations by government agencies. The rule, which took effect last Wednesday, establishes new inspection and permit procedures. It does not impose mandatory permits for farms that repeatedly spill manure, a measure some environmental groups including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement want. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources signed a deal with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year to develop the new rule after the EPA threatened to take over federal Clean Water Act enforcement if state officials didn’t do more. The federal agency says the rule meets its requirements, but Iowa CCI says it’s still too weak. Continue Reading
A 42-year old Muscatine man will spend 14 years in prison, after sentencing yesterday(Thur) in Davenport federal court.
Russell Brossart was convicted of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and so-called crystal meth in eastern and southeast Iowa. Authorities also found a digital scale and packaging materials at Brossart’s house. Continue Reading
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has cancelled a meeting with the Des Moines Register’s editorial board, saying her time was better spent campaigning in Iowa. Editors at the newspaper say Ernst notified them Wednesday night that she wouldn’t attend the Thursday meeting. Publisher Rick Green says he’s disappointed. Ernst spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel issued a statement saying the Register’s recent editorials make the newspaper’s position “perfectly clear.” The paper has run several editorial pieces criticizing Ernst’s policy positions. Continue Reading
CHICAGO (AP) — An anti-crime group wants to eradicate what it says are illegal video gambling machines at bars and other venues across Illinois. The Chicago Crime Commission is formally launching its campaign against “sweepstakes” machines today. It claims organized crime controls many of the devices, which offer gift coupons or wagering credits. The effort includes mailing a new informational book to every Illinois sheriff and state’s attorney. The group’s executive vice president, Art Bilek, says Thursday “marks the beginning of a drive to knock these machines out” of Illinois. Continue Reading
Western Illinois University quarterback Trenton Norvell has been named the Missouri Valley Conference offensive player of the week. Continue Reading
Iran and Obama vs. the States
Dozens of states have passed laws forbidding state and local governments from doing business with companies invested in Iran, but one short paragraph in the nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama appears to shatter these efforts.