Nine of every 10 public school districts in Iowa have buildings within 2,000 feet of a farm field, making students and teachers susceptible to being exposed to pesticides that drift from the fields when pesticides are sprayed. Yet many school officials interviewed for an IowaWatch/Tiger Hi-Line investigation showed little to no awareness on if or how pesticide drift could affect the staff and students in school buildings.
ByErin McKinstry/For The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
They’re not making any more farmland. That’s what Ruth Rabinowitz’s father used to tell her. He’d grown up poor in the great depression and, after putting himself through medical school, saved enough money to buy a few small broccoli farms near his Phoenix, Arizona, home. . But her dad didn’t farm those acres himself.
Last year, according to a University of Missouri survey, dicamba damaged an estimated 3.6 million acres of soybeans across 25 states when it drifted from farms planted with seeds genetically engineered to resist the chemical onto regular soybean fields.
ByPam Dempsey and Dave Dickey/The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Argentina and Brazil may fill China’s soybean needs if China imposes a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybean exports. Chad Hart, an agriculture economist at Iowa State University, said the impact depends on what happens during negotiations. IOWA NOTE: China is the second-largest market for Iowa exports ($2.3 billion in 2016 – $1.8 billion of it oilseeds and grains), behind Canada ($3.4 billion in 2016). “It is so hard to say, ‘This is what is going to happen.’ There are so many other moving parts,” he said. “This is a disagreement between the U.S. and China, but it has ramifications for Argentina and Brazil.”
Earlier this month, the United States and China both announced taxes on billions of dollars worth of imported goods — China is seeking tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. products that include soybeans and pork, while the U.S. announced taxes on $150 billion worth of 1,300 Chinese products, including electronics.
Heightened concern about antibiotic resistance has put livestock antibiotic use into question. But while antibiotic sales reports are available publicly, robust data for making clear decisions about antibiotic regulation in animals do not exist.
In the United States alone, air pollution kills about 115,000 people a year — more than three times the number of deaths caused by motor vehicles. Worldwide, some 7 million people died in 2012 alone from exposure to air pollution, according to the World Health Organization. The United States and other developed nations have taken major steps in recent decades to decrease pollution emissions from smokestacks and tailpipes. Read more at ensia.com
Yet a surprising source of harmful air pollution particles — emissions of ammonia from livestock manure and synthetic fertilizer application — continues to grow in parts of the U.S., Asia and Europe. “When people think about air quality, they think about factories and power plants and transportation.
? The mix of University of Iowa students but also non-student, would-be homeowners who want to live in or near downtown Iowa City is out of balance, city housing and urban planning experts say. This IowaWatch Connection podcast takes you to people trying to change that. Read more: This IowaWatch report explains the problem in depth.
ByJohnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Just nine of 30 agribusiness companies have followed through on a pledge to implement the Farm Bureau’s 2014 “Core Principles” for transparency in the collection of farmers’ data. Among those who have yet to do so are some of the industry’s biggest players.
Who lives in or near downtown in Iowa City, which houses students from across Iowa and other states, is out of balance, housing and urban planning experts in the city say. It’s that way because, paradoxically, more students can afford housing there because of the rents, squeezing out potential homebuyers and renters.
One of Iowa’s most diverse communities deals up-front with U.S. immigration issues. This podcast takes us to Storm Lake, Iowa, as part of a series called “The Politics of Fear: What are we so afraid of?”