The Swine Republic

Chris Jones is a research engineer (IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering) at the University of Iowa. An earlier version of this piece was first published on the author’s blog. -promoted by Laura Belin

I have written some things about manure lately (link, link, link, link). If you were able to make it to the end of those essays, you learned:

· We have a lot of livestock animals in Iowa

· These animals produce a lot of waste

· This waste is used to fertilize crops

· Manure is a good fertilizer

· Sales of commercial fertilizer are not affected very much by the availability of manure

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Tanks in Washington and other July 4 links

President Donald Trump has ordered a military parade and flyover in Washington, DC to celebrate Independence Day. He’s been wanting to stage this kind of display since his first year in office.

The production will cost millions of additional dollars and shut down air traffic to and from Reagan National Airport for hours. Republican donors and VIPs will get special passes to watch the festivities in a restricted area. Traditionally, all July 4 events in the nation’s capital have been free and open to the public.

The National Park Service is diverting $2.5 million “primarily intended to improve parks across the country” to cover a “fraction of the extra costs,” the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin, Josh Dawsey, and Dan Lamothe reported on July 2. The “entire Fourth of July celebration on the Mall typically costs the agency about $2 million,” a former Park Service deputy director told the newspaper. Costs could escalate if the heavy military equipment damages streets.

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Drain Baby Drain

Chris Jones is a research engineer (IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering) at the University of Iowa. An earlier version of this piece was first published on the author’s blog. -promoted by Laura Belin

The Landscape of Capitalism by former University of Iowa professor Robert F. Sayre (1933-2014) is an excellent short history of Iowa agriculture. I read Sayre’s essay many years ago and had all but forgotten it, but it was restored to my memory recently by a conversation I had with an ag drainage engineer.

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Some bad laws for Iowa's environment take effect today

Continuing Bleeding Heartland’s coverage of the Iowa legislature’s work during the 2019 session.

Iowa’s environmental community had something to celebrate when state lawmakers adjourned for the year without passing legislation that would crush small-scale solar development. An unusual coalition including solar installers, environmental groups, and livestock farmers helped keep the bill bottled up in the Iowa House despite intense lobbying by MidAmerican Energy and its allies, along with massive spending by undisclosed donors.

Unfortunately, lawmakers approved and Governor Kim Reynolds signed several other measures that will be detrimental for Iowa’s natural resources and take our state’s energy policy in the wrong direction. The new laws take effect today, as the 2020 fiscal year begins.

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Tricia Gavin challenging Charles Schneider in Iowa Senate district 22

Republican State Senator Charles Schneider coasted to re-election in 2016. He defeated his Senate district 22 challenger Andrew Barnes by more than 4,000 votes after spending only a token amount on the race. In fact, Schneider gave most of his own campaign funds ($133,000) to the Iowa GOP for use in more competitive state Senate districts.

Schneider drew his first declared challenger for this cycle on June 11, when Tricia Gavin announced her candidacy. At least one other Democrat is seriously considering this race, so Schneider’s general election opponent will not be known until after the June 2020 primary.

Given recent political trends in the western suburbs of Des Moines, it’s already obvious that Senate district 22 will be a top Democratic target next year.

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