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peabody train

Mr. Peabody's Corn Train

Monday, December 26, 2022
Comparison of Iowa and West Virginia
gravy boat

Pass the Gravy

Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Conservation compliance and crop insurance.
cedar river

Wishin' Accomplished in NDM

Thursday, November 17, 2022
Iowa DNR cancelling Cedar River TMDL.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be farmers

Sunday, October 9, 2022
Cowboys, farmers, and their myths and their myth makers
foggy desoto clear sky


Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Corn ethanol and the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer.
bloody run headwaters

The Right to Bear Farms

Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Great Lakes Region Initiative, Mississippi River, Iowa corn farming and science.
andre the giant

Odor In The Court

Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Iowa Supreme Court decision on pollution from hog confinement

No bushel left behind

Friday, June 17, 2022
Claims about Iowa stream phosphorus and new paper in Journal of Am. Water Resources Assoc.
shark jumping

Jumping the Shark

Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Demonstration corn and soybean plots in Des Moines Water Works Park.
Desoto with blue boat

Look at the price they make you pay

Thursday, May 26, 2022
Lake restoration and the renewable fuel standard.

Magic Carpet Ride

Monday, May 9, 2022
Carbon pipeline and carbon capture from corn ethanol production relative to US greenhouse gas emissions.
corn pthallus

The Iowa Singularity

Monday, April 18, 2022
myth stories and ethanol
foggy desoto clear sky

Agribusiness Hates CRP

Saturday, April 2, 2022
CRP, Ukraine, ethanol, water quality, and ag dishonesty
brave new world

Brave New Iowa

Thursday, March 17, 2022
Propaganda, ethanol, and climate change.
mississippi river

Unrest in Ethanolia

Thursday, February 24, 2022
Recent published paper on the fuel ethanol casts doubt on its benefits for the environment.
Desoto with blue boat

Climate Change Mitigation, Iowa Version

Thursday, February 17, 2022
Conventional model of Iowa Climate Change mitigation
foggy desoto clear sky

Iowa is Addicted to Cornography

Friday, February 11, 2022
Corn ethanol versus solar

Malice in Wonderland

Sunday, January 30, 2022
Summary of three water quality news stories of the past week (1/24/22).
foggy desoto clear sky


Monday, January 10, 2022
Comment on Des Moines Register editorial to use budget surplus money on water quality.
foggy desoto clear sky

Iowa 2021: The Year in Review

Saturday, January 1, 2022
2021 highlights for Iowa Agriculture and Environment
Maginot line

The Maginot Line

Sunday, December 26, 2021
Should the public fund Soil Health?
foggy desoto clear sky

C is for Carbonalism

Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Carbon capture schemes for agriculture are discussed.
drake 8

The Three Drakes

Monday, December 6, 2021
Meme of the entertainer Drake, and speech at Drake University, are discussed to illustrate the sensitivities of Iowa agriculture
mississippi river

Remarks to SOILs Meeting at Drake Law School

Thursday, November 18, 2021
Remarks to the Drake University Law School SOILs conference, November 17, 2021.
trucks on land

Call me Crazy

Thursday, November 11, 2021
lowa farmland prices and rentend land in the context of degraded water quality

On Popcorn Farts and Porcupine Pee

Tuesday, October 26, 2021
discussion of post drought river nitrate
turkey river paddlers

Rancid Turkey

Thursday, October 21, 2021
Summary of anhydrous ammonia release into Turkey River
mississippi river

God Made Me Do It

Thursday, September 16, 2021
Discussion of the moral issues related to Iowa water pollution.
Kent Park

Mea Culpa--Nitrate event that wasn't

Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Retraction of data related to Upper Iowa nitrate episode.
mississippi river


Friday, August 20, 2021
Ag propaganda and claims of improvements in nutrient loss are examined.

Truth or Consequences

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
This post evaluates and ranks overall water quality for 44 Iowa streams.

Photo of Ring Lardner

Means, Ends, and Granfalloons

Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Essay discussing pushback from a member of the Iowa legislature, and agriculture's objectives and strategies for water quality in Iowa.
Photo of Svante Arrhenius

Crap and Trade

Friday, July 16, 2021
What will Iowa's new carbon task force do? And what about the Growing Climate Solutions Act, recently passed by the U.S. Senate? It's high time to clarify what these programs do and why it is not appropriate to call them markets.
Photos of Oppenheimer and Teller

The Swine and the Swill

Friday, July 2, 2021
Decades ago, physicist Edward Teller made some predictions with startling relevance to today's events.
discharge on Des Moines river

Des Moines River Discharge Anomaly

Friday, June 25, 2021
Des Moines River flow exceeded that of the Mississippi River on this day.

Take this Stream and Shove It

Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Blog entry on the Iowa Supreme Court decision dismissing water-quality concerns in the Raccoon River.
Raccoon River. Photo by Christine Warner (Flickr Creative Commons)

Raccoon River Discharge: 2021 vs. Other Drought Years

Thursday, June 17, 2021
Drought has hit Iowa hard in 2021. How does this dry spell compare to legendary droughts in 1934 and 1956?
Installing a bioreactor on Bogard Farm near Des Moines Photo by Lynn Betts (SWCSIDALS )


Wednesday, June 9, 2021
A recent Polk County plan would install 200 "edge of field" practices to capture nitrate from underground drainage pipes at the expense of Iowa taxpayers. Effective, yes, but is it fair?
The ugly

Iowa Rivers 1 to 45: The Fair, the Marginal, & the Ugly

Thursday, May 27, 2021
Determining whether water is good, bad, or something in between is not at all straightforward. An accurate water-quality index can be useful. Why doesn't Iowa have one?
Map of the watersheds of the central United States

Grading on a Curve

Thursday, May 6, 2021
How much nitrate does Iowa contribute to the Missouri and Mississippi river basins?
Iowa City Press-Citizen Wordmark

Wake Up and Smell the Manure

Wednesday, May 5, 2021
We need regulation to clean up Iowa’s water. We have a massive, continental-scale problem here with nutrient pollution — one so large that the average person can barely get their head around it.
Black and white movie image from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Monday, April 26, 2021
Why do Dr. Jekylls advocate against soil erosion while Mr. Hydes snort anhydrous ammonia?
A farmer in a green coat pulls a big sliding door shut on the machine shed


Sunday, March 28, 2021
Silvia Secchi comments on land values, government subsidies for agriculture, and the demographics of farmers who receive the subsidies.
Newspaper clipping about a couple's 50th anniversary

Environmental Injustice

Monday, March 22, 2021
Long and short, Iowa farming is whiter and older and manlier than the Caddyshack country club.
finally realizing Vichy water is for Nazis

Big Pollution

Sunday, March 7, 2021
How water pollution in Iowa has created a cottage industry of professionals dependent upon the maintenance of the problem.
Iowa 2020 Nitrate loss interior basins

Manure Matters: Iowa 2020 Nitrate Summary

Monday, March 1, 2021
Iowa 2020 Nitrate-Nitrogen loss to the Mississippi Basin and the Gulf of Mexico.
Manure applied to an Iowa farm field in winter

This Might Hurt Some Feelings

Wednesday, December 23, 2020
People have been thinking about “what can be done” about water quality and pollution in Iowa for a long time. But are we any closer to a solution?
Grant Wood Self Portrait

Defending Paris

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Contrast between how urban storm water and agricultural runoff is regulated in the U.S.
Camper at Crowley's Ridge State Park

No Country For Old Men

Friday, December 4, 2020
Comparison of Iowa and Arkansas funding for parks and natural resources.
Serving the Reich by Phillip Ball


Thursday, October 22, 2020
Politicization of Science