Iowa acts on ag pollution

Iowans – some Iowans, anyway – are taking very seriously the water pollution caused by many modern farming practices.

The Iowa Board of Regents this month approved creation of an Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University that will research ways to reduce the runoff of fertilizers into rivers and streams.

Read a Radio Iowa report on plans for the center, ordered by the Iowa Legislature.  It will have initial funding of $1.5 million per year for two years. Download a briefing memo for the Board of Regents describing plans for the center.

And on Aug. 10, the Des Moines Register published a powerful editorial on agriculture and water quality. It said, in part:

“…agricultural groups convey the impression that farmers are immune to the rules that apply to everybody else. This surely does not represent the views of the typical Iowa farmers who want to be good stewards of the land and good neighbors, and who also want clean water for their families.

“These farmers are ill served by industry groups such as the Iowa Farm Bureau that refuse to accept any hint of regulation of agriculture and insist they are doing everything in their power to protect the environment when the evidence points in the other direction.”

The Register editorial was re-printed in the Aug. 16 Pioneer Press.