Water News

CAFO regulations target livestock production

Just as the debate over water quality has shifted in recent years, debates over confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Iowa continue to ratchet up. Increasingly, these two issues are seen as intertwined; one cannot be addressed without the other. Building on our previous post, this blog looks at legislation targeting livestock production.

Iowa Legislature passes weak water quality bill

This week, the Iowa House of Representatives passed a weakened version of the water quality bill that was discussed last session. Senate File 512 (SF512) now heads to the governor’s desk after members of the House receded the amendments they fought to support in 2017. Democrats expressed frustration that the bill would not be improved through a conference committee. Republicans largely supported the bill, but some stood in vocal opposition led by Rep. Chip Baltimore (R-Boone).

Fall field days showcase best practices for water quality

Fall is always a busy time for harvest, holidays, and sports. The season is also used to prepare for the next year, as farmers buy seed, implements, and attend conferences and field days. This year, water quality and soil health have been recurring themes at events in Iowa.

Growing number of concentrated animal feeding operations raises water quality concerns

At a time when people feel incredibly divided and polarized, some issues still resonate across the spectrum. In rural areas, these issues include eminent domain, farm profitability, and viable, vibrant rural communities. Another issue increasingly joining this group in Iowa is the widespread growth of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). A CAFO is defined as an agricultural enterprise where animals are raised in confinement, with a minimum of 1,000 animal units (which is 700 dairy cows, 1,000 beef cattle, 2,500 hogs, or 30,000 chickens) confined for 45 days per year.

Pages

Get the Newsletter