IowaWatch Connection Podcast: Health Impacts Of Widely-Used Pesticides Uncertain

From our friends at Iowa Watch: Iowa’s wide expanses of row-cropped fields produced roughly 2.5 billion bushels of corn and 554 million bushels of soybeans in 2015. And for many, those high yields are thanks in part to pesticides. But what impact, if any, do those chemicals have on our health? It’s a controversial topic and the answer is hard to pin down. In many cases, those we spoke with said the jury is still out.

Iowa’s Topsoil In Sloped Areas Eroding Far Faster Than Desired

Growing up, Ann Wolf didn’t frequent her grandfather’s eastern Iowa farm. In reality, nobody in her family ever lived on the 296 acres. But over the past 17 years, Wolf’s relationship with the land has changed. No longer is the Miles, Iowa, farm simply a land investment. Read the story on IowaWatch.org
Now, she sees the land as a part of nature, and makes decisions about her farm accordingly.

Severity of algae in Iowa lakes is on the rise

That paint-like scum that covers some Iowa lakes every summer isn’t just gross and smelly. People, pets, and livestock coming into contact with or ingesting toxins produced by the algae are at risk to symptoms including skin rashes, gastrointestinal issues and, in high doses, liver failure. The toxin, called microcystin, is a liver toxin produced by some strains of cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae.

Three things you may not know about ethanol

Every time you put gas in your car, you’re adding a bit of renewable fuel to your tank, as well. You may not notice since renewable fuels are government-mandated, and they only save you a few pennies per gallon of gasoline, according to industry experts. But behind the scenes, there is complex policy that goes into adding that renewable fuel into your gasoline. Here are some pieces of information that break down how renewable fuel production works.