Swine operations are responsible for 77% of greenhouse gases generated by manure management in Iowa, according to 2020 data, the most recent available, released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

By 2020, large concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, had increased nearly fivefold over the past two decades, according to a study released that year by the Environmental Working Group; large swine feeding operations were responsible for the increase. That earned Iowa the No. 1 pork-producing ranking in the U.S.

Manure management overall emits just over 8% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector.  

However, the state, which stands out as a major agricultural producer in the U.S., has no targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, though it ranks among the top emitters in the farming sector. And state officials, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, recently turned down $3 million in federal money for climate change prevention planning.

Type of work:

Explainer A data-driven story that provides background, definition and detail on a specific topic.

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Mònica CorderoData and investigative journalist, Report for America corps member

Mónica Cordero is a Report for America corps member and part of the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk team. Her expertise includes data analysis with Python and SQL, and reporting under the...