Iowa Senate panel approves solar energy tax credit boost


Photo by marshlight; Flickr

A bill that increases available state money to encourage installation of solar power systems in Iowa has passed a Senate committee and moves forward to the full Senate. Continue reading

Construction begins on Wever fertilizer plant


Photo by David Pitts; Flickr

The Iowa Fertilizer Company’s plant in Wever, Iowa will be one of the top fertilizer plants in the world. According to Dave Pearson, a director for Orascom Construction Inc., the plant will have the ability of producing 7 million tons of nitrogen-based fertilizer.  Continue reading

Nine Month Farm Bill Extension Maintains Status Quo


Photo by MarS, Flickr.
Photo by MarS, Flickr.

As part of the Fiscal Cliff deal, the nation’s farm bill was extended for nine months with minor modifications, an outcome that pleased few and left many substantial issues to be resolved by a new Congress.

Farm bills are typically designed to cover five year periods, but the compromise reached by Congress and voted on with the Fiscal Cliff legislation extended most existing policies through nine months. The legislation extended three tax credits for biofuels, maintained direct payment subsidies to farmers at current levels, and kept current Conservation Reserve Program policies for environmental set asides.

See NPR’s All Things Considered and the Sioux City Journal for more reaction to the farm bill extension and commentary about farm bill policies.