The Iowa Supreme Court heard arguments September 14 and must now decide whether to weigh in on a federal lawsuit that pits the water supplier for 500,000 central Iowa residents against upstream farmers accused of contaminating rivers with nitrates from crop fertilizer. The case was filed by Des Moines Water Works, challenging the immunity enjoyed by agriculture drainage districts from lawsuits and whether the water utility can seek monetary damages. Water Works says it spent $1.5 million last year alone to remove nitrate from water drawn from the Raccoon and Skunk to meet federal health standards. Water Works sued three northwest Iowa counties, Buena Vista, Calhoun, and Sac, that oversee 10 agricultural drainage districts. The lawsuit is seeking to overturn a century of legal precedent that has protected the drainage systems. The lawsuit has farm groups worried. The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the state associations for corn and soybean growers have offered to help pay the counties’ legal bills.
Exponential economic and population growth over the next 25 years will turn Texas into the biggest population center and largest economic base of any state in the nation, surpassing California by the year 2040 and potentially tripling in size over the next 60 years according to some estimates. Read moreRead More »
Greg D Horstmeier, DTN Editor-in-Chief, looks into why getting so many groups involved with so many agriculture issues may not be the best thing for the future of our agriculture. Read moreRead More »