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All News and Pages Related to "agriculture"

Don’t P down my leg and tell me it’s raining

Posted on December 5th, 2019

Plants require nutrients for growth and agronomists divide these into macro- and micro-nutrient groups, depending on the quantity needed. Most important for both crop production and water pollution here in Iowa are the macronutrients of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). Nitrogen is the beer of the nutrient world. We drink a lot of it, spill […]

Cry Me a Raccoon River

Posted on December 2nd, 2019

Note: the title was not my idea, but I have permission to use it.  I suppose we all experience certain days when events crystallize our ideas in ways such that the day and the ideas will both go unforgotten. November 14 was one of those days for me. That day I conducted a presentation at […]

Fishing in the Rain

Posted on September 25th, 2019

I’ve always liked fishing in the rain for several reasons, not the least of which is that the fish bite. But it can’t be just any rain; a slow and steady warm rain with no wind and no lightning is best. Fish won’t bite if there’s lightning, and besides I’m terrified of lightning and if […]


Posted on August 14th, 2019

The sport of angling has spawned thousands of writers beginning with Jeremiah (Old Testament, 1000 BC), to Izaak Walton (Compleat Angler, 1653), to Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises, 1926, great book, and The Old Man and the Sea, 1952, way-overrated) and Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It, 1977, best fishing book ever). That […]

Market Dis(equilibrium)

Posted on August 5th, 2019

Authored by Professor Silvia Secchi In her 2006 address to the Applied Agricultural Economics Association, Kitty Smith, who was then Associate Administrator at USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), said that most conservation programs’ “priorities are agriculture-centric. They are based on what the producers of the agri-environmental benefits can supply, rather than what is necessarily demanded […]

10,000 Pounds of BS

Posted on August 1st, 2019

I’ve said in the past that hatching writable ideas can be very difficult. There are many days when I feel like this thing has run its course. But, it seems like somebody always bails me out eventually by knowingly or unknowingly giving me an idea. University of Iowa tough guy Jeren Glosser did this a […]

Tragedy in Three Acts

Posted on July 10th, 2019

Prologue “We are actors as well as observers in the drama.” Niels Bohr, Nobel laureate (1922) in physics. Act I In 2013, while employed at the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), I started working on data analysis for a future manuscript I hoped to publish. This project was the culmination of water quality monitoring that began […]


Posted on March 18th, 2019

One thing that I see real essayists do when beginning a piece is start with a quote from someone famous. I guess that’s what you’re supposed to do when you can’t think of soaring words on your own. It occurred to me that I might want to try this. Thus: “I grasp the hands of those next to […]