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ZEAlots

Posted on February 5th, 2020

Notes: Some of these words and ideas came from the head of Dr. Silvia Secchi. Featured image credit: Rigzone. Nexus is one of those trendy words that can help a frequent user sound more relevant. It’s so much sexier (it has an “x”, after all) than mundane synonyms like connection, and let’s face it, good […]

Drain Brain

Posted on October 14th, 2019

Note: This essay was co-written with my colleague Professor Silvia Secchi. Some people read these essays and say I (CJ) don’t offer solutions. I disagree with this: apply nutrients at recommended rates, accurately take credit for manure nutrients, don’t apply manure to snow, plant stream buffers, quit cropping in the 2-year floodplain, and so forth. […]

Ransom: the Sequel

Posted on March 25th, 2019

I got a little pushback on my first Ransom essay, which is ok and to be expected in Iowa. I don’t expect anybody to swallow this stuff without chewing. Feel free to engage. I encourage you to do it in the comments section that follows the essay, so this can be an open and public […]

Ransom

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 […]

Hogs in a confinement facility.

Iowa’s Real Population

Posted on March 14th, 2019

Iowa has around 3 million people, a total that has not changed much over the last 80-90 years. People are large animals, and as such our bodies produce a lot of waste. That being said, we produce much less waste than the animals that we eat. Take hogs, for example. A feeder pig is about […]

This is what happened

Posted on February 12th, 2019

This is What Happened (Note: the nitrate value for the Des Moines River at Des Moines was changed from 5.0 in the original posting to 3.6, based on information I received from a colleague at the University of Illinois.) Many people are curious about Iowa stream nitrate before modern agriculture became established across the landscape. They want […]