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Ripe as a Roadkill Raccoon

Posted on June 3rd, 2020

Hydrologists classify watersheds using a hierarchical system that “nests” watersheds within one another, an idea that resembles a broad oak tree with the trunk being a large river such as the Mississippi and the countless branches its numerous tributaries. Each watershed or branch is given a number—a Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) with the larger branches […]

They break it, you buy it

Posted on February 25th, 2020

Last Thursday (2/20/20) the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) released the results of a study1 showing Iowa farmers could save up to $99 million per year by better aligning their fertilizer amounts with corn requirements. Among other things, their data show that surveyed farmers were applying about 34 pounds per acre more nitrogen fertilizer than ISU […]

Fool Me Once….

Posted on February 12th, 2020

This morning I read for the second time in two years that our state’s agriculture department is “just getting started” on addressing Iowa’s problems with nutrient pollution (1,2). As my favorite 1960s TV star Jerry Mathers would say, “gee that’s swell”, since this pollution has been around since Leave it to Beaver was still a […]

Eau de BS

Posted on December 19th, 2019

Recently I happened upon the little book at the right (1), and since it covers a topic that interests me, I bought it. Essentially an essay at about 8000 words, it can be read in the time it takes to drink two beers if you drink them at the rate I do, which is slightly […]

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 […]

Iowa is Hemorrhaging Nitrogen

Posted on November 7th, 2019

Someone once told me “for god’s sake start at the end” when giving a presentation, and since there is a lot to unload with this one, I’ll give you a couple of nuggets if you don’t have time to read the rest: For the 2019 Water Year (10/1/18 to 9/30/19) Iowa stream nitrate load was […]

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. […]

MMPs are CRAP

Posted on October 3rd, 2019

An article authored by Anna Jones recently appeared in the U.S. on-line version of The Guardian about Iowa and our struggle with nitrate pollution. One thing in particular about the article caught my eye and it was the description of a Marshall County farmer’s management of hog manure. He and his brother borrowed $1.5 million to […]

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 […]

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 […]