Tyson orders investigation of ‘betting on Covid’ allegations

Former attorney general Eric Holder will lead an independent investigation into allegations that managers of a Tyson Foods hog plant in Waterloo, Iowa, ran a betting pool on how many employees would become ill with Covid-19, said the meat processor on Thursday.

Coronavirus infection ends Grassley’s 27-year voting streak

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said on Tuesday that he was quarantining himself at home while awaiting results of a test for Covid-19. The quarantine ended a 27-year streak, dating voting in every Senate roll call — a record 8,927 in all — since 1993.

Trump runs in rural America on ethanol, tax cuts, regulatory relief

President Trump is ending his re-election campaign in rural America on the same issues that boosted him in 2016: Promises of tax cuts, fewer federal regulations and support for corn ethanol. In addition, farmers are wealthy from $23 billion in trade-war payments, said Trump in Dubuque, Iowa, on Sunday; "That's why you're all here and you're all happy."

Trump wrong on wind, just like ethanol, say Iowa Democrats

Despite his visits to Iowa, President Trump “seems to be out of touch with what really matters out in the countryside,” said Tom Vilsack, agriculture secretary in the Obama era, on Monday. Vilsack was part of a line-up of Iowa Democrats to criticize Trump for his opposition to wind …

Iowa leans for Greenfield over Ernst in Senate race

Iowans have not defeated a Senate incumbent since 1984 but Democrat Theresa Greenfield could break that streak in her challenge to Republican Joni Ernst, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said Sabato’s Crystal Ball on Tuesday. The political newsletter said the race “leans …

Book: Climate change and the looming crisis in U.S. food production

In his new book Perilous Bounty, Tom Philpott takes a deep look at perhaps the two most important farming regions in the country, California and the Midwest, and finds that both face what might be called an under-appreciated existential crisis. In California, recently engulfed in wildfires, the …

Ernst’s soy slip stirs Senate race in Iowa

If all politics is local, the Senate race in Iowa was roiled by a profoundly local question last week: What's the break-even price for corn and soybeans? Sen. Joni Ernst, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, missed by a mile on soybeans and the reverberations continue. The Iowa Farm Bureau said on Sunday that Ernst "continues to have our full support" after a fake email suggested otherwise.

USDA begins rollout of $100 million in biofuels grants

The Department of Agriculture announced the first round of grants on Thursday from a $100 million program for the installation of pumps and storage tanks to increase the sale of higher blends of biofuels, such as E15 or E85. Projects in 14 states, from California to Florida and New York, will be funded by the $22 million in grants, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

Derecho blows away expectations of a record-setting U.S. corn crop

The windstorm that blasted across Iowa — "basically a 40 mile-wide tornado," in the words of Gov. Kim Reynolds — wiped out 9 percent of the crop in the nation's No. 1 corn state and obliterated the chances for a record-large corn harvest nationwide, said the USDA. Farmers will see notably higher season-average prices for the smaller, but still ample, crop that remains in the field.

Iowa to use coronavirus money for livestock, biofuel grants

Livestock producers in Iowa will be eligible for grants of up to $10,000 and biofuel producers for grants of up to $750,000 to offset the impact of the pandemic on agriculture in the state, announced Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday, the same day she was expected to speak at the Republican National Convention.