• Rod Swoboda

    Harkin's Decision To Retire Will Shake Up Other Races

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on January 30, 2013

    Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin's surprise announcement last week that he won't be running for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat in 2014 has set off wide-ranging speculation as to who will be the candidates in that election. A number of names on both the Democrat side and Republican side are being mentioned. Harkin, a Democrat, has served five terms in the senate. He has decided to retire in two years and will not run for a sixth term in 2014. Harkin is 73 years old and by the end of his…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Property Tax Is Key Issue For Iowa Legislature

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on January 17, 2013

    The Iowa Legislature began its 2013 session January 14. Budget issues and property taxes are top items on the agenda as legislators get the 85th Iowa General Assembly underway. Farmers and ag organization leaders will be watching carefully to make sure they don't get the short end of the stick as a result of commercial property tax reform. Gov. Branstad and many state lawmakers agree that commercial property taxes are too high in Iowa and they want to lower them. But there is…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Lingering Drought Sparks Uncertainty For 2013

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on January 9, 2013

    The calendar has flipped to 2013 and the drought of 2012 is continuing in Iowa and a large section of the United States. The eastern Corn Belt has seen some relief, but the western Corn Belt and the Great Plains continue to be quite dry. Wallaces Farmer this week listened to presentations by Iowa weather experts Harry Hillaker and Elwynn Taylor, who gave an update and outlook on the situation as it appears for the new year. Although rainfall earlier in December increased topsoil moisture…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Corps Begins Mississippi River Rock Removal

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on January 1, 2013

    As the calendar flips to 2013, the drought of 2012 continues to linger in Iowa and a wide area of the Midwest. Lack of rain is affecting water levels on the Mississippi River, which are expected to keep dropping over the next several weeks unless we get much needed rain or an awful lot of melting snow. Barge shipping of grain down the river to New Orleans and movement of fertilizer up the river to Iowa, Illinois and points north are being hindered by the shallow water levels on the…

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