• Rod Swoboda

    Super-Sized Equipment Not Suited for Highly Erodible Ground

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on February 14, 2014

    A regular contributor to Wallaces Farmer magazine, Jason Johnson has written an article that will appear in our March issue about how to match machinery size to soil conservation needs when farming Iowa's steep slopes. As machinery gets wider, particularly planters, this is getting to be a big concern in local soil and water conservation district offices in the state. The increasing size of farm machinery is making it more difficult for row crop farmers to maneuver Iowa's hillier…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Iowa Supreme Court Shoots Down Hunting Rights

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on December 13, 2013

    The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld Iowa's hunting laws with a ruling last week that says just because someone owns land in Iowa it doesn't mean they have a right to hunt on it. In a decision handed down on December 6 the court said Iowa's laws that provide hunting advantages to permanent residents do not violate the constitutional rights of nonresident landowners. Three men who own land in Iowa but have permanent homes in other states challenged Iowa's hunting laws as…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Water Rocks! Ready To Inspire Kids Across Iowa

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on September 16, 2013

    What do rubber ducks, dogs, pirates, poop and poodle skirts have in common? These are all tools being used to promote a new statewide awareness campaign called "Water Rocks!" At the recent annual meeting of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Iowa, held in Des Moines, I and a couple hundred other people had the opportunity to hear a presentation by Jacqueline Comito, director of the campaign. She explained the Water Rocks! project and showed several of the videos she and…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    He Was Growing Cover Crops Before Covers Were Cool

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on August 27, 2013

    Buried in his bib overalls, Dick Thompson was first and foremost a farmer. But he thought like a top-notch researcher. The casket was open and he was wearing bib overalls like he always did. When I attended his funeral visitation last week, it was the first time I ever saw someone laid out for burial in bib overalls. It was appropriate. He was there so we could say goodbye to him just as we knew him and will remember him. Dick farmed with wife Sharon and family near Boone in central Iowa…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Pedaling Across Iowa, Learning About Agriculture

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on July 12, 2013

    Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced last week that podcasts showcasing Iowa agriculture along the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa route are available for download. RAGBRAI is the annual bicycle ride across the state in which thousands of bicycle riders participate. Many of them are from out of state or they are from Iowa but don't know much if anything about farming and agriculture. This is a good idea the Iowa Department of Agriculture has come up…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    New Leader For Iowa's Whiterock Conservancy

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on June 3, 2013

    Whiterock Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust recently formed to steward seven square miles of Iowa conservation lands, on May 24 announced the hiring of Conrad Kramer as executive director. Kramer moves to Iowa after heading major land trusts in California and Idaho. Whiterock Conservancy is located about 70 miles northwest of Des Moines. Whiterock Conservancy is made up of what was formerly known as the Garst Farm at Coon Rapids in western Iowa, the famous place of Soviet leader Nikita…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Farm Groups Defend Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Plan

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on May 27, 2013

    Activation of the Des Moines Water Works' nitrate removal facility May 10 to treat tap water for consumer consumption has created quite a stir. The facility hadn't been used for six years as a result of resourceful management of water at the treatment plant and also thanks to cooperative weather. But with record precipitation in April 2013, the Des Moines Water Works needed to act by turning on its nitrate removal system. The Des Moines Water Works draws its source water from…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Iowa: Growing More Than Corn

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on May 13, 2013

    At a May 8 press conference at the State Capitol in Des Moines, officials of MidAmerican Energy Company announced plans to add up to 1,050 megawatts of wind generation capacity in Iowa by year-end 2015. The wind energy expansion will enhance economic development and provide in excess of $360 million in additional property tax revenues over the next 30 years. Landowner payments totaling $3.2 million per year also are expected as a result of the expansion. The company plans to build…

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