ITíS BACK: Like a bad penny, drought conditions are returning and intensifying in Eastern Iowa and most of the state. The latest U.S. Drought monitor map shows at least moderate drought in the west central portion of Iowa, and abnormally dry conditions in all other counties save a pocket in Northeast Iowa. Meteorologists and other experts say 2013 looks increasingly like 1947: snow in May, a very wet spring (record rainfall this spring) and then a dry July and August, with low precipitation and above-average temperatures are expected through the fall. Honey bees are stressed. And thatís not all.
MORE, NOT LESS, HUMANE: Rep. Steve Kingís (R-Iowa) proposed amendment to the stalled federal farm bill is drawing more attention ó and should. The measure would pre-empt local and state laws governing food production and other animal-related industries, including puppy mills, large farm animal confinements, animal fighting and others. He argues that statesí laws differ so much that those with stronger laws effectively impose them on others and unfairly impact producers. The mishmash is of concern, we agree, but his amendment likely would reduce humane treatment of animals overall.Comments: email@example.com or (319) 398-8262