TOPSOIL THREAT: Iowa farmers’ biggest challenge in dealing with extreme weather may well be hanging on to more of their land’s topsoil. Extreme rainfall events in recent years have torn up and washed away the soil at alarming rates, the state’s climate and agronomy experts testified at last week’s extreme weather symposium. And the more erosion there is, the less soil remains to store water — something that topsoil with higher levels of organic matter does much better than the poorer-grade stuff below.
TRAFFIC CAMERAS ON THE ROPES?: We’re wary of new rules just OK’d by Iowa Transportation Commission that require cities to provide extensive information and justification for using traffic cameras on primary roads that run through their communities. We’re not against some uniform standards. But these rules, which must clear at least one more step before becoming law, will essentially snuff out any local power to use the cameras along some roadways and intersections where safety concerns are high, many city and police officials fear. While we think the cameras should be used only in high-problem areas, local officials should make those decisions.
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