Drought Monitor shows southern Iowa improvement

IARN — While most of northern Iowa continues to deal with drought conditions, the U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday showed some improvement for areas in the southern part of the state.

Iowa State Climatologist Dr. Justin Glisan says many counties in southern Iowa were taken out of the D0 Abnormally Dry category. Currently, all drought coverage for Iowa is either in central or northern Iowa. Read more

Mississippi River reopens to shipping

IARN — The U.S. Coast Guard said there were over 1,000 barges backed up along the lower Mississippi River late last week. The Coast Guard stopped all traffic on the river near Memphis, Tennessee, after a fracture was discovered in a bridge that carries traffic over the river. The good news is barge traffic was allowed to resume last Friday. Read more

Planting Nearly Complete In Northwest Iowa

Northwest Iowa — Spring planting got under way in earnest three weeks ago, and since that time great progress has been made, according to Iowa State University Extension Field Specialist Joel De Jong. Read more

U.S. and Mexico keep organic trade open

IARN — Mexico last week agreed to extend the deadline for U.S. organic exports to be certified to its Organic Products Law. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with his counterpart, and they agreed to extend the compliance deadline to December 31, 2021. Through 2021, USDA-certified organic products may continue to be exported, but on January 1, 2022, organic products exported from the U.S. to Mexico must be certified to the Organic Products Law standard. Read more