Articles written by David Pitt

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 By David Pitt    Regional    May 31, 2020 

US food prices see historic jump and are likely to stay high

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As if trips to the grocery store weren't nerve-wracking enough, U.S. shoppers lately have seen the costs of meat, eggs and even potatoes soar as the coronavirus has disrupted processing plants and distribution networks....

 

Slaughterhouses reopen but farmers still euthanizing pigs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Meatpacking plants that had to briefly close due to coronavirus outbreaks have been back up and running for weeks, but production backlogs are forcing farmers to euthanize thousands of hogs that can't be processed, drawing...

 

Pence says lack of religious services has been 'burden'

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence spoke Friday to a group of faith leaders in Iowa about the importance of resuming religious services, saying the cancellations in the name of slowing the spread of the coronavirus have "been a...

 

Healthy pigs being killed as meatpacking backlog hits farms

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After spending two decades raising pigs to send to slaughterhouses, Dean Meyer now faces the mentally draining, physically difficult task of killing them even before they leave his northwest Iowa farm. Meyer said he and othe...

 

Former staff claims Iowa center exploited disabled patients

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two doctors and other former employees of an Iowa care center for people with intellectual disabilities have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against a state agency and several officials, alleging a conspiracy to...

 
 By David Pitt    Regional    March 22, 2019

Midwest flooding costs increasing, with $1.6B damage in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Friday that recent flooding in the state has caused an estimated $1.6 billion in damage, pushing the total costs from the devastating Midwest flooding to at least $3 billion. The ongoing flooding...

 

Flooded Iowa communities surviving with trucked-in water

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As some communities along the Missouri River start to shift their focus to flood recovery after a late-winter storm, residents in two Iowa cities are stuck in crisis mode after their treatment plants shut down and left them...

 

US farmers store record soybean crop as China dispute weighs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — American farmers still working to get out their remaining soybeans after a weather-plagued harvest season are struggling to figure out what to do with a record crop now their traditionally dominant export market is largely...

 

Organic dairy farmers vow to compete in changing industry

FAIRFIELD, Iowa (AP) — Small family operated dairy farms with cows freely grazing on verdant pastures are going out of business as large confined animal operations with thousands of animals lined up in assembly-line fashion are expanding into the o...

 

Farmers prefer Trump do trade deals than hand them cash

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Many farmers remain critical of President Donald Trump's tariffs and the damage done to commodity prices and markets but were appreciative Tuesday that he offered to provide some cash to help offset their losses. The U.S....

 

Iowa tornadoes hit unexpectedly, causing damage and injuries

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — Thousands of people were without power Friday after a flurry of unexpected tornadoes swept through central Iowa, injuring at least 17 people and flattening buildings in three cities. The storms even surprised weather...

 

Iowa abortion suit won't have easy path to US Supreme Court

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Supporters of the nation's strictest abortion law are hoping a lawsuit filed against the Iowa measure will bring the issue back before the U.S. Supreme Court, but constitutional experts say that's unlikely because of a...

 

Iowa producers say ethanol limits would be 'war' on rural US

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers warned President Donald Trump on Friday that imposing restrictions on biofuels production "would be viewed as a declaration of war on rural America." The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,...

 

Iowa man wins lawsuit over calling his hometown stinky

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man threatened by city officials with legal action for saying on a website that his hometown smelled like "rancid dog food" won a free-speech lawsuit Thursday when a federal judge prohibited the city from further...

 

Trump draws ire of farmers targeted in Chinese trade dispute

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — From hog producers in Iowa to apple growers in Washington state and winemakers in California, farmers expressed deep disappointment Friday over being put in the middle of a potential trade war with China by the president...

 

US government proposes new rules for hog slaughter

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal government regulators proposed changes Friday in the way most hogs slaughtered for meat in the United States are processed in a series of new rules that officials say improve industry practices but critics say could...

 

Judge rejects 'Bachelor' star's fatal accident law challenge

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa farmer-turned-reality television star is fighting to avoid prison after driving his pickup into the back of a tractor and killing a neighbor. Chris Soules, who became known as "Prince Farming" during his 2015...

 

USDA petitioned to include poultry in humane slaughter law

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As Americans prepare to consume some 45 million turkeys on Thanksgiving, an animal rights group asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday to require more humane treatment for turkeys, chicken and other poultry as...

 

Senators press Pruitt for concessions on biofuels mandate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is looking to make peace on biofuels standards with a group of senators from corn-growing states who could upend President Donald Trump's nominees for key regulatory posts. EPA...

 

US agency withdraws rule aimed at protecting animal farmers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Trump administration's decision to kill a rule designed to protect the rights of farmers who raise chickens, cows and hogs for the United States' largest meat processors has infuriated farmer advocates, including a Repub...

 

Grassley threatens Trump EPA nominees over biofuels mandate

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican senator said Tuesday he may seek to block President Donald Trump's nominees for key posts at the Environmental Protection Agency unless the administration backs off a proposed reduction in the volume of biofuels...

 

An odd trend in wheat country: not much wheat

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An odd thing has happened in wheat country — a lot of farmers aren't planting wheat. Thanks to a global grain glut that has caused prices and profits to plunge, this year farmers planted the fewest acres of wheat since...

 
 By DAVID PITT    Regional    August 20, 2017

Mastermind of lottery fraud faces 25-year prison sentence

Des Moines, Iowa (AP) — For a decade, computer programmer Eddie Tipton reliably showed up for work at the central Iowa office of the Multi-State Lottery Association and earned the confidence of his co-workers, a team of technicians entrusted to bui...

 
 By David Pitt    Regional    August 9, 2017

109 US salmonella cases now linked to papayas from Mexico

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An increasing number of people have been sickened by eating papaya now traced to a farm located in southern Mexico, U.S. public health officials said in an update on the outbreak first reported more than two weeks ago....

 
 By David Pitt    Regional    July 28, 2017

Worsening drought conditions in parts of US stressing crops

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Drought conditions worsened in several states over the past week from extreme heat and weeks with little rain, raising the prospect that grocery staples such as bread and beans could cost more as the region that produces...

 

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