The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 11, 2013

Keeping their dirt to themselves

BATAVIA — Iowa's chief farmer is hoping voters, environmentalists and his fellow farmers will understand how important erosion control is.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey was travelling through southeast Iowa Thursday, visiting farmers and others employed in agriculture. In rural Jefferson County, about five miles north of Batavia, Northey met a group at a farm owned by Dave Dickey and his family.

Below the group of farmers and ag specialists, five bulldozers tore into Dickey's property to build a type of pond that will keep erosion from eating away at his land — and from dumping valuable soil into a nearby stream. Various grants and funding sources help pay for part of the $30,000 project, though the farmer spends some of his own money, too.

"A big incentive to get it done," said the farm's operator, Steve Dallner, "is that I can borrow the 25 percent [we pay] at a real low interest rate."

As farmers learn more about erosion control, Northey said, interest in these projects has increased.

"I haven't had to do much 'selling,'" said Ryan Rasmussen, the Wapello County water and soil employee who coordinates the erosion control projects for three counties.

"So momentum builds when ... neighbors see what's being done," Northey noted.

He and Rasmussen said washing good soil into a creek is bad in two ways. The nutrients and organic matter in the soil lead to a chain of events that use up a huge amount of oxygen in various bodies of water. That damages natural resources, like fishing and shrimping operations. Secondly, farmers lose good soil.

"The best place for the nutrients is on the farmer's field," said Rasmussen.

Northey didn't get many answers when he asked how to get urban people involved. There's a misconception, they agreed, that city folk believe farmers are the ones causing all those nutrients to damage the waterways. But there's plenty of dangerous runoff from Iowa's cities, Northey said.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0726 OTT Garden Bites III Color Photo -T Garden Bites sees growth BLOOMFIELD — Nearly one month ago, families gathered at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center to plant various vegetables to harvest and eat on Thursday at Garden Bites. The program allows families to get their hands a bit dirty at Pioneer Ridge and plant food

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0725 OTT Riverfront design A new outlook on Ottumwa OTTUMWA — A "River Renaissance" is brewing in Wapello County. Planners working for Christian Rushing Studio from Tennessee took the public's ideas, and gave them life via maps, numerical projections and artists' renderings. "Hold onto your seats; you

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police to parents: check kids' online activities BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield police chief says the arrests of nine men in connection with sexting a teenage girl underscores the need for parents to keep an eye on their children online. Chief Shawn Armstrong said cases involving one or two people are

    July 24, 2014

  • 0725 OTT birthday rumble -T -M Age 106, still ready to rumble OTTUMWA — With the stories flowing, Celma Birdsall had the ride of her life Thursday. "She shared a lot of memories," said her chauffeur for the day, Dennis Parrish. Birdsall has built up a lot of stories over the 106 years she's been around. After h

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0725 OTT College Connections color photo -T -M IHCC eases transition to college OTTUMWA — When choosing a college that's just right for you, it is important to find one that works its hardest to ensure your success as a student. Indian Hills Community College is doing just that this week with a College Connections Workshop spons

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Techel found guilty on both counts

    DAVENPORT — Jurors have found Seth Techel guilty in the 2012 murder of his wife, Lisa, and the couple’s unborn child.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victim advocates: Helping families cope

    DAVENPORT — Family members of a slain Wapello County woman have someone to lean on — literally and figuratively — while they sit through a murder trial for the third time. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges of fi

    July 24, 2014

  • 0725 OTT Five Things logo -L -T Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — There's a wide variety of activities to choose from this weekend in southeast Iowa. Get out and explore the countryside, find some new books to curl up with or help raise money for some great causes. The choice is yours — pick one or attend

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Jury begins deliberations DAVENPORT — The fate of a Wapello County man accused of killing his wife is in the hands of a jury in Scott County, which began deliberations Wednesday and will continue deliberating today.The jury began deliberations about 4 p.m. Wednesday in the ca

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook