Home News Monday Afternoon News, February 17th

Monday Afternoon News, February 17th


Dairy Farmers of American Buys Dean Foods

(Dallas, TX) — The largest milk processing company in America is reporting they have been sold to the largest dairy cooperative. Dean Foods has been sold to Dairy Farmers of America for the disclosed price of $425 million. The Wall Street Journal is reporting the Kansas City, Kansas based agricultural cooperative will take over the bulk of Dean Foods plants, following the top U-S milk company’s bankruptcy filing in November. The deal would require the Justice Department and bankruptcy court approval, but it would maintain the market for milk, according to a news release by the Dairy Farmers of America. The dairy cooperative would assume Dean Food’s liabilities as part of the deal to acquire 44 of the company’s facilities, as well as other assets. Nothing was specifically mentioned about the Le Mars milk processing plant.



Floyd Valley Watershed To Receive Grant For Water Quality Initiative 

DES MOINES, Iowa (Feb. 17, 2020) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Sioux County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) will receive state funding to expand the water quality improvement (WQI) projects happening in the Floyd River watershed. The District will receive a grant for $872,700 over the next three years to help implement additional conservation practices to protect the West Branch of the Floyd River.

Since the Water Quality Initiative project began in 2014, farmers and landowners in the Floyd River watershed have planted 13,259 acres of cover crops, added more than 168,000 feet of terraces to reduce erosion, and installed one bioreactor and two saturated buffers.

Secretary Naig says, “Improving water quality is one of the most important issues we’re facing today. “These community-based projects are examples of the impact we can make when public and private partners and landowners work together to put conservation practices on the ground. Over the last three years, these projects have made measurable progress in the effort to improve water quality and soil health. The Department is proud to support their efforts to build on this success.”

This monetary grant is funded through the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and supports collaborative, community-based projects in priority watersheds that help reduce the nutrient levels in Iowa’s water. Water Quality Initiative funds may be used to install priority conservation practices like wetlands, bioreactors, cover crops and saturated buffers. These practices are scientifically-proven to reduce nutrient loads and are critical to helping the state achieve the goals outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.



Urbandale Woman Accused Of Stealing From Fertilizer Company

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) – A woman who headed the accounting division of a private fertilizer company in Urbandale has been accused of embezzling more than $116,000. Polk County court records say 41-year-old Heidi Cook is charged with nine counts of theft, one of fraudulent practices and one of unauthorized use of a credit card. She remained in jail Monday. The court records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for Cook. Prosecutors say that, from at least Dec. 10, 2018, she took 33 checks totaling more than $116,000 from Spraytec and deposited them into her own bank account.



Man Dies From Barn Collapsing

REMBRANDT, Iowa (AP) – The body of an employee killed in a barn collapse has been recovered from the wreckage in northwest Iowa. A structural failure early Friday morning at the Rembrandt Foods facility just east of Rembrandt caused a catastrophic collapse of equipment inside the building. Buena Vista County authorities say a search for the employee was suspended at 6 p.m. because of safety concerns for the people trying to find the worker. The search resumed Saturday, and the worker’s body was recovered around 2 p.m. The worker’s name and other details about the accident haven’t been released.



State Prepares For Next Round Of Flooding

Governor Kim Reynolds says state officials have been working with local emergency management coordinators to prepare for another round of flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers this spring.

National Weather Service forecasts describe the flood threat along the western Iowa border south of Sioux City as “grim” and, in eastern Iowa, there’s a 95 percent probability of flooding along the Mississippi. Last week, Governor Reynolds approved 21 million dollars in state funding for a variety of flood-related projects around the state. Most of the federally-owned MISSOURI River levees that were damaged last spring have been repaired, according to Reynolds.

Reynolds says the Army Corps of Engineers has begun increasing the amount of water that’s being released in the Missouri River from reservoirs upstream — to hold SOME of the melting snow that’s expected in the river basin.

National Weather Service hydrologists say snow pack in Minnesota and Wisconsin is heavier than a year ago — adding to the flood risk downstream. Last month, there was a flash flood in a Minneapolis suburb was caused by ice pack breaking up on the Mississipi River. This weekend, the National Weather Service in OMAHA issued a flood warning along the Platte River south of Fremont. The Platte drains into the Missouri River just south of Omaha.