Using a high tunnel allows Rob Faux to extend his growing season, but it was also in the path of the spray in 2012 when an airplane accidentally dumped pesticides on his organic crops. The crops had to be destroyed and the fields and the produce in them couldn’t be re-certified as organic for three years, in 2015. This photo was taken April 29, 2016.

Sidebar: Organic Certification And Pesticide Drift

Organic farm certification is automatically reinstated after three years without additional chemical impacts. The three-year window is the same as the requirement that land, upon initial organic certification, must go through a three-year period in which no non-organic products are applied.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Iowa Cubs owner and president Michael Gartner explains the story behind a bottle of wine Major League Hall of Fame member Ryne Sandberg gave him when Sandberg was the Iowa Cubs' manager. Photo taken July 13, 2016, in Gartner's office at Principal Park in Des Moines.

IowaWatch Connection Podcast: Winning Pulitzer An “Obituary Changer” In Already Notable Career

Michael Gartner received the Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing in 1997 for editorials published in The Daily Tribune in Ames. He was co-owner and editor of the newspaper at the time. The Pulitzer board praised his “common sense editorials” for covering “issues deeply affecting the lives of people in his community,” including local issues ranging from ordinances controlling where signs could be placed to a proposed lap dancing law.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Iowa Cubs owner and president Michael Gartner in his office at Principal Park in Des Moines on July 13, 2016.

Podcast: Full Interview With Pulitzer Prize-Winner Michael Gartner

IowaWatch Executive Director-Editor Lyle Muller sat down with Iowa Cubs owner and president Michael Gartner in his office at Principal Park in Des Moines on July 13, 2016. Gartner received the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1997 while serving as chairman and editor of the Ames Daily Tribune. Listen to the full interview.

Money

IowaWatch Connection Podcast: Large Money Gap, Few Dark Money Contributions So Far In Grassley-Judge Senate Race

A big money gap marked the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and his Democrat challenger Patty Judge, according to the latest campaign disclosure reports available earlier this week at the time of production. Grassley’s campaign had $5.2 million on hand back in May, 22 times more than Judge, who had $229,000 as of June 30. Add to that $59,300 in bills that Judge’s campaign owed at that time.

Chad Ingels, a corn, soy and hog farmer in northeastern Iowa, pulls weed in his no-till soybean field on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Ingels uses herbicides as well as insecticides and fungicides, when needed, on his fields.

IowaWatch Connection Podcast: Health Impacts Of Widely-Used Pesticides Uncertain

Iowa’s wide expanses of row-cropped fields produced roughly 2.5 billion bushels of corn and 554 million bushels of soybeans in 2015. And for many, those high yields are thanks in part to pesticides. But what impact, if any, do those chemicals have on our health? It’s a controversial topic and the answer is hard to pin down. In many cases, those we spoke with said the jury is still out.