Shifting blame to farmers is not improving water quality

This past winter was one for the record books. It was the ninth coldest in 141 years, according to the state climatologist. Persistent below-normal temperatures since mid-October allowed the soil to freeze as far down as three feet in most places, and as deep as five-and-a-half feet in some. Water main breaks were common-place. But by mid-February, some parts of Iowa were starting to see rising temperatures again. Spring was around the corner.

This freeze-thaw cycle is a part of living in Iowa. Plants grow in the spring and summer, wither in the fall and go dormant or decay in...

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