The Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here tour continues today at Eric Miller’s farm near Cascade, Iowa. This stop in Dubuque Co., hosted by Iowa Corn, highlights the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Exchange, a first-of-its-kind agreement that allows municipalities to work with farmers to reduce nutrient loads and improve water quality.
“This project is exactly the type of public-private partnership we had in mind when we developed the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy,” said Secretary Naig. “It’s a great example of local, state and federal partners working together to develop creative solutions to address point-source and non-point source challenges at the community level.”
Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Water Quality Resource Coordinator Adam Schnieders will speak about the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Exchange. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will discuss how the State of Iowa is addressing water quality, and Dubuque County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Dave Baker will speak about the newly formed Dubuque County Watershed Program.
Farmer Eric Miller will share why soil health has become a focus on his farm and the benefits of planting corn in 60-inch row widths to interseed cover crops.
“Keeping a living root in the ground 365 days a year has proven to boost soil health while still maintaining high yields; ultimately, saving money on input costs as we continue to focus on return on investment,” stated Miller. “Mother Nature always wins and I've found it's much easier to work with her than against her.”
About the Clean Water in Iowa Campaign
The Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here campaign, created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and Newsradio 1040 WHO, aims to raise awareness about the conservation work underway across Iowa, and encourages all Iowans to get personally involved in water quality activities.
“Improving water quality begins with awareness about practices that work and how they can be put to use at home, on the farm, at school and in the office,” said Quinn. “Sharing these stories seems a natural fit for what we do as broadcasters as we’re in the information and awareness business.”
Iowa farmers are working cooperatively with numerous stakeholders to increase the number of acres and practices dedicated to enhancing soil and water health.
“There is more conservation work happening right now in Iowa than ever before,” said Naig. “Hundreds of public and private partners are working alongside farmers, landowners and municipalities to deploy proven, science-based strategies to improve water quality on the local level and downstream. The ‘Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here Campaign’ is a great way to highlight our dedicated partners and some of the incredible conservation projects happening all over the state.”
Quinn will visit locations throughout Iowa showcasing the people and practices that are having a positive and measurable impact on water quality. Numerous topics will be highlighted, from conserving and recycling water and reducing nutrient loss to filtering excess rainwater and improving soil health in concert with agricultural productivity.
The conversations with farmers, landowners, business operators and conservation leaders will be broadcast Wednesdays on The Big Show airing 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on WHO and 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on WMT.
Quinn says the implementation of conservation practices, however, isn’t limited to rural areas. Urban residents can join in by keeping leaves, grass clippings and other yard debris out of the street and gutters and slowing runoff and recycling rainwater through rain barrels, rain gardens and swales. Cleaning up oil, anti-freeze and fertilizer spills to prevent them from running into the storm drains, seeding pollinator habitat and properly disposing of paints, solvents and metals also have a positive impact on water.
Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here campaign partners include Agri-Drain, Hagie Manufacturing, Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Montag Manufacturing, and The Nature Conservancy.
To learn more about the campaign and conservation practices that can be implemented where you live and work, go to CleanWaterIowa.org/CleanWaterStartsHere.