Posted on 01/04/2018 at 01:48 PM by Iowa Corn
Lake City, Iowa
Corn, soybean, hog and sheep farmer
Soil health and water quality are top priorities for Iowa corn farmers. In this blog series, “Farmer to Farmer: Let’s talk conservation,” we highlight a few Iowa farmers who have had success with incorporating conservation practices on their farms. Iowa farmer and Soil Health Partnership Participant Dwight Dial is passionate about conservation on his farm near Lake City, Iowa. He uses a wide variety of conservation practices on his farm and he has seen the benefits to his soil first-hand. Let’s learn a bit more about his experience.
Q: What practices do you employ on your farm?
A: I have planted cover crops on my farm since 2013 and have since added terraces and grass waterways. I've been no-tilling since the '80s, which has really enhanced my soil. I also use nitrogen stabilizers both in livestock manure and commercial fertilizers. Wherever we can do something to conserve soil, water and air – we do it.
Q: What benefits have you observed since implementing the conservation practices?
A: The cover crops act like a mulch in my fields. They hold water well, help with infiltration and bring nitrogen back to the surface. From an economic standpoint, I’ve noticed that when I don’t have water leaving my fields, I gain crops yield and the ability to positively influence my bottomline.
Q: How have the Soil Health Partnership and Iowa Corn been a resource for your conservation efforts?
A: I hear about programs, but what I really want to know is the data. I want to know that what I’m doing on my farm will reap positive benefits. The Soil Health Partnership, in conjunction with the Iowa Corn Growers Association, is helping me get valuable data. These programs work to improve the health of my soil and when I have data to back it up, I can go a long way. They have the technology, staff and resources that I would not have if I had not joined the program.
Learn more about Dwight and other Iowa farmers who are doing a great job with conservation on their farms across the state!