2022 May Stewardship Advocate

What a spring it has been! Despite an eventful weather season, farmers across the state have had a busy few weeks and we are currently sitting around 86% of our state’s corn crop planted and 47% emerged.  

We know a hot topic for many farmers has been the pipeline projects and carbon capture and sequestration. In the 2021 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll,  farmers were surveyed about their interest in the carbon and ecosystem services programs (see the results below). The results indicated interest in programs or markets that will pay farmers to adopt practices that capture carbon.  The key concern is will the carbon market be the concept of permanence or additionality.   

  • Permanence is the determination as to how long the carbon will remain sequestered. If a company pays someone to sequester carbon, will that carbon remain sequestered in the soil? And how long will that carbon remain sequestered?
  • Additionality is the determination of additional carbon that is sequestered above what would already be sequestered. If a company pays someone to sequester carbon, they are likely using that payment to offset carbon emissions somewhere else. That payment is expected to provide additional carbon sequestration that results in a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The challenge using this model comes when the financial incentive could potentially motivate the wrong action.  Some carbon markets don’t recognize the prior work and annual decisions farmers make to adopt practices that sequester carbon. The carbon market should motivate farmers who implement practices that sequester carbon to continue making those decisions each year.  

Find more information regarding how data and payments flows through ag carbon programs works here.


Corn Growers Weigh-in on Redefining WOTUS 

EPA and Army Host Midwest Focused WOTUS Roundtable 

President Biden Announces New Action to Address Fertilizer Prices  

EPA – Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions  

Considering Carbon: Understanding the Legalities of Soil Carbon Sequestration Contracts  

The Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship 

How to Establish Habitat for Monarch Butterflies


Multiple Dates – Master Conservationist Program 

May 25 – Nutrient Recycling from Swine Manure with Biochar and Zeolite, Webinar 

Thru June 1 – Self Guided Cover Crop Tour, Cherokee County    

June 1 – Redefining the Field Edge to Improve Profitability, Manson  

June 6 – Continuum Ag Field Day, Washington 

June 7 –Using Farmer Data to Develop More Profitable Crop Management Systems in Soybeans, Webinar 

June 11 – The Rookie Season of Roller-Crimping, Holland  

June 14 – Iowa Watershed Approach Project Bus Tour, Vinton  

June 16 – Commercial Manure Applicator Certification, Orange City   

June 16 – Northern Research Farm Field Day, Kanawha    

June 20 – Practical Farmers of Iowa – Making USDA Programs Work For You, Lamoni 

June 21 – Commercial Manure Applicator Certification, Hampton     

June 21  Commercial Manure Applicator Certification, Pocahontas  

June 22 – Northeast Research Farm Field Day, Nashua


Creating Soil Resiliency – Want more resilient soil? It’s all about water retention. This video shares our farmers experience with creating healthy soil through cover crops…ready to put your soil’s resiliency to the test?

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