Posted on 03/23/2018 at 06:00 AM by Iowa Corn
Spring is finally here! As the ground warms for planting, remember to maintain conservation compliance on highly erodible land. Smoothing out gullies with tillage is not acceptable. Instead, you should be controlling gully erosion with grassed waterways or have other conservation practices in place that address this issue. Click here for more information on conservation compliance.
While you’re getting ready for planting, Congress is working on a new farm bill. House and Senate agriculture committees hope to have their versions of the legislation on the floors of their respective chambers in April. But if that doesn’t happen, there may not be enough time to pass a new farm bill by its expiration in September.
Failure to get significant movement on the farm bill this spring could lead to a one-year extension of the current bill. Budget considerations are always a concern, especially with 80 percent of the appropriations going to the nutrition title (food stamps).
Other farm bill issues include raising the cap on the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) - which is needed to allow more acres into the program - and improving working lands conservation programs that provide cost share, such as the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Click here for ICGA’s farm bill priorities.
One last thing: Before you get too busy in the field, nominate a friend, a neighbor or yourself for the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award. This award is a joint effort of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa Department of Natural Resources to recognize farmers committed to healthy soils and improved water quality. The nomination deadline is June 15, but you can nominate a worthy peer before you turn your focus to spring fieldwork. Click here for more information.
Iowa farmers Theo Bartman and Rob Stout, along with Soil Health Partnership Field Manager Jacob Ness, discuss the benefits of conservation practices.