Posted on 05/21/2018 at 10:01 AM by Iowa Corn
While “normal” Iowa weather can be hard to define, this spring has proven to be anything but normal. As of May 20, corn planting in the state was running about five days behind the five-year average, so I hope the weather didn’t put too much of a damper on your planting.
As you wrap up spring planting, I encourage you to put two important dates on your calendars.
June 5: Iowa primary elections
For Republicans, there are five candidates running for secretary of agriculture. While they all support the voluntary approach to water quality improvement, they differ on their method of implementation. This year’s water quality funding bill provides discretion to the secretary as to how to spend many of those dollars. Click here to compare the candidates.
For Democrats, six candidates are running to be the party’s choice to compete with Gov. Kim Reynolds in November. When looking at these candidates, two environmental issues to consider include water quality funding and regulation of livestock facilities. Click here to compare the candidates.
June 15: Next cutoff for applications for federal cost share
Don’t miss this date if you are considering cover crops, conservation drainage practices, terraces or waterways, as it’s the final date applications are ranked and approved for federal programs like EQIP until later this fall. If your application is approved, you can make plans for fall implementation.
In addition to federal cost share programs, sign-up is open statewide for Iowa’s Water Quality Initiative cost share program, which provides financial incentives for cover crops, no-till, strip till and nitrification inhibitor for fall fertilizer. This program is usually first-come, first-served, so make sure you sign up as soon as possible. Click here for more information.
And finally, this article appeals to my competitive side. Currently, Indiana leads the nation with acres planted to cover crops. It would be great to beat Indiana and have Iowa set the bar for incorporating this conservation practice on the farm!
Chris Herbold, a conservation contractor, talks about installation of a bioreactor on the Bob Floss farm in Jasper County to improve water quality.