Posted on 07/24/2018 at 11:04 AM by Iowa Corn
Summer is flying by! NCGA’s annual Corn Congress meetings in July are our midpoint of summer. I had the opportunity to travel to DC last week to meet with NCGA and other states to discuss policy and lots of other issues. During the Stewardship Action Team meeting, many states brought up regulatory issues regarding water quality. In Minnesota, it’s mandatory buffer strips and nitrogen application rules. Missouri is waiting for EPA to approve its numeric nutrient criteria for lakes. Ohio continues to deal with nutrient issues in Lake Erie. Governor Kasich signed an executive order designating many watersheds as “distressed” which triggers rules affecting nutrient management. The Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission has put the order on hold.
Iowa continues to be looked as a leader in nutrient loss reduction to improve water quality. I gave a presentation to the Stewardship Action Team regarding Iowa’s best management practice (BMP) mapping project. Iowa Corn has helped fund this project through our support of the Iowa Nutrient Research & Education Council and its progress measurement mission. Other partners include ISU, DNR, and Iowa Department of Agriculture. The project has mapped the entire state for six structural conservation practices including grass waterways, ponds, and terraces. Currently the project is looking back at aerial imagery from 1980 to show the tremendous progress Iowa farmers and landowners have made in adopting these practices. While these practices are just pieces of a larger puzzle, the progress is truly incredible at an estimated investment of $6.2 billion. For more information, click here.
The BMP Mapping Project provides a great visual of the adoption of several conservation practices.
While great progress has been made, much more work remains to be done. Several cost share programs are currently accepting applications:
As always, the dollars are limited, so visit your local soil and water conservation district office soon!
Theo Bartman of Sioux County discusses the benefits of controlling erosion after planting land with cover crops and land without cover crops.