Posted on April 23, 2019 at 7:58 AM by Iowa Corn
Luckily, April showers were fewer than usual, and hopefully that has allowed most everyone to catch up on field work. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has lots of news to share recently. The annual conservation compliance reviews are coming. If you farm highly erodible land (HEL), you are required to follow a conservation plan in order to maintain eligibility for USDA programs. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff will be conducting compliance reviews soon, usually after planting and before crop canopy. They will check to make sure residue levels are adequate, grass waterways are in place, and no gullies are forming. NRCS has changed its stance and no longer allows tillage to be used to smooth gullies.
However, due to the unprecedented flooding, the Iowa NRCS state conservationist, Kurt Simon, requested and received a waiver for conservation compliance in 56 Presidential Declared counties. The waiver allows farmers time to recover from the weather events. However, they are expected to follow their conservation plans as closely as possible. This is great news for farmers who have more important things to worry about, and we thank Iowa NRCS for this much needed flexibility.
Here are additional program updates from USDA:
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig discusses the importance of soil health and water quality and the impact Iowa serves as a leader in both.