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2021 December Stewardship Advocate

Posted on 12/27/2021 at 08:23 AM by Stewardship Advocate

MONTHLY UPDATE FROM BEN GLEASON, IOWA CORN SUSTAINABLE PROGRAMS MANAGER

December 2021 

Happy Holidays! Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a happy new year! 

There are some significant funding announcements to share and looking forward to potentially more funding from the state and federal legislatures in the coming months. 

  • Governor Reynolds has announced $100 million in federal ARPA funding for water infrastructure and water quality efforts. A new grant program will utilize $75 million for the Water Infrastructure Fund to reduce nutrient loss, improve resiliency, reduce flooding and more. The Iowa Department of Agriculture has been allocated $25 million for the Conservation Infrastructure Project. This will provide cost share incentives for wetlands, oxbows, saturated buffers, bioreactors and grade stabilization structures. Visit your local soil and water conservation district for more information about these structural practices. 

  • Farmers who planted cover crops this fall may be eligible for a $5/acre discount on spring crop insurance. The deadline to apply is January 14. Sign up at apply.cleanwateriowa.org.  

  • For those who missed out on the last Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) sign up, expect an announcement in the next month or two about the next sign up. A reminder that some CRP practices like buffer strips and grass waterways have continuous sign ups that are open year-round. 

Input prices are rising across the board. Make sure your expensive nitrogen fertilizer is used by the crop and not lost to the water. Here are some considerations for efficient nitrogen use

  • Verify soil nitrate levels with soil testing. 

  • Use a nitrogen stabilizer e.g. N-Serve. 

  • Reduce nitrogen rates and apply in-season. 

Iowa farmland values have risen 29% so expect land rent to rise as well. This is an opportunity to talk to your landlords about how your conservation practices are protecting their land assets. If your landlord wants to raise the rent, make sure new conservation practices are part of the discussion. Visit www.iowacorn.org/rentedland for resources and success stories for win-win conversations with non-operator landowners. 

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Finally, Iowa Corn is excited for this year’s Iowa Ag Expo. Stop by our booth (#852) and attend one of our soil health seminars on February 1 and 2 at 10 am in room 401 of the Community Choice Convention Center (Vet’s Auditorium). 


Latest Information 

USDA Initiative Would Help Farmers Create New Revenue Streams 

4R Plus Can Improve Farmers’ Bottom Line in Pricey Input Environment 

Five Things Learned at Cover Crop Boot Camp 

No-Till and Cover Crop Systems Cut Costs and Save Soil    

Soil Erosion Trends in the US 

Early Interseeded Cover Crops Could Solve Fall Establishment Issues 

Regenerative Farming Reduces Emissions and is More Profitable 

Sorry, Carbon Offsets Still Aren’t Settled 

PFI Boot Camp Explores Use of Cover Crops to Reduce Nitrogen Inputs 

Climate Change is Making it Harder to Provide Clean Drinking Water in Farm Country 


Upcoming Events 

January 4 Crop Advantage Series, Sheldon 

January 4-7 National No-Tillage Conference, Louisville KY 

January 5 Crop Advantage Series, Storm Lake 

January 6 Crop Advantage Series, Burlington 

January 9-11 LICA Annual Convention, Des Moines 

January 11 Crop Advantage Series, Okoboji 

January 12 Crop Advantage Series, Ankeny 

January 13 Crop Advantage Series, Cedar Falls 

January 13 Road Detention Structures, Virtual 

January 14 One Good Idea, Webinar 

January 14 Crop Advantage Series, Mason City 

January 18 Crop Advantage Series, Chariton 

January 19 Crop Advantage Series, Webster City 

January 19 Wind and Solar Farms, Webinar 

January 20 Crop Advantage Series, Atlantic 

January 21 Crop Advantage Series, Davenport 

January 25 Crop Advantage Series, Coralville 

January 26 Crop Advantage Series, Le Mars 

January 27 Crop Advantage Series, Denison 

February 1-3 Iowa Ag Expo, Des Moines 


Farmer to Farmer video 

Farmer to Farmer:  What’s Next with Cover Crops 

At a field day panel discussion, Iowa farmers talk about what they see for the future of cover crop implementations across the state.  

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