Farm suppliers across Iowa have embraced the state’s ground-break¬≠ing soil conservation and water quality initiative and are providing key technical assistance to help farmers reduce soil loss and improve water quality, as they maintain crop yields.

The suppliers — co-ops and independent companies that provide fertilizers, pesticides as well as crop production recommendations to farmers — are now also providing information on practices designed to reduce erosion and improve water quality, such as cover crops, precision fertilizer applications and nitrogen stabilizers.

"We are really working to be the link to the producer when it comes to conservation and the nutrient reduction program," said Dave Coppess, executive vice president of West Des Moines-based Heartland Co-op.

Farm suppliers are well-positioned to play a key role in nutrient reduction strategies because their agronomy teams of certified crop advisors (CCAs) are typically a farmer’s most trusted source when it comes to agronomic recommendations, said Harry Arenholtz,...