Ankeny farmers Carol and Randy Miller discovered that a bioreactor was the best conservation practice for their farm - to help reduce nitrates in their watershed. But each farm is different, and finding the best conservation practices for a particular farm requires time and collaboration.

Iowa Minute Transcript

Laurie Johns (Iowa Farm Bureau): Ankeny farmers Carol and Randy Miller wanted to reduce nitrates in their watershed, so they decided to add a bioreactor to their farm. That's a pit, filled with wood chips, to naturally filter out nitrates. It works!

Carol Miller (Polk County farmer, conservationist): My husband has tested the water carrying the nitrates, and we saw a 50 percent reduction already.

Johns: This bioreactor, although expensive, is the perfect fit for this farm. Finding that right fit takes collaboration and time.

Paul Miller (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist): We had the right grade, size of tile, and right slope that we could make it work. Then we had our engineers take a look at it, so it does take a number of months, or it can take up to a year possibly, to make sure that we have a good product that we can put in place.

Johns: Of course a bioreactor won't work on every farm. It depends on the needs of your farm. Maybe you need terraces or buffer strips. So many things to consider. To learn more, check out