Iowa's farmers have reduced phosphorus loss by 22% over the past couple of decades. Now they're using the same approach (involving innovation and collaboration) to tackle the state's nitrate goals.


Iowa Minute Transcript

Laurie Johns: This little tree is decades old. Goes to show some of our best works take time. Gardeners know that and farmers do too. Iowa State University research shows that farmers have met their phosphorus reduction goals to improve water quality, but it didn't happen overnight.

Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture: We're down 20% on phosphorus over the last couple of decades. That's because we have brought focus, we have brought resources, we have done outreach...the approach works. But it will take time.

Laurie Johns: Statewide nitrate reduction involves flexibility.

Mike Naig: Things that work on a farm in southwest Iowa are not the things that work in northeast Iowa. There is a difference in that landscape, in those farms, and therefore a difference in the types of practices that'll work in those landscapes.

Laurie Johns: It will take time, innovation, and engineering to make it all work for both rural and urban areas. And what grows out of that collaboration will truly be beautiful. With your Iowa Minute, I'm Laurie Johns.