News Read news about Iowa’s conservation progress.



Iowa program offers crop insurance discounts for cover crop planting


The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is encouraging farmers to take advantage of a program that provides a $5 per acre reduction on crop insurance premiums for planting cover crops.

Committed to conservation


Iowa farmers will invest more than $9 million of their own money in conjunction with water quality cost-share programs.

New conservation field days announced the week of 9/7


There are 8 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

New conservation field days announced the week of 8/31


There are 16 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

New conservation field days announced the week of 8/17


There are 18 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

Conservation work starting to get noticed


Iowa farmers have been taking on the challenge of reducing soil loss and improving water for decades.

2018 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards


Farms from all over Iowa are recognized as local leaders in environmental stewardship.

A dramatic decline in hypoxia zone


The decline shows the impact of weather on year-to-year readings.

New conservation field days announced the week of 8/10


There are 19 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

Union County farmer Chad Ide celebrated as Iowa's Conservation Farmer of the Year


Taking on the challenge of improving Iowa’s water quality and going the extra mile to protect soil and water has long been a priority for Chad Ide, who farms in the rolling hills of southwest Iowa with his father.

New conservation field days announced the week of 8/6


There are 22 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

A natural conservation focus


Chad Ide, 2018 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the year, sees both the environmental and economic advantages of caring for the soil and water.

$6.2 billion invested in conservation


New inventory, the nation's first, shows scale of conservation work done by Iowa farmers to protect Iowa water quality.

Iowan on global whirlwind of ag learning


Brian Dougherty hopes to use knowledge to help Iowa farmers take on challenge of improving water quality.

New conservation field days announced the week of 7/27


There are 19 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

New conservation field days announced the week of 7/20


There are 21 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

Landowners join farmers in conservation


We’re seeing lots of evidence that Iowa farmers are taking on the challenge of improving the state’s water quality and reducing soil loss.

New conservation field days announced the week of 7/13


There are 20 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

New conservation field days announced the week of 7/5


There are 20 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

Making waves to benefit Iowa's water quality


Farmers use conservation practices to not only protect the land, but their families too.

New conservation field days announced the week of 6/29


There are 17 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

 A conservation leader


Farm Bureau has been an environmental leader in Iowa throughout its 100-year history.

Webinar Recording: Planning Habitat for Pollinators and Profitability


Iowa’s farmers are leaders in crop production and land stewardship. They also have an opportunity to be leaders in monarch conservation.

New conservation field days announced the week of 6/22


There are 22 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

Reporting the truth - the whole truth - about farming and conservation


It seems that some reporters have adopted a "no good news makes the news" approach, especially when it comes to conservation progress in Iowa. Laurie Johns says Iowans deserve to hear about that progress.

Creating a win-win situation


Program helps farmers develop plans to add conservation on less productive land.

New conservation field days announced the week of 6/15


There are 20 upcoming conservation field days under our Field Days & Events tab.

A conservation mindset grows strong in Iowa


Iowa’s groundbreaking effort to help farmers take on the challenge of improving water quality has always been about more than what’s happening on the ground.

Celebrating water quality progress


Iowa officials mark five years of the state's water quality initiative and vow to build on its success.

EPA grants water quality funds to Iowa


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program last week announced a $1 million grant to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to support the water quality efforts

Rolling past progress


Farm Bureau places signs on bike trail to highlight farmers' conservation practices.

Iowa Minute: Learning about Iowa's water quality from the seat of your bike


Bicycling in Iowa is all about enjoying the great outdoors. It's also a great way to learn about the ways Iowa's farmers are keeping the outdoors great.

Sign-up begins for cost share on conservation practices


The 2018 sign-up period is open statewide for cost share funds to help farmers install nutrient reduction practices.

Whether talking diet or conservation, it’s not one-size-fits-all


There’s so many factors that can affect success, that no single approach works for all.

An acceleration of water quality work


Three locally-led demonstration projects are set to expand their work to improve water quality.

Ribbon cutting for new Ankeny stormwater wetland designed to protect water quality


The event will take place on Mon., April 29.

Three surprising ways trees benefit Iowa’s landscape


During Arbor Day, both urban and rural-living Iowans should take time to appreciate the contributions and many purposes of trees in rural Iowa.

Conservation spreads farm to farm


Farmers share knowledge at they boost efforts to improve water quality.

A new approach


Randy and Carol Miller say they are so pleased with the early results of their bioreactor that they plan to install at least one more.

Monarch conservation takes flight in Iowa


A collaborative effort called the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium is working to increase the habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators in the state.

Conservation and cattle in tandem


Cover crops protect Jeremy Buck’s fields, while providing valuable livestock forage.

Iowa’s water quality work ramps up


With long-term dedicated funding, the state will shift more focus to edge-of-field practices, says Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig.

Cover crops take conservation up a notch


Brandon Reis of Howard County in northeast Iowa finds that cover crops are helping improve soil health.

Nominations open for 2018 Iowa top conservation award


Nominations are open for the 2018 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year.

Working to improve the land


The Ledgers of Jefferson County have made conservation and water quality a priority since they started farming in the early 1970s.

Study shows saturated buffers effective at removing nitrates form tile drainage


A project to monitor the effectiveness of saturated buffers has produced encouraging results.

A farmer’s conservation journey


Tom Oswald of Cherokee County rethinks many common agricultural practices in his quest to conserve soil.

Denison steps up for water quality


The western Iowa community teams up to improve the quality of water flowing from a city parking lot.

Pilot program links cover crops to insurance


Farmers are showing strong interest in an innovative Iowa plan that offers discount on crop insurance premiums for cover crop acreage.

Research center at ISU focuses on conservation and water quality


Projects funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center are investigating how farmers can reduce nutrient losses and improve water quality.

Taking the long look for conservation


Gary Boswell works to care for the land in the hilly terrain of Adams County in southwest Iowa.

Cattle care and conservation lead farm family


The Glicks, Cedar County Farm Bureau members, have been recognized with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award.

Cover crops growing on more Iowa acres


Survey shows a nearly 22 percent gain in cover crop acreage in 2017, continuing the upward trend.

Webinar: Impacts of 4R Nitrogen Management on Water Quality


To reach the goals of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and its Water Quality Initiative, Iowa farmers need to consider all their options, including infield nutrient management, traditional infield soil and water practices and structures, and the newer edge of field practices and structures.

Conservation practices trimming nitrate losses


Cover crops, bioreactors and other practices are reducing losses of nitrogen from fields, according to Iowa Soybean Association data.

Iowa water quality funding on track


Senate File 512 will augment long-standing conservation and water quality efforts in Iowa.

Why does Iowa’s new water quality bill matter? Q & A with two Iowa farmers who attended Governor Reynolds’ bill signing


On January 31, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed her first bill, a bill that commits long-term, dedicated funding ($282 million over 12 years) to conservation and water quality improvements. Mark Kenney, a corn and soybean farmer in Story County, and Doug Adams, a Humboldt County farmer and soil conservation technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), were two farmers on-hand for the bill signing.

Governor Reynolds signs long-term water quality funding bill


Today, Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law a $282 million water quality bill that provides long-term funding for science-based water quality protection practices.

An open call for nominations to find Iowa's best conservation farmers


Nominations are now being sought to find and recognize the 2018 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year. The prestigious honor includes a substantial prize; the winner receives use of a new John Deere 6E utility tractor for a year, courtesy of prize sponsors Van Wall and John Deere.

Water quality training offered


Teachers and other educators can learn about water quality and how science can help manage soil nutrients like nitrates through a new graduate course offered by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation.

Iowa water quality strategy on track


Public and private collaboration is helping officials scale up conservation practices.

Caring for the land and livestock


Survey shows that Iowans want farmers to have flexibility in farming practices.

Iowa Farm Bureau lauds Iowa House on passage of long-term, dedicated funding to support the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy


Members of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), the state’s largest grassroots farm organization, applauded the passage of Senate File 512 in the Iowa House of Representatives.

Iowans support farmer's conservation efforts


There’s good news for Iowa farm families, from the latest Iowa Farm Bureau Food & Farm Index survey results. Over three-fourths (77%) of Iowa grocery shoppers are confident Iowa farmers are caring for the environment responsibly, with 1 in 4 (24%) being very confident!

Reynolds highlights water quality funding


The Iowa Governor also pledges to work for state tax reform in the 2018 legislative session.

Scaling up is the next step for water quality work


When the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy was released in 2012 it was a whole new approach to addressing the important issue of water quality. Rather than setting some overly ambitious goal without a plan to achieve it, we looked at the science to see what it would actually take to see a 45 percent reduction in the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus leaving the state and making its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Iowa’s water quality strategy continues  to show progress


Iowa continues to show progress on reducing nutrient loss from farm fields and other sources to improve water quality, according to the latest update of the state’s Water Quality Initiative.

Plan offering crop insurance discounts for cover crops gains


A new pilot program aimed at boosting Iowa’s cover crop acres by linking them to discounts on crop insurance premiums is gaining momentum

Education will drive adoption of conservation practices


Building momentum for farmer adoption of conservation practices, such as cover crops, waterways and bioreactors, will require additional field days, more educational seminars and simply more time

Family finds turkeys fit well with conservation efforts


The Hermanson family began raising turkeys on their Story County farm seven decades ago to provide more income diversity. It’s been a successful strategy; raising turkeys has, over the years, helped the farm add value to its crops.

Iowa program offers discount on crop insurance for farmers who plant cover crops


Iowa farmers who plant cover crops this fall may be eligible for a $5-per-acre premium reduction on their crop insurance in 2018, under a pilot program announced last week by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).

Northern Iowa family opts for conservation tillage


“Corn isn’t going to be $7 forever.” With those words six years ago, Joe Bormann sparked a family conversation on how he and his dad, Mark, and brother, Matt, were growing corn and soybeans on their northern Iowa farms.

EPA report backs states’ progress on water quality


In a new report to Congress, the Environmental Protection Ag­­ency’s Hypoxia Task Force (HTF) highlighted the progress that Iowa and 11 other states in the Mississippi River valley are making in reducing nitrogen and phosphorus loading in the Gulf of Mexico.

#KeeptheStubble during No-Tillage November


The key points NRCS hopes to drive home with farmers is that bypassing tillage helps farmers save money, time, improve soil health and provide wildlife habitat.

“No tillage November” campaign urges farmers to leave the stubble


The U.S. Department of Agri­culture’s Natural Resources Con­­servation Service (NRCS) is encouraging Iowa farmers to “Keep the Stubble” on their harvested crop fields to help improve soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat.

Report shows continued progress on conservation


Iowa farmers continue to make steady and measurable progress on implementing practices, such as cover crops, bioreactors and wetlands, which have been shown to reduce losses of nitrogen and phosphorus and to improve the quality of the state’s streams, river and lakes.

Iowa conservation pioneer is always learning


As more Iowa farmers take up the challenge of protecting water quality, reducing erosion and building soil quality, they are tapping into the real-world experiences and knowledge that’s been built up over the decades by the state’s conservation pioneers all over Iowa.

Collaboration is vital for continued conservation progress


It takes a collaborative effort and local, state and federal partnerships to continue the progress that’s being made in conservation, stakeholders said last week in a discussion about collaboration and conservation.

Drought conditions heighten the need for cover crops


In addition to punishing yields, drought conditions in much of Iowa this summer had profound impact on soil health, including limited nutrient uptake by crops

Iowa’s economy benefits from ag’s water quality work


Iowa got a dose of good economic news last week when Apple, the iPhone maker and the world’s most valuable company, announced plans to build a data center in the state.

Washington Co. farmers leading the way in cover crops


More and more farmers across Iowa are planting cover crops to improve soil health slow erosion and improve water quality. And Washington County is leading the way.

Cover crop gains are expected to emerge over time


Early indicators show that cover crops are indeed improving water quality and soil health.

Awards show Iowa  ag stepping up to improve water


Critics of Iowa’s water quality initiative often complain that only a few farmers in the state are stepping up to adopt conservation practices or are installing structures designed to improve the state’s water quality.

Water quality cost-share funds available


Iowa farmers can apply for cost-share funds to help install practices focused on protecting water quality.

Duvall gets up close look at Iowa conservation efforts


The first thing Zippy Duvall noticed during his visit to Iowa last week was how corn dominates the state’s mid-summer landscape

Fremont County farmer, Chris Teachout, named Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year


Chris Teachout of Shenandoah was using cover crops on his family farm long before they became a widely recognized and popular conservation practice in Iowa to reduce erosion and improve soil health and water quality.

Conservation success inspires continued learning


Chris Teachout was us­­ing cover crops before cover crops were widely touted throughout the state for their use in slowing erosion and diminishing runoff.

River clean-up crew sees how farmers aid water quality


Iowans have similar interests in cleaning up and protecting water resources, river clean-up volunteers in Floyd County learned last week.

Trout fishing returns


A collaborative effort among farmers, communities and government agencies improves water quality in the Driftless Region's trout streams.

Then versus now


What do you recall about the summers of your youth? When I think of the summer of 1978, I remember bean walking with my ‘Girl Crew’ at dawn, trying to get a field done before the mid-day heat found us.

Iowa Minute: Finding the best conservation practices for a farm requires collaboration


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.

Cover crop acreage is on the rise in Iowa


Iowa farmers planted a record 600,000 cover crop acres last fall, using cost-share programs and on their own

Farmers' water quality efforts help trout flourish in NE Iowa


Trout need clean, cold water to survive. And thanks to many Iowa farmers who are taking on the challenge to improve water quality, the fish are getting just what they need in northeast Iowa.

8 fresh water quality stats for Earth Day


Earth Day is a good time for all of us to reflect on the condition of our natural resources, what we’re doing to protect them, the progress we’re making, and how we can do even more to take on the challenge of protecting them in the future.

Iowa farmers build on strong legacy of conservation


As Iowa farmers take on the challenge of improving water quality through the state’s four-year-old Clean Water Initiative

New USGS tracking tool shows water quality gains in Iowa


A new interactive tool developed by the U.S. Geological Sur­vey (USGS), which is designed to track long-term trends in surface water quality, shows a trend of steady to declining levels of nitrate and phosphorus in most of Iowa’s monitored rivers and streams during the decade ending in 2012.

Farmers, not lawsuit, push water quality


After spending two years in court and millions of dollars of ratepayer money in legal fees, the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) appears to have accomplished very little in its lawsuit against drainage districts in three northwest Iowa counties.

DMWW lawsuit dismissed, conservation work continues


Farm Bureau leaders were pleased that a federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) against drainage districts in Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac counties and said last week that the court’s ruling will not diminish Iowa farmers’ commitment to improving water quality and saving soil.

Years of experience make Lynches believers in conservation


Bob Lynch never liked moldboard plowing. When the Gilmore City-area farmer started implementing more conservation tillage on his family’s land more than 20 years ago, however, his father wasn’t comfortable with leaving “trash” on top.

A new generation carries on conservation tradition


Luke Broulik and Tim Keegan are third-generation conservationist farmers on the Broulick farm in Linn County.