News

News Read news about Iowa’s conservation progress.
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Sign-up begins for cost share on conservation practices

5/21/2018

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

5/3/2018

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

An acceleration of water quality work

4/30/2018

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

4/27/2018

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

Three surprising ways trees benefit Iowa’s landscape

4/25/2018

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

4/16/2018

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

A new approach

3/30/2018

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

3/26/2018

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

3/26/2018

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

Iowa’s water quality work ramps up

3/26/2018

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

3/26/2018

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

3/26/2018

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

Working to improve the land

3/26/2018

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

3/26/2018

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

A farmer’s conservation journey

3/26/2018

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

Denison steps up for water quality

3/26/2018

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

3/26/2018

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

3/26/2018

Projects funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center are investigating how farmers can reduce nutrient losses and improve water quality through management, land use and edge-of-field practices.

Taking the long look for conservation

3/26/2018

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

3/19/2018

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

Cover crops growing on more Iowa acres

3/5/2018

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

Conservation practices trimming nitrate losses

2/12/2018

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

2/5/2018

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

1/31/2018

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

1/31/2018

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

1/30/2018

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

1/29/2018

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

1/29/2018

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

Caring for the land and livestock

1/29/2018

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

1/23/2018

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

1/15/2018

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

1/15/2018

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

1/5/2018

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

12/18/2017

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

12/11/2017

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

12/11/2017

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

11/20/2017

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

11/20/2017

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

11/13/2017

“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

11/13/2017

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

11/2/2017

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

10/30/2017

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

9/25/2017

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

9/5/2017

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

9/5/2017

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

8/28/2017

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

8/28/2017

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

8/28/2017

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

8/28/2017

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

Awards show Iowa  ag stepping up to improve water

8/21/2017

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

7/24/2017

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

7/24/2017

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

7/19/2017

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

7/17/2017

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

7/17/2017

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

Trout fishing returns

6/29/2017

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

Then versus now

6/20/2017

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

6/15/2017

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

6/5/2017

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

5/30/2017

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

4/21/2017

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

4/17/2017

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

4/17/2017

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

4/3/2017

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

3/27/2017

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

3/27/2017

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

3/27/2017

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

Southeast Iowa farmers find yield gains in cover crops, no-till

3/27/2017

A southeast Iowa farm family harvested record yields in 2016 after managing cropland soils with no-till and cover crops.

Northey: Focus on edge-of-field practices in water quality scale-up

3/27/2017

As Iowa’s innovative water quality initiative nears its fourth anniversary this spring, state agricultural and environmental officials are outlining ways that the practices in the strategy can be scaled up to reach more farmers and cover more acres across the state.

Research is aiding farmers’ work on water quality

3/27/2017

Dozens of projects co­­ordinated by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center are helping farmers understand how they can improve water quality by reducing phosphorus and nitrogen losses from their farms.

DMACC students get real-world experience in conservation

3/27/2017

Iowa farmers have been experimenting with growing cover crops on their farms

Research finds many benefits for farmers planting cover crops

3/27/2017

Iowa cover crop acres grew by approximately 32 percent to 623,700 acres, according to the newly-released Iowa Learning Farms 2016 Field Day Evaluation Report.

Millers conservation philosophy guides water quality project

3/27/2017

Taking on the challenge of improving water quality and reducing soil erosion is nothing new for Randy and Carol Miller

Collaborations help Storm Lake lead on water quality

3/27/2017

When heavy rains propelled flood waters as high as a car’s door handles in parts of Storm Lake a few years ago, James Patrick, city manager, knew something had to be done.

Did you see that? Don’t overlook Iowa’s water quality gains

3/21/2017

Cover crops, buffer strips, and wetlands might not look impressive, but they are producing some amazing results!

Iowa's water quality progress is happening in your backyard

3/20/2017

Cleaner water starts with science and goals, but ultimately it takes teams of individuals, organizations, businesses and government entities committed to getting the job done in communities around the state. That’s where Iowa’s Water Quality Initiative is truly excelling.

Poll: Conservation practices gaining ground on Iowa farms

3/20/2017

Iowa farmers are significantly increasing the use of conservation practices geared toward achieving the goals of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, according to a new Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll released last week.

IDALS to fund projects focused on water quality

3/13/2017

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey last week announced the State Soil Conservation Comm­­ittee Research and Dem­on­stra­tion Fund has assistance available for research, education or demonstration projects focused on reducing non-point source pollution. 

Farmer says livestock and grain farmers must work together

3/13/2017

For Tama County Farm Bureau member John Weber, conservation is at the heart of his livestock and grain farm.

Practical Farmers of Iowa studies benefits of cover crops

3/13/2017

Livestock farmers are discovering that using cover crops not only boosts soil nutrient levels, but also cuts input costs because the cover crops can be used as a feed replacement for grazing cattle.

Iowa launches strategy to boost monarch butterfly population

3/6/2017

A wide-ranging consortium of Iowa farm organizations, state agencies, agribusiness companies and Iowa State University (ISU) last week launched a ground-breaking strategy to boost Iowa’s monarch butterfly population.

Iowa cover crop acreage jumps again in 2016

3/6/2017

The number of Iowa cover crop acres grew by approximately 32 percent to 623,700 acres in 2016, despite low commodity prices and tight margins

30-plus organizations team up to help re-establish monarch habitat in Iowa

2/27/2017

The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium has released a statewide strategy to support monarch butterfly recovery in Iowa and North America.

Environmental award nominations open

2/27/2017

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey are encouraging Iowans to nominate farmers who have taken on the challenge of improving water quality and saving soil for the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award.

Conservation gains neighbor to neighbor

2/27/2017

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of visiting with several of Iowa’s conservation pioneers, and I’ve often heard a common story.

Iowa officials outline plans to scale up water quality efforts

2/13/2017

As more Iowa farmers step up to take on the challenge of improving water quality, state and academic leaders last week outlined plans to scale up practices and build momentum for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative.

Baders earn IPPA environmental award

2/6/2017

The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) presented its 2016 Iowa Environmental Steward Award to Black Hawk County Farm Bureau members Ben and Anna Bader of Jesup.

No time to ease up on water quality

2/6/2017

I bumped into my friend, Al Schafbuch, at a conference last week.

Study finds cereal rye cover crop has little effect on corn yields and may help soybeans

2/6/2017

Cereal rye cover crops added to a corn-soybean rotation have little to no negative effect on yield and actually increased soybean yields in seven site-years and corn yield in two-sites years

ISU’s soil health conference set for Feb. 16-17 in Ames

2/6/2017

The second annual Iowa Soil Health Conference is set for Feb. 16 and 17 in Ames.

Soil health partnership setting sites for 2017 field days

2/6/2017

The Soil-Health Partnership (SHP) is in the process of setting dates and locations for field days that will provide information about long-term studies the organization that began in 2016.

Pork group offers funding for water quality projects

1/30/2017

The Iowa Pork Producers As­­sociation (IPPA) is partnering with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to offer additional cost-share dollars to pig farmers installing new nutrient loss reduction technologies.

Northey: Iowa farmers making water quality gains

1/30/2017

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey last week told lawmakers in a report that farmers are continuing to expand their efforts to improve water quality.

Iowa Farm Bureau pleased with Iowa Supreme Court ruling on the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit

1/27/2017

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) members are pleased that the Iowa Supreme Court is upholding a century of precedent and established Iowa law by rejecting those aspects of the Des Moines Water Works’ lawsuit against drainage districts in Sac, Calhoun and Buena Vista counties, which were referred to the court.

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

1/23/2017

Nominations are now being sought to find the 2017 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year, a prestigious honor with a substantial prize; the winner receives use of a new John Deere 6E utility tractor for a year.

Securing dedicated water quality funding, coupling with federal tax policy, and protecting property taxpayers top Iowa Farm Bureau's 2017 legislative priorities

1/10/2017

Members of Iowa’s largest grassroots farm organization plan to focus their 2017 legislative lobbying strength on issues that stand to impact all Iowans, including advancing water quality, coupling with Section 179, and protecting property taxpayers.

USDA, partners invest in Iowa conservation

1/3/2017

The U.S. Department of Agri­culture (USDA) and its conservation partners will direct $3.2 million towards two new conservation projects in eastern Iowa to improve water quality and enhance soil health

Farmers share conservation stories to build water quality momentum

12/12/2016

There’s a new set of discussion topics these days at farm meetings around Iowa.

Water quality: Some assembly required

12/12/2016

Some assembly required. Those three words strike fear in the hearts of parents as Christmas approaches...

98th Iowa Farm Bureau Annual Meeting celebrates innovation, accomplishments of agriculture

12/7/2016

Members of the state’s largest grassroots farm organization gathered in Des Moines, 1,000 strong, to celebrate the many ways agriculture helps Iowans “Believe, Lead and Achieve” a path of success in rural Iowa.

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