March 16, 2017

Spotlight Story

  • West O Beer, Doll Distributing support Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance with “Blue Taps=Clean Water”

    DES MOINES, Iowa (IAWA) – Central Iowa beer lovers can now support clean water efforts simply by ordering a pint thanks to the expanded “Blue Taps=Clean Water” program from West O Beer, in partnership with Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA).  West O is donating a portion of the proceeds from all beers poured through blue[...]Read More »
  • When it comes to better soil health, context is key

    New Soil Health Interpretation Portal gives customized, “apples-to-apples” insights ANKENY, Iowa (IAWA) – It’s no secret that Iowa is blessed with great cropland, and the Iowa Soybean Association’s new, free-to-use Soil Health Interpretation Portal (SHIP) is helping farmers get the most out of their top-notch topsoil. The SHIP shows farmers how their soil is performing in the[...]Read More »
  • Reap the rewards of better drainage practices with free land upgrades on your farm

    Iowa farmers face ag drainage problems. There are solutions. When farm field runoff flows through traditional tile drainage structures, water doesn’t have a chance to slow down and infiltrate the soil. This is not good for drought resiliency – which is becoming even more important as we face more dry summers. It also leads to[...]Read More »
  • City of Cedar Rapids’ Mary Beth Stevenson earns IAWA Public Impact award, honored at Iowa Watershed Awards

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (IAWA) – City of Cedar Rapids Watersheds & Source Water Program Manager Mary Beth Stevenson has been named the winner of the 2023 Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) Public Impact Award for her impressive partnership efforts, urban-rural focus, and her role in increasing the pace and scale of water quality practices in[...]Read More »
  • DNR’s Josh Balk named IAWA Watershed Coordinator of the Year, honored at Iowa Watershed Awards

    WATERLOO, Iowa (IAWA) – Josh Balk’s dedication to improving water quality in the Cedar River watershed is being recognized with the 2023 IAWA Watershed Coordinator of the Year award, an honor given to one outstanding Iowa watershed coordinator each year. In his role as an Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) watershed and source water[...]Read More »
  • Agri Drain, ESE founder Charlie Schafer earns IAWA Private Impact award, honored at Iowa Watershed Awards

    ADAIR, Iowa (IAWA) – Agri Drain Corporation and Ecosystems Services Exchange (ESE) founder and leader Charlie Schafer has been named the winner of the 2023 Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) Private Impact Award, which will be presented at the Iowa Water Conference next week in Altoona. Schafer’s leadership at Agri Drain, ESE, and numerous ag[...]Read More »
  • Weather conditions and fertilizer prices result in challenges but also opportunities

    Nitrogen stabilizers and nitrogen research to be the focus of a Central Iowa Field Day By IAWA and Verdesian, an IAWA Business Council member   With nitrogen prices increasing over the past few years, growers have their minds squarely on fertilizer costs. Throw into the mix weather volatility (what else is new?), and farmers are[...]Read More »
  • From ditches to riches, restored prairie builds healthy Iowa soil

    By Adam Sodders ST. ANTHONY, Iowa (IAWA) – In Marshall County, a 105-acre patch of restored prairie gives a glimpse into Iowa’s past and serves as an example of the impact that long-term conservation work can have. That same patch is where Carl Kurtz has called home all of his 77 years, more than half[...]Read More »
  • Relationships, trust key to a sustainable future in Iowa agriculture

    Ag retailers join forces with farmers, local officials to scale up conservation practices in the Cedar River Source Water Partnership By Adam Sodders, IAWA NEWHALL, Iowa (IAWA) – In the rolling hills of eastern Iowa’s Cedar River watershed, an exciting new kind of soil and water conservation partnership is finding success. As interest in improving[...]Read More »
  • What will you be able to say in 2033?

    IAWA Executive Director Sean McMahon reflects on a decade of progress and a decade of opportunity as we enter the next 10 years of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. This web post is a shortened version of Sean’s ‘Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy – the Defining Decade’ speech to the Iowa Smart Agriculture Forum. You can watch[...]Read More »
  • Walking in water

    Watershed coordinators’ hands-on work improves NE Iowa streams By Dan Looker The Turkey River winds and ripples past limestone bluffs in Northeast Iowa and is a favorite of paddlers and anglers. But where the river starts, at a gently sloping corn field in Howard County, it looks more like an easily jumped ditch. Hunter Slifka,[...]Read More »
  • Iowa farmers can get up to $38/acre through WQI funds

    DES MOINES, Iowa (IDALS/IAWA) – Farmers and landowners can now get up to $38 per acre for water quality practices like cover crops and no-till. It’s through Iowa’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI). WQI funds help farmers adopt proven water quality practices, including planting cover crops, transitioning acres to no-till/strip-till or applying a nitrogen inhibitor. “Building on the record[...]Read More »
  • Changing water, soil health mindsets where the prairie meets the hills

    NE Iowa farmer optimistic about future of water quality, soil health after first decade of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy By Adam Sodders ARLINGTON, Iowa (IAWA) – Tim Recker’s family has a long history of crop farming in northeast Iowa’s Fayette County, and he’s adding to that legacy as a leader in on-farm soil and[...]Read More »
  • From wet spot to wetland

    Partnerships lead to new water quality feature at DMACC Dallas County Farm By Adam Sodders ADEL, Iowa (IAWA) – A once-troublesome mud puddle in a Central Iowa farm field has been transformed into one of the state’s newest water quality wetlands. The new wetland was completed in January at the DMACC Dallas County Farm near Adel.[...]Read More »
  • IAWA and partners to celebrate $140,000 grant with wetlands tour

    ADEL, Iowa (IAWA) – You’re invited! Join us during Earth Week on April 19, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. to learn about the power of wetlands near Iowa farmland to improve water quality! RSVP here. This is part of a celebration hosted by the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, DMACC, Ducks Unlimited, Dallas County, and Polk County[...]Read More »
  • Iowa farmers use “water quality toolbox”

    Proven practices find success on Iowa farms, benefit downstream neighbors   By Dan Looker, IAWA Writer Iowa (IAWA) – Seven years ago Jon Bakehouse of Hastings, Iowa, started planting cover crops where he grows corn and soybeans with his father. Switching to no-till farming in the 1990s improved water filtration in wet spots on their West[...]Read More »
  • Iowa N Initiative hits the airwaves

    DES MOINES, Iowa (IAWA) – Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance Executive Director Sean McMahon hit the airwaves this week to talk about the Iowa N Initiative – a program helping Iowa farmers dial in their fields’ fertilizer needs. McMahon was joined on The Big Show’s “Clean Water Wednesday” by Melissa Miller of The N Initiative.   The[...]Read More »
  • Farmers back clean water research

    By Dan Looker Two farmer-led organizations in Iowa have a long history of research-based work—the Iowa Soybean Association and Practical Farmers of Iowa. For 11 years, ISA has run its own water lab – the Research Center for Farming Innovation (RFCI) – testing thousands of samples from streams and drainage tiles each year. Nitrates and[...]Read More »
  • Tools to track nutrient reduction progress

    By Dan Looker Iowa (IAWA) – Iowans can track nutrient reduction progress using two sources: the Iowa Nutrient Research and Ed­­­­­ucation Council (INREC) and Iowa State University’s online reporting dashboard. INREC conducts statistically reliable surveys of ag retailers each year, meeting with agronomists to pick 1,000 representative locations. Other sources rely on data from government[...]Read More »
  • Nutrients in farming: What are they and why do we need them?

    By Dan Looker, IAWA Writer Iowans have heard a lot about nitrogen fertilizer in recent years. Nitrogen and phosphorus are the two key nutrients that the state is working to manage better through the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. In May, the Strategy will be a decade old. As that anniversary nears, it’s worth taking a[...]Read More »
  • Some soil health gains can happen fast

    And other surprising facts about regenerative farming By Dan Looker, IAWA contributor AMES, Iowa (IAWA) – Building healthy soil takes work, investment, and time. It can be years before tests show increases in stable organic matter and benefits are seen… at least, that’s a common belief among many people. But that’s not quite right, says[...]Read More »
  • Soil, water conservation practices increase profitability for S.E. Iowa farmer

    By Dan Looker, IAWA contributor WASHINGTON CO., Iowa (IAWA) – In southeast Iowa, sixth-generation farmer Brian Hora has seen great improvements in soil health and input savings after starting no-till in 1978 and cover crops in 2013. Weed suppression from planting into growing cereal rye, a cover crop, has eliminated the need for residual herbicides[...]Read More »
  • Stream restorations are part of the equation to reducing nutrients in Iowa water 

    NORTH RACCOON WATERSHED, Iowa (IAWA) – Many farmers have old oxbow scars on their properties, but they don’t even realize it. Restoring them can make a big difference for water quality.   Oxbow scars are “u-shaped” stream beds that fill with eroded sediment. They often end up being wet spots in a field that have consistently[...]Read More »
  • Slifka recognized as 2022 Coordinator of the Year in fifth annual IAWA Iowa Watershed Awards

    Hunter Slifka, watershed project coordinator for the Turkey River Headwaters & Chihak Creek in NE Iowa, was honored as the 2022 Watershed Coordinator of the Year by the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) during the fifth annual Iowa Watershed Awards program. With Slifka’s dedication to water quality in his 62,000-acre watershed, cover crops have expanded from[...]Read More »
  • McCabe recognized with Private Sector Impact Award in fifth annual IAWA Iowa Watershed Awards

    Ruth McCabe, Heartland Co-op Conservation Agronomist based in Central Iowa, is the 2022 winner of a statewide Impact Award for her outstanding commitment to water quality. McCabe accepted the Impact Award for the Private Sector at the Iowa Water Conference in Dubuque on Thurs., Sept. 29 during the fifth annual IAWA Iowa Watershed Awards program.[...]Read More »