March 16, 2017

Spotlight Story

  • 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 »
  • Peterson recognized with Public Sector Impact Award in fifth annual IAWA Iowa Watershed Awards

    Tracy Peterson, City of Ames Municipal Engineer, was honored with the Public Sector Impact Award by the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) during the fifth annual Iowa Watershed Awards program. Peterson oversees a five-year, $6.3 million flood mitigation program that focuses on a section of the South Skunk River that used to flood frequently. That’s[...]Read More »
  • Successful model for water cleaning practices expands to more Iowa communities

    By Dan Looker, IAWA contributor Tanner Puls has been the state’s new edge-of-field coordinator only since April 1.  Every day is different as he works to meet the goals of Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Based at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS,) he works mainly with watershed coordinators around the state. He[...]Read More »
  • Growers – get free nitrogen research on your fields to make better informed decisions

    AMES, Iowa (ISU Agronomy) – Iowa State University (Iowa State), has partnered with agricultural service providers, Iowa farmers and their advisers to launch the Iowa Nitrogen Initiative – a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership that will leverage on-farm data to generate continuous improvements in resource use efficiency. The Iowa Nitrogen Initiative is currently recruiting Iowa farmers to[...]Read More »
  • $80 million coming to Iowa & Missouri for Horizon II project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

    By Rebekah Jones, IAWA Communications Director ANKENY, Iowa (IAWA) – An $80 million project to enhance climate-smart markets, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve carbon sequestration in agriculture will be funded by USDA. It’s part of a $2.8 billion announcement made by USDA Wednesday morning. The project is a major win for Iowa, bringing millions[...]Read More »
  • Farmers – know about this deadline for priority funding to improve your land

    DES MOINES, Iowa (NRCS) — Iowa farmers and private landowners interested in treating resource concerns on their lands have until Oct. 7 to be considered for priority funding for conservation programs administered through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Four of the most popular USDA conservation programs are included in this signup period: Agricultural Conservation[...]Read More »
  • Born Here, Brewed Here: Local farmers team up with Exile Brewing to turn Iowa-grown grains into beer

    By Jenna Middaugh  Corn and soybeans cover much of Iowa’s rolling acres, but some farmers are starting to change the state’s landscape with small grains – crops that are also improving water quality.   These Iowa grown small grains are going into the first beer in a brand new Exile Brewing Company series called “Born Here,[...]Read More »
  • Rural drinking water survey shows significant nitrate risk for many Iowans

    AMES, Iowa (Iowa State Extension) – The results of a new drinking water survey reveal a stark risk of exposure to potentially unhealthy drinking water. Risk profiles were compiled based on recent testing, use of reverse osmosis filters, and use of supplemental water sources. The Iowa Drinking Water Survey was conducted by the Conser vation[...]Read More »
  • Wilbur on the Water: A Tenderloin Trail Companion Guide

    By Kaitlin Little It may almost be the end of summer, but the IAWA team isn’t ready to close the books on fun in the sun just yet. There’s still time for picnics and weekend adventures. If you need some inspiration, we have you covered! The Iowa Pork Producer Association’s Tenderloin Trail is a handy[...]Read More »
  • New position in Cedar Rapids helps farmers improve water quality

    By Rebekah Jones  Cedar Rapids, IA (IAWA) – Evan Brehm describes his new job as Conservation Agronomist for Linn Co-Op and the Iowa Soybean Association as his dream job. It’s a brand-new position that the Cedar Rapids area hasn’t had before.  The role of a conservation agronomist is to provide agronomic advice and support to[...]Read More »
  • Our favorite photos from RAGBRAI 2022

    The route for RAGBRAI 2022 weaved through many different geographies of Iowa, each featuring different challenges for farmers and conservation planners. See this article about the history of the land along the route! From the extremely erosive Loess hills in Western Iowa, to the 3,000 foot climb in Northwest Iowa, cyclist and IAWA writer, Dan[...]Read More »
  • Iowa’s not flat?! How glaciers formed a hilly RAGBRAI route

    RAGBRAI riders will bike through six out of seven landform regions in Iowa, many created by glaciers more than 13,000 yeras ago. They not only created a challenge for cyclists, but also for conservation due to unique soils and landscapes. Dan Looker, IAWA writer and RAGBRAI enthusiast, describes the route’s unique geography riders will see.[...]Read More »