For farmers, conservation isn’t a seasonal project
“I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds.”
As the beginning of the FFA creed states, there are many reasons to believe in the future of agriculture! Conservation is one of the many cornerstones in the industry, and conservation isn’t a seasonal project, it is year-round.
In the off-season when we aren’t in the fields planting or harvesting, we look for fields that would benefit from increased waterways to control water flow. Seeding those waterways helps prevent erosion, nutrient run-off, and improves crop production. The next step is the use of no-till conservation practices when planting. By planting directly into existing residue from the previous year’s crop, soil microbial matter is held in place to reduce erosion and protect nearby waterways.
Farmers have stepped up to accept the challenge of improving water quality, and technological advancements have greatly improved conservation. During the growing season, we are able to take soil samples from our fields, and late season, we apply nutrients so our plants receive just the right amount, only when they need it.
The conservation practices in place are outlined in Iowa’s Water Quality Initiative as proven practices to improve soil health and water quality. We are always evaluating our conservation plan to ensure a sustainable and successful farm that protects our environment. I encourage other farmers to explore some of these practices and to explore other conservation practices that could have success on their farm.
Alex Beck, Delmar, IA