We asked farmers what their most effective soil conservation practices are. From Iowa to Missouri, their responses included bioreactor water control systems, no-till and cover crops. Read what these farmers had to say, and then comment below with your most effective practices for conserving soil on your farm.

Tim Recker, Arlington, Iowa

As farmers, we all need to find what works within our management practices.

It’s not really new, but I’m working with bioreactor water control systems.

I’ve installed three or four, and I’m seeing more incorporated into tile systems. I think they will be popular because of the way they reduce nitrates coming out of the tile lines.

The control structure holds back the water in a field so it runs through a woodchip bioreactor that captures nitrates.

We’ve tested the water before and after and found a 50% to 85% reduction in nitrates out of our tile lines.

The average price for putting a system in is about $3,000, and they work. What’s unfortunate is that cost-share money is only available through watershed projects or EQIP, so not every farmer can get cost-share funding.