Conservation en Partners in conservation <div class="field-deck"> A young Iowa farmer and his landlord work together on soil and water improvements </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><p>Although it’s only been three seasons since Scott Poen switched to no-till and strip-till, the soil is already responding, he says. Water infiltration has improved, and he hasn’t had to fix any washouts on sloping fields. </p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Conservation Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:57:00 +0000 102001 at <p>Poen and Ritchie worked together on plans for a constructed wetland on Carnavon Creek, which flows through Bethune family land and empties into Black Hawk Lake. The wetland, which treats both surface and subsurface drainage water from a large area, was built with federal and state funds through the Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Ritchie donated a pasture and 15 acres of cropland for the project, which includes a 4-acre pond, a large dam, and a 24-acre grass buffer. Such wetlands are very effective at filtering nutrients and sediment, cutting nitrate loads by 20% to 50%. They also provide a home for wildlife.</p> Photo: Kurt Lawton Attend the Conservation Tillage Conference <div class="field-byline"> Source: Conservation Tillage Conference </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><p>In less than a month, farmers will gather to discuss conservation tillage. The annual Conservation Tillage Conference, held this year in Willmar on Dec. 15 and 16, will feature speakers, breakout sessions, roundtable discussions and the favorite: beer and bull. </p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Tillage Conservation Fri, 20 Nov 2015 20:14:00 +0000 101931 at Can cover crops help farmers combat climate change, drought? <div class="node-body gallery-body"><p>As harvest season ends and farmers in the United States ready themselves for winter, one small change could make a huge difference in their soil’s health and the health of our climate-impacted world: planting cover crops.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Sustainable Agriculture cover crops Soil Sustainable Agriculture Thu, 19 Nov 2015 18:52:00 +0000 101921 at New farm pond recycles drainage water <div class="field-deck"> Iowa farmer builds profitable pond to capture excess water that feeds five center pivots. </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><p>With the installation of an 18-acre pond in mid-December 2014, eastern Iowa grower Jim Sladek married the pattern drainage and irrigation. By April 1, the pond was full, ready and waiting for use by center pivots. Ninety-five percent of its water came from drain tile.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Corn Soybeans Conservation Drainage Thu, 19 Nov 2015 17:31:00 +0000 101911 at <p>The sun sets on Eastern Iowa farmer Jim Sladek&rsquo;s new 18-acre pond he built to capture and recycle drain tile water through his pivot irrigation rigs.&nbsp;</p> Photo: JCS Family Farms Can conservation cut insurance rates? <div class="field-deck"> Data analysis could put teeth in conservation value. </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><p>Tying conservation practices to federal crop insurance rules and rates requires turning field experience into public policy, and that requires data. AGree, a collaborative effort founded and funded by nine of the world's leading foundations committed to food and agriculture, is attempting to make that connection.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Issues Conservation Crop Mon, 02 Nov 2015 20:35:00 +0000 101381 at Source: NRCS From plow to no-till <div class="field-deck"> Farmer finds his way to make no-till and cover crops work to grow OM and protect soil. </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><p>Twenty-four years of continuous no-till, plus a decade of cover cropping, has largely halted water erosion on Dan Gillespie's farm in northeastern Nebraska, he says. Soil biological activity is flourishing and soil organic matter has climbed by more than a third. </p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Soybeans Tillage cover crops No Till Fri, 23 Oct 2015 21:39:00 +0000 101261 at <p><strong>After 20 years of no tillage and a decade of cover crops, Dan Gillespie&rsquo;s soil organic matter levels have nearly doubled. Higher organic matter levels have boosted his soil&rsquo;s water-holding capacity, allowing him to cut irrigation water usage.&nbsp;</strong></p> Invest in soil biology <div class="node-body blog-body"><p>I recently spent two great days at a USDA workshop in Washington, D.C. How could that be fun, right? It was great because of thoughtful discussion and debate by many bright minds all focused on finding ways to get more farmers and landowners involved in the long-term value of soil health.</p> </div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/think-different">Think Different</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Soil Think Different Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:52:00 +0000 100841 at How does tillage impact soil health? <div class="node-body gallery-body"><p>Dust storms, rills and gullies, soil crusting, runoff, ponding — these are above-ground signs of poor soil health. And below ground: weak soil aggregation, compaction, impaired biological life, restricted water infiltration, stagnant smell, gray color. The prime culprit? Tillage. </p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation Corn Soybeans Tillage Mon, 28 Sep 2015 15:55:00 +0000 100671 at Farming for water <div class="field-deck"> Farmer uses cover crops, no-till to handle wet soils, weeds. </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><p>While many farmers rely on spring tillage to dry out wet soils, Jerry Ackerman goes the other way. His cover crop/no-till program helps him handle heavy rains and wet soils better than tillage and drain tiles. In 2013, it even helped him fight waterhemp thanks to the strips of cereal rye he seeded the previous fall in soybeans and corn.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Conservation cover crops No Till Thu, 17 Sep 2015 20:43:00 +0000 100541 at <p>Cover crops interseeded at V5 or V6 were healthy, green and ready to explode as corn dried down prior to harvest.</p> Photo: Jerry and Nancy Ackerman Will you seed cover crops this year? <div class="node-body advpoll_binary-body"><p>Cover crops are gaining in usage across the Corn Belt. We&#39;d like to know, do you plan&nbsp;to plant cover crops this fall? If so, on how many acres of your row-crop fields? Or, perhaps you won&#39;t plant any at all. Take our latest poll and let us know. Feel free to leave a comment with your location and planned cover crop acreage.</p> </div><form action="/poll/09152015" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="advpoll-voting-binary-form-0" class="advpoll-vote"> <div><div class="poll"> <div class="advpoll-available-choices"> <div class="vote-choices"> <div class="form-radios"><div class="form-item" id="edit-choice-3681-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-choice-3681"><input type="radio" id="edit-choice-3681" name="choice" value="3681" class="form-radio" /> Yes, on 25% of my row-crop acres.</label> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-choice-3691-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-choice-3691"><input type="radio" id="edit-choice-3691" name="choice" value="3691" class="form-radio" /> Yes, on 50% of my row-crop acres.</label> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-choice-3701-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-choice-3701"><input type="radio" id="edit-choice-3701" name="choice" value="3701" class="form-radio" /> Yes, on 75% of my row-crop acres.</label> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-choice-3711-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-choice-3711"><input type="radio" id="edit-choice-3711" name="choice" value="3711" class="form-radio" /> Yes, on all of my row-crop acres.</label> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-choice-3721-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-choice-3721"><input type="radio" id="edit-choice-3721" name="choice" value="3721" class="form-radio" /> No, I won’t seed cover crops this year.</label> </div> </div> </div> </div> <input type="hidden" name="ajax" id="edit-ajax" value="" class="ajax" /> <input type="hidden" name="nid" id="edit-nid" value="100501" class="edit-nid" /> <input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-vote-binary-0" value="Answer" class="form-submit" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-nHauihvGg0Pee1Z2u_K6f1JQXYoESuLZYl2V_WJce5g" value="form-nHauihvGg0Pee1Z2u_K6f1JQXYoESuLZYl2V_WJce5g" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-advpoll-voting-binary-form" value="advpoll_voting_binary_form" /> </div> </div></form> <div class="field-redirect-on-submit"> <span>Go to result page on submit:&nbsp;</span> Go to result page on submit </div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div> Conservation Tue, 15 Sep 2015 18:28:13 +0000 100501 at