Items Tagged with 'water quality'


Cover Crops After a Drought Can Impact Water Quality

The dry conditions throughout large areas of Iowa during 2020 reminds us of Iowa’s last significant drought in 2012 and the subsequent impacts on nitrate-N levels in subsurface drainage the following spring. There is a risk of elevated fall soil nitrate levels due to dry conditions this growing season. Read more in this article from the Aberdeen News (Aberdeen, SD).
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Midwest Cover Crops Council Updates Decision Tool

The Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) is rolling out an improved cover crop selection tool that will help farmers make decisions. Users select their state/province and county and then select the goals they have for cover crops — erosion control, nitrogen scavenger, fighting weeds and providing forage, etc. Read more in this press release from Purdue University.
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[Podcast] Improving Water Quality with Cover Crops

This podcast, sponsored by Yetter Equipment, features an interview with Jeff Vetsch, a researcher at the University of Minnesota Southern Research & Outreach Center in Waseca, Minn., and Anna Cates, Minnesota State Soil Health Specialist.
This podcast, sponsored by Yetter Equipment, features an interview with Jeff Vetsch, a researcher at the University of Minnesota Southern Research & Outreach Center in Waseca, Minn., and Anna Cates, Minnesota State Soil Health Specialist.
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What Makes Healthy Soil?

Soil health has been defined as “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living system, within ecosystem and land-use boundaries, to sustain biological productivity, maintain the quality of air and water environments, and promote plant, animal, and human health.” The challenge with this poetic definition is that, while it does describe the functional abilities of soil, it does not provide quantifiable values or measurements. Read more in this article from the Alberta Farm Express.
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Landowners Need Incentives to Practice Sustainability

As attention on water quality, sustainability, farm income levels, and rural quality of life grows every year, those of us who work in the soil and water conservation arena often wonder what will be required to get the majority of landowners to adopt even the most basic soil health practices. We live in the most altered landscape in the United States, we have nearly the smallest amount of forests and public lands of any state, and we have only half of the topsoil we had in the 1860s. Read more in this article from the Globe Gazette (Mason City, IA).
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USDA Investing $56 Million to Improve Water Quality

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest $56 million this year to help agricultural producers improve water quality in more than 300 high-priority watersheds across the country. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is continuing two of its successful landscape-level water quality efforts, the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) and National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI). Find out more in this article from Hoosier Ag Today.
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Iowa Farmers Need to "Urgently" Adopt Cover Crops

Al Schafbuch said Iowa farmers are moving too slowly in adopting conservation practices that would help improve the quality of the state's rivers, streams and lakes. With only about 7% of Iowa farmland planted in cover crops, "it will take 100 years to get this done," Schafbuch said. "We can't wait 100 years."
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Cattle grazing

Soil Erosion, Water Quality Improved from Grazing & Cover Crops

Preventing soil erosion and nutrient runoff, and improving water quality are issues that are important to farmers, elected officials and the general public. Derrick Raspor, soil conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, demonstrated the effects of different cropping systems on surface and ground water during a recent field day hosted by Rachel Bouressa on the Bouressa Family Farm. Read more in this article from the Wisconsin State Farmer.
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Weather Patterns, Planting Dates Influence Cover Crop Forage Yields

Cover crops protect soil and water quality and often provide a valuable source of livestock feed. However, not much research has been done regarding the value and viability of using cover crops for forage. A new study supported by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture evaluated the use of cover crops to get a better understanding of its forage yield and quality, cattle performance, and soil health. Find out more in this article by Michaela King with Hay & Forage Grower.
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Attend the Fall 2020 Virtual National Cover Crop Summit

Join the editors of Cover Crop Strategies and today's leading cover crop experts Nov. 17-18 for 2-days of productive online learning and networking during the third National Cover Crop Summit. This free-to-attend online event will deliver practical cover cropping ideas and advice to meet your specific needs.

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