A lot of options when it comes to improving sustainability on your farm and in a lot of cases there’s cost share available. Of course, cover crops are an increasingly popular sustainability option, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture is starting sign-up on Friday for their crop insurance discount program on cover crop acres, but also edge of field practices are in a lot of cases are cost-shared as well:
“There’s a lot of interest in the these edge of field practices like bioreactors and saturated buffers. Linn County is going through a current Batch and Build, and there are a couple others going throughout the Middle Cedar watershed and various counties. Currently we are seeking land owners and farmers in the Benton County area as well. We do have some things lined up, but we are looking to get more of these put together. The more we get put together realistically the cheaper that it becomes. With the cost share programs, this is what’s great for Iowa land owners and farmers is of zero cost with many other benefits.”
Iowa Soybean Association Conservation Agronomist Evan Brehm says there’s lots of resources available:
“Talk to the local farmers around you, maybe some friends who have been doing these practices and that’s again how I’ve learned with these farmers. I see what they’re doing in their operations, but also do your own research and, you know, always think about what your goal is on your operation. Whether it’s soil conservation, is it reducing nitrates, is it looking at maybe an alternative cash crop?”
As far as getting started:
“Start small, don’t do just one strip, but maybe do a handful of acres and see how it works on your operation. But also be forward thinking and knowing your management and know the logistics behind everything that’s going to help you.”
You can learn more by simply checking out the Pods of Potential Podcast with our friends at the Iowa Soybean Association.