The Iowa Soybean Association focuses its attention on conservation in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Roger Wolf serves as director of environmental programs and services for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). Wolf says first and foremost, ISA is interested in practices which help farmers implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
“Practices such as: edge of field practices, bioreactors, saturated buffers and wetland projects,” Wolf said. “Cover crops continue to be a big practice farmers consider. We’ll be looking at how practices could be incentivised in the conservation title.”
Iowa farmers utilize nutrient production practices which monitor nutrient application, timing and placement of fertilizer and other erosion factors. Wolf says improving water quality starts with fundamental soil conservation practices.
“Then we’re looking at ideas like cover crops,” Wolf said. “Of course, there (are a) lot of different issues that farmers have to manage to make cover crops work in their farming system. There’s a fair amount of research that has to be done on those practices that gives farmers the confidence they need.”
ISA offers farmers assistance in improving water quality and off-site impacts of agriculture.
“We like to say we’re science-based, and try to bring a lot of data into the picture, whether that’s monitoring your water or doing research on cover crop performance,” Wolf said. “Our watershed program gives farmers in targeted watersheds a roadmap on how implementation could take place.”