Field Day: Soil and Water Health in Action

On November 7, 2015 Prairie Rivers of Iowa hosted an informational field day which included a tour of two farms near Stratford, Iowa. The beautiful, crisp day filled with sunshine and pastoral landscape views created a perfect setting for learning about soil and water conservation practices such as prairie buffers, filter strips, wetlands, rotational grazing, and cover crops. The highlight of the day for many of the attendees was the hay-rack tour. It was a classic way to learn about two Iowa farms and their stewards. It's definitely safe to say that both the farmers and the group covered a lot of ground. The first stop of the tour was at a ridge on Jim and Anita Johnson's farm, Prairie Hill Farm of Hamilton County. From this location you could see the prairie field borders, a prairie filter strip, and a wetland surrounded by a large riparian area. This area intercepts water draining off their farmland, which includes rotational cattle pasture and row crops. It also intercepts some...
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DIG DEEPER: Mysteries in the Soil

As you go about your busy day, did you ever stop and ponder about how you are treating the soil and water that you come into contact with? In celebration of National Soil and Water Conservation Week, I challenge you to take a moment to do so. One way that a producer could conserve the soil and water quality and quantity is by enrolling the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). " In exchange for removing environmentally sensitive land from production and introducing conservation practices, farmers, ranchers, and agricultural land owners are paid an annual rental rate. Participation is voluntary, and the contract period is typically 10–15 years, along with other federal and state incentives as applicable per each CREP agreement." This program is just one example of how you can get involved in making a difference to the world that we so often take for granted. To learn more about the CREP Program, visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=copr&topic=cep    Photo Credit: http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/waterresources/CREP.asp...
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