Wants safe, clean water

To the editor:

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy was formed as a science and technology based program to help Iowa due its part in reducing nutrient loss into our water supply. There was already a lot of voluntary and some cost share conversation practices being applied in the state at that time, but there was a lot more that could be done. The NRS provided a platform the both farmers and the ag industry could get behind to drive awareness and research to promote conservation practices.

Although there is a lot of work yet to be done, there has been a substantial amount of improvement in a short amount of time. As mentioned in the 2016-2017 Annual Report of the NRS, cover crop acres in Iowa have increased from 15,000 acres in 2011 to over 600,000 in 2016. It will take a number of different practices to reach the goals set by the NRS, but cover crops are one tool that can be very effective in some parts of the state in managing both nutrient loss and soil and water quality.

As agriculture works to improve at managing one of our most precious assets, the land, I would encourage anyone not in agriculture to be mindful of how you manage your land as well. As urban areas continue to grow, there are a lot of extremely green yards which in some cases suggests a fertilizer application. We all drink from the same water supplies and hence we all want clean water. Let’s work together to insure we all have safe, clean water to drink for generations to come.

Jeremy Swanson