United States: Iowa farmers tackle nutrient management

© Famartin

A set of new efforts have been announced to help Iowa’s farmers and livestock producers conserve water and soil resources and improve nutrient management practices. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will expand access to its signature conservation programmes for Iowa producers, making available up to 85,000 additional acres for sensitive lands, and better target grants and loans for technical assistance and capital improvements, while working with state partners to more closely align priorities in an improved watershed-based strategy for nutrient management. Through the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program, Iowa producers have contributed to a reduction of 118 million kilogrammes of nitrogen and 242 million kilogrammes of phosphorus in the Mississippi River Basin between 2008 and 2013.