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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2017
AGRICULTURE

Iowa Soybean Association seeks watershed nominations

Sep 12, 2017

The Iowa Soybean Association is seeking four HUC-12 watersheds to participate in a one-year watershed planning project.

The goal of the project is to assist Iowa watersheds by building readiness for implementation of conservation practices aimed at improving soil and water quality on farms in the watersheds.

“Watershed planning helps guide farmers and watershed stakeholders through a collaborative process where they select the solutions that best fit conditions on their farms” said Adam Kiel, operations manager for water resources at ISA.

The watershed planning process begins with development of a watershed advisory group that will provide local input and feedback during the one-year planning process. ISA staff will conduct on-farm and watershed assessments and develop watershed models to determine all opportunities for improving farm and watershed soil and water. The information gathered will lay the foundation for long-term implementation of the right conservation practices in the best locations.

“This is a great opportunity for farmers, landowners and other stakeholders to begin working toward improving local soil and water,” said Kiel. “Watershed planning often leads to increased funding for additional conservation practices such as cover crops, bioreactors or reduced tillage.”

Watersheds should be no larger than one HUC-12, which is typically around 20,000 acres. To qualify, there should be some level of local interest in improving soil and water quality through the implementation of conservation practices. Watersheds with completed watershed plans are more likely to receive funding for conservation practice implementation. An example of this is the Rock Creek watershed in Mitchell County; the completed watershed plan laid the groundwork for a nearly $1 million grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture to implement conservation practices in the watershed.

Farmer Wayne Fredericks lives in the Rock Creek watershed and has learned the planning process alongside his neighbors.

“The planning process brings local farmers together,” said Fredericks, former ISA president. “They help set the goals, practices and timeline for implementation. When they have ownership of the plan involvement and adoption of practices becomes exponentially greater.”

To nominate a watershed, contact Kiel at akiel@iasoybeans.com. Selected watersheds will be notified by Sept. 30. Watershed plans are to be completed by Aug. 31.

To learn more about Iowa Soybean Association, go to www.iasoybeans.com.

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