Iowa farm families are among the nation’s leader in safeguarding our natural resources. They demonstrate that commitment daily through the use of best management practices designed to protect and enhance soil, air and water quality.
- Iowa farmers used conservation tillage (greater than 30 percent residue) on almost 15.2 million acres in 2007, up about 9 percent from 13.9 million in 2006 (Conservation Technology Information Center).
- Iowa farmers have more than 561,000 acres enrolled in the continuous, targeted CRP, more than any other state and almost 13 percent of the U.S. total (October 2009, Farm Service Agency).
- More than 849,000 acres are enrolled in the Conservation Security Program in Iowa (2004-07, Iowa NRCS).
- Iowa farmers have enrolled 80,086 cumulative acres in the Wetland Reserve Program, putting Iowa farmers 8th in the nation in terms of voluntarily restoring cropland to wetlands. Add in Emergency Wetland Reserve Program enrollments and Iowa has more than 137,000 acres of wetlands that have been restored or are in the process of being restored since 1992 (October, 2008, Iowa NRCS).
- USDA’s National Resources Inventory report shows soil erosion in the U.S. has been reduced by 43 percent.
Additionally, the Green Farmstead Partner program, sponsored by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers with the help of the Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association, is a voluntary effort by farm families to safeguard the environment through the implementation of vegetative environmental buffers.