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Four conservation research and demonstration projects funded by State Soil Conservation Committee

July 7, 2017
Farm News

DES MOINES - The Iowa State Soil Conservation Committee announced last week that they are awarding nearly $150,000 to support research, education and demonstration projects focused on reducing nonpoint pollution. The selected projects will began July 1.

"We received 11 quality applications for the Research and Demonstration Grant Program this year. The quality and interest in this program emphasizes the need for continued research that will help improve water quality and demonstrate effective strategies to share the knowledge we have gained," said Paula Ellis a State Soil Conservation Committee member and farmer from Donnellson.

The four projects that were approved for funding through the program address topics ranging from the effects of Gypsum application on row cropland, confronting disease and stalk rot via cover crops, hosting localized On-Farm workshops to demonstrate effective best management practices, and demonstrating soil health on a watershed scale through cover crops.

"Additional research and then strong outreach to farmers to demonstrate new tools to help protect our state's soil and water resources is extremely important. I appreciate the State Soil Conservation Committee providing funding for these valuable research projects," Northey said.

Funding level for the grant program is established by the State Soil Conservation Committee and it is anticipated that $150,000 will be available this year. Individual grants cannot exceed $50,000 total over a three year period.

The State Soil Conservation Committee has operated this program for several years and there are currently 7 active grant projects.

The details on the newly funded projects follow here:

- Iowa State University - $44,911, Dr. Antonio Mallarino will research the impact of high gypsum application rates on soil cation balance, water soluble phosphorus, soil physical properties, and crop yield

- Practical Farmers of Iowa - $49,284, The project will measure the effect of farmer recommended best management practices (BMPs) for over-wintering cover crop (cereal rye) on corn seedling diseases and cornstalk rot.

- Southfork Watershed Alliance - $28,743, This project will host workshop series that allows farmers in the Southfork of the Iowa River, which includes parts of Hardin, Hamilton, Franklin and Wright Counties, to interact with five conservation practices installed on a local farm (saturated buffer, surface tile inlet protection, cover crops, prairie strips, and a wetland/CRP) and a free conservation planning tool.

- Rathbun Land and Water Alliance - $27,000, This project will establish at least four on-farm demonstration sites to help producers in the Rathbun Lake watershed gain a better understanding of the soil health benefits of no-till and cover crops.



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