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Soybeans begin to yellow as fall harvest is around the corn on this Clarke County, Iowa farm.

Iowa NRCS Success Stories

Profiling Iowa's Conservation Successes

Winnebago County

Technology Helps Kingland Target, Apply Conservation

Winnebago County farmer Mark Kingland is utilizing technology such as yield monitors to help him decide where to locate conservation practices and a drone to plant cover crop seed, which will help treat natural resource concerns on his cropland.

Mark Kingland is utilizing a new drone and yield maps to help him locate and apply conservation practices on his farm.
Pottawattamie County

Family Legacy Continues with Help from CSP

Southwest Iowa farmer Brent Leighton is utilizing assistance through USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to continue his family’s conservation legacy by adopting practices that reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, mitigate climate change, and add wildlife habitat to their 3,500-acre

Brent Leighton row crops with his two sons in southwest Iowa as Golden Ear Farm.
Mills County

Wildlife Practices Go 'Hand In Hand' with Soil Health

Maple Edge Farm, led by Jon Bakehouse, is turning over a new leaf by adding about 150 trees and shrubs and many other wildlife-friendly practices through Conservation Stewardship Program enhancements to go along with many soil health-improving practices.

Jon Bakehouse is a fifth generation farmer of Maple Edge Farm in Mills County. Bakehouse is taking the farm's conservation to the next level.
Allamakee County

Efficient Lighting Improves Iowa Dairy Operation

Dairy farm operators with Distant View Farms in Allamakee County, Iowa, are reaping the benefits of an energy efficient lighting system they implemented in 2017 in their large dairy barns with financial and planning assistance from NRCS.

Iowa NRCS District Conservationist LuAnn Rolling (right) speaks with dairy operator Ann Deering about her new dairy barn energy efficient lighting system.
Pottawattamie County

High Tunnels Help Junge Grow Produce Business

Adam Junge’s budding produce business near Underwood in southwest Iowa is about to grow even more with help from NRCS. Junge is installing a high tunnel this fall with assistance through USDA’s High Tunnel System Initiative to help improve his overall operation.

Adam Junge
Black Hawk County

Nelson Adopts Soil Saving Practices for Long-Term Stability

Feeling a responsibility to keep the family farm in good shape for future generations, Buena Vista County farmer Aaron Nelson is using conservation management practices such as cover crops, no-till, and strip-till to keep the soil in place and improve overall soil health.

Aaron Nelson of Linn Grove is using cover crops, no-till, and strip-till to keep soil in place and improve overall soil health.
Page County

Teachout Succeeding by Returning to His Cover Crop Roots

Chris Teachout – an innovative Fremont County farmer and the 2017 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year – is continuing his conservation efforts in hopes of inspiring and encouraging farmers and the next generation of producers to focus on improving soil health.

Chris Teachout
Hamilton County

Eells Named 2021 Iowa Conservation Woman of the Year

Dr. Jean Eells was named 2021 Iowa Conservation Woman of the Year for her contributions to conservation and the improvement of Iowa's natural resources conservation through achievements on her land, career and voluntary efforts.

Jean Eells
Cedar County

CRP in the City

Neighbors add CRP in the Mechanicsville city limits, much to the delight of the community.

Neighbors Bob Steen and John Sandberg implemented CRP ground near the Mechanicsville city limits.
Jasper County

Will Cannon: The Trusted Tenant

Focus on the biology of the soil – instead of the chemistry of farming – and find the most efficient equipment for seeding cover crops. That’s advice Jasper County farmer Will Cannon gives to Iowa corn and soybean producers struggling to establish cover crops on their farms.

Will and Cassie Cannon
Winnebago County

Adjoining Easements Form Wetland Complex

A collaborative effort between rural Winnebago County landowners, local, state, and federal government agencies, and non-profit conservation groups have helped restore nearly 1,000 contiguous acres of prairie and wetlands to form a wetland complex.

Wetland conservation sign in Winnebago County.
Hardin County

High Tunnels Help Hardin County Veteran Grow Quality Produce

NRCS is helping fruit and vegetable producer and military veteran Charles Puffer grow a variety of high-quality crops and protect the natural resources on his thriving new farm thanks to planning and financial assistance for a system of high tunnels.

Charles Puffer
Allamakee County

Interseeding Cover Crops Early Could Solve Fall Establishment Issues

After years of struggling to consistently establish cover crops in the fall on cropland in Iowa’s northern tier counties, more than a dozen Allamakee County producers are participating in a new USDA-sponsored soil health demonstration project that is showing promising results.

Brady Kruger examines cornstalks shortly before harvest in 2020.
Clarke County

Widowed Landowner Succeeds with Conservation in Lease Agreements

For nearly 50 years Virginia Reynolds and her late husband Larry worked together to manage their farms to conserve soil and protect water quality. After Larry passed away in 2013, she wrote soil and water conservation practice requirements into the leases for her Clarke County cropland.

Virginia Reynolds meets with District Conservationist Dennis Schrodt to discuss her conservation plan.
Keokuk County

Roller Crimper Key in Organic No-Till System

Keota farmer Levi Lyle never thought he would be a go-to person for eastern Iowa farmers to rent a roller crimper. But with his interest in eliminating the use of herbicides on portions of his family’s cropland, he now has two crimpers that he uses and rents to farmers from Waterloo to Bloomfield.

Levi Lyle
Davis County

Record Yields from the Bottom Up Using No-Till, Cover Crops

A southeast Iowa farm family harvested record average yields in 2016 after managing cropland soils with no-till and cover crops. They attribute the yield bump to a bottoms up approach, by improving returns on typically poor-performing fields.

The Prevo Family in Bloomfield is seeing improved yields on traditionally poor-performing ground thanks to no-till and cover crops.