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Hardin County project to focus on edge-of-field practices

June 27, 2023  By Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS)

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will lead a Water Quality Initiative (WQI) partnership focused on adding proven edge-of-field water quality practices in the South Fork Iowa River Watershed.

Instead of building projects separately for individual landowners as has traditionally been done in the past, the batch-and-build model modernizes the project management process by installing batches of conservation practices on multiple farms at once. Using this model, the first phase of this project includes a goal of building at least 30 saturated buffers, bioreactors or multi-use oxbows. These practices, outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, have been proven to successfully filter water and remove nutrients before they enter our waterways and move down stream.

“These water quality practices work, the batch-and-build model helps to efficiently get them installed and our impressive group of partners will ensure that the first phase of this project gets started successfully,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “I encourage all farmers and landowners in this priority watershed to learn more about this important water quality project and we would invite your active participation.”

“‘Keep nutrients in your field and out of the stream’ is a progress focus for the Southfork Watershed Alliance. Individuals have worked together for a number of years on proven nutrient reduction,” said State Senator Annette Sweeney, a resident of Hardin County. “This group is based on stakeholder volunteers at the table making decisions and collecting data for further progress in the Nutrient Reduction Strategy. When you have individuals with ‘skin in the game,’ great results and further studies have meaning. This is a great group of volunteers. Thank you to everyone involved.”


Through the WQI, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is investing $230,536 on this project. Other partners on the project include Hardin County Soil and Water Conservation District, Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition, Hands On Tiling and Excavating LLC, Hardin County Conservation, Iowa State Extension – Hardin County, Iowa State Extension, People’s Company, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), E Tube Filter Sock, Hardin County Board of Supervisors, Hardin County Farm Bureau and Southfork Watershed Alliance.

The project agreement is in place through 2026.

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