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Benton/Tama Nutrient Reduction Demonstration Project

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Benton/Tama Nutrient Reduction Demonstration Project

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Project Overview

The Benton/Tama Nutrient Reduction Demonstration Project is a 3-year project that runs from January 1, 2014-December 31, 2016. This project is largely funded by the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and is an effort to educate farmers about the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, and to assist them with implementing these practices on their fields. The territory of the project spans three watersheds that flow into the Cedar River: lower Wolf Creek, Rock Creek, and Pratt Creek. T...

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The Benton/Tama Nutrient Reduction Demonstration Project is a 3-year project that runs from January 1, 2014-December 31, 2016. This project is largely funded by the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and is an effort to educate farmers about the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, and to assist them with implementing these practices on their fields. The territory of the project spans three watersheds that flow into the Cedar River: lower Wolf Creek, Rock Creek, and Pratt Creek. This project works with landowners to demonstrate the benefits of nutrient reduction practices on acres planted in seed corn and other crops, through the use of conservation practices, field trials, demonstrations, and education. Targeted conservation practices include cover crops, buffers, reduced tillage, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus application, and bioreactors. These practices – particularly when used as a system – will reduce nitrogen and phosphorus content in both groundwater as well as surface water. This project targets acres used for seed corn production, knowing that if farmers see successful conservation practices used in the seed corn industry, they will be willing to implement them on their own row-crop operations.

Project Results

Beneficiaries: Through education, outreach, and publications, the general public will be informed and educated about what modern agricultural practices are being implemented to improve water quality. Farmers will see economic benefits for their operations, increased soil health, and environmental improvements across the watershed. Outcomes: Through education and outreach, practices outlined in the Nutrient Reduction Strategy will be accepted and adopted by farmers. Whe...

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Beneficiaries: Through education, outreach, and publications, the general public will be informed and educated about what modern agricultural practices are being implemented to improve water quality. Farmers will see economic benefits for their operations, increased soil health, and environmental improvements across the watershed. Outcomes: Through education and outreach, practices outlined in the Nutrient Reduction Strategy will be accepted and adopted by farmers. When these nutrient-reducing practices are implemented correctly, farmers will see the benefits for their yields as well as the environment. With education and support, farmers will keep applying these practices and in the long-term, will see reduced soil losses from their fields as well as significantly reduced nutrient concentrations in both groundwater as well as surface waters. With farmers learning from other farmers’ success stories, and with educational support, these practices will catch on and voluntarily be implemented in a larger area, and regulation could be avoided.

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Organization Partners


The Benton County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was established in 1945, to serve the area of Benton County, IA. Benton SWCD is governed by five elected commissioners, each located in a different township within the district area. Benton ... Learn More

In 2013, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) established the Iowa Water Quality Inititative (WQI) to begin implementation efforts of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS). Learn More

The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. We acheive this through the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff, including more than 550 scientists, located in all 50 U.S. states ... Learn More

Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

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Shannon Mitchell
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