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Benton/Tama Nutrient Reduction Project

The Benton/Tama Nutrient Reduction Project aims to educate farmers on how to plant more sustainably and lessen their impact on the environment. Pictured is an example of the no till method of planting soybeans.     Kick-off for nutrient reduction project

June 22, 2014

The Benton/Tama Nutrient Reduction Project will hold a kick-off presentation with appearances by some high-profile state figures June 26.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is among the many local and state leaders scheduled to attend the event at Hickory Hills Park June 26 beginning at 10:30 a.m. The kick-off event will also feature a delicious lunch by the Tama County Pork Producers.

Located six miles north of Dysart on County Road V37, Hickory Hills is a central location for the Middle Cedar Watershed, which provides much of the groundwater for the area.

Article Photos

The Nutrient Reduction Strategy Initiative began in 2013 with joint IDALS and DNR proposals to assist in getting reductions of nitrogen and phosphorus in ground and stream water down 45% within a three-year period.

The focus of the project will be on production acres that are on rotation including seed corn, and centers around the Middle Cedar River on Lower Wolf Creek, Rock Creek and Pratt Creek in Benton, Tama and Black Hawk Counties. The project is being headed up by the Benton County Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioners and partners.

The project plans to treat 3,000 acres in seed corn production with, or in combination with, practices like cover crops, nitrogen inhibitors, no till/strip till and improved nutrient applications in an effort to have farmers adopt the more eco-friendly practices in not only seed corn, but traditional row-crop production as well.

Demonstration practices will include Nitrogen and Phosphorous management practices such as; timing, rates, nitrification inhibitors, cover crops, bioreactors, management application, placement, cover crops, reduced tillage, and vegetative buffers.

Among the other speakers and guests at the kick-off event June 26 are: IDALS Soil Conservation Division Director Jim Gillespie, ISU Professor Antonio Mallarino, Black Hawk County Conservation Park Ranger Al Finke, ISU Extension Beef Specialist Denise Schwab and Custom Applicator and farmer Dustin Kaestner.

If you need accommodations, please notify Bruce Gardner by June 12 by calling (319) 472-2161.

For more information on the project and the impact it will have on local land and farms, as well as interactive maps, please visit

Ross Bercik is the editor of the Traer Star-Clipper. Contact him at 319-478-2323 or



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