Soil and water

LETTER: Conservation methods benefit future generations | Letters

In honor of Agriculture Week, I wanted to share our personal story to show how Iowans on small farms and acreage can do their part to improve water quality and sustainability.

My wife and I raise four children, a handful of miniature Herefords, chickens and ducks on our eight acres in Sac County. We also grow a multitude of cut flowers for sale in surrounding communities.

On our small farm, we use cover crops including grain rye and winter wheat from fall through winter, and oats, buckwheat, clovers and other mixes in the spring and in the summer to improve our soil and protect it from wind and water erosion while also controlling weeds.

We divide the pasture into multiple paddocks to graze the cattle in rotation, allowing the grass and clovers to recover faster. We use soil testing to ensure we are only applying the nutrients we need and work towards the right balance of nutrients to grow beautiful flowers, healthy food for our livestock and nutrient rich food for our family.

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As we continue to improve our plot of land, we are planting more areas of native grasses and flowers for pollinators. We encourage all landowners, large and small, to try new conservation measures to improve their own property and benefit generations to come. No matter the size of the farm or the yard. We can all have an impact. — Adam Cook, Newell, Iowa