Protecting soil and water is one of the concerns of Iowa agriculture and agribusinesses. It is Soil and Water Conservation week, an opportunity to recognize farmers and landowners work on helping soil and water.
In Gilmore City, Iowa, a foot deep stand of green covers the fields of the farm of Robert Lynch. He’s been farming for around 40 years and has been using cover crops for four, going-on five years.
He’s happy with the benefits of cover crops, “I leave my corn stalk stand, I put it into standing corn, I fly it on, and then I use it as a weed suppression basically, too because it gets big enough that it can suppress the weeds that I might have out here in the field otherwise. It actually uses up moisture in the Spring because most times we’re too wet when we start to plant. Right now, when I have a rain, my water goes into the ground. It doesn’t run off.”
Lynch says the crops are important to keep the soil healthy, “It’s a limited supply. We only have so much in this world. We have a limited supply of water that we use. And I think in the future, we’re going to have to make that land that we have to produce crops, able to sustain and keep future generations going. And I think by tilling the ground in the future and working it hard, I don’t think we’ll be able to sustain that growth that we need to in the future.”
Lynch is also President of the Conservation Districts of Iowa, which is made up of 500 soil and water district commissioners. He says they are there to help inform and educate Iowans interested in starting up conservation.