NCGA Stewardship and Sustainability Director Rachel Orf is in central Iowa this week attending the 2019 Conservation Technology Information Center Conservation in Action Tour. Attendees are examining a wide range of edge-of-field systems, in-field solutions, and management practices on the farm and at those being adopted by retailers.
“The theme of the 12th annual Conservation in Action Tour, Conservation at The Leading Edge, is reflected in how farmers hosting tour stops are literally at the leading edge of conservation practices,” Orf said. “Healthy soil and clean water are incredibly valuable assets for farmers living - and making a living - from the land as well as society at large.”
Yesterday the group got to see a bioreactor in the process of being constructed. In agricultural applications, bioreactors are vessels/trenches filled with woodchips that literally contain water briefly allowing bacteria to filter and clean the water from the farm field. They are particularly efficient at removing nitrogen from fertilizer.
“There are a lot of useful and proven practices emerging, but these innovators are exploring the science behind these practices at a real-world level,” Orf said. “They are learning to make them more cost-efficient and ultimately profitable. This means farmers and their neighbors can achieve shared environmental goals.”