Western Iowa celebrates no-till farming

Environmental organizations around Iowa continue to stress the merits of no-till farming to Iowans. The Daily Nonpareil reports that June 14 will mark the fourth annual Western Iowa No-Till Field Day.

Held near Shelby, Iowa, the field day is hosted by Iowa State University Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Soil and Water Conservation districts in Pottawattamie, Shelby and Harrison counties.

The focal points of the field day are educating Iowans on both the conservation and production yield benefits of no-till:

Shelby County Iowa State Extension program coordinator Kate Olson explained that no-till improves soil structure, solidifying and strengthening the earth. The stronger soil also holds more nutrients and limits water runoff, which helps prevent fertilizer from reaching bodies of water.

“No-till keeps the soil on the field instead of in neighboring lakes and streams,” she said. “The practice really does protect soil and water and prevents pollution.”

Conservationist Kevin Kuhn further explains the impact of no-till farming over time.

The less runoff, the less soil erosion, said Kevin Kuhn, an area resource conservationist at the NRCS office in Atlantic who will work at the field day. Farmland worked with long-term no-till practices, over about seven to eight years, will retain three-times more soil than similar land with tillage, he said.

“We really feel that long-term no-till farming is our best conservation practice in Iowa,” Kuhn said. “Through a field day, we want to do everything we can to promote long-term no-till so producers understand the impact it has on conservation. And we want to help farmers be successful at it.”

Earlier this year, the Iowa Environmental Focus featured a radio spot and blog post on the potential of no-till farming to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Further explanations of no-till farming’s advantages are explained in the video below via SUNUP.