Keith LovrienClarksville, Iowa
Keith is from Butler County and also farms in Floyd County. He farms corn and soybeans. He has adopted a variety of practices including no-till and cover crops.
What are you doing to practice and promote soil and water quality?
I've implemented quite a few terraces and implemented more where they fit. It's essential in our county to make the terraces fit in and make it farmable. Forty years ago, that wasn't the case. We also maintain waterways, which people don't always think of. Depending on the waterway, it's important to be timely with that maintenance to keep them working correctly.
What needs for soil health and water quality do you see in your region/county?
I think we can do a little bit more with buffer strips. Some things need to be more targeted in some government programs and some of the opportunities we have. But when I go in and speak with either the FSA or the NRCS folks, there are typically more things that I learn about what I can do. Once they understand my goals, they know some of the programs I should be using and are very helpful. And I think in our county, we need people to understand that all we need to do is ask them, and they're there to help us.
What could be done with more public funding for soil and water quality?
There's a big focus on water quality right now. And there should be. There are other practices, but they all tie into water quality. Those are the practices that we need that will slow down the water. We're not going to stop it. When rain happens, it will go down the river if it doesn't get utilized in our crops. That's not going to change. That's how it is. So if we can find some ways to slow things down, that's what we need to do.