David WaltonWilton, Iowa
David lives in Wilton and is a seventh-generation farmer.
What are you doing to practice and promote soil and water quality?
We've switched to no-till and transitioned to cover crops. We target the areas where it helps the most. We use a mix of cover crops, enhancing our livestock operations. We graze those cover crops in the spring and the fall. It helps save on hay, and we get a little more value from the cover crop.
What needs for soil health and water quality do you see in your region/county?
We're in the area of the state where there's a lot of water around us, so there's a lot of watersheds and ponds that flow right into the Mississippi River here. We have the largest watershed in North America, and we try to protect that as best we can. I'd like to see more of a regional approach to water quality and what runs off our soil. We must remember that everything we do on that ground eventually ends up in the Mississippi.
What could be done with more public funding for soil and water quality?
One of the things we lack in this area is a lot of knowledge about cover crops and how to make them work in any given cropping system. So if we could have an agronomist or someone who's specialized in an area work here and provide that expertise to farmers, that would help kickstart that program.