Mike PaustianWalcott, Iowa
Mike farms in Scott County with his family and is an Iowa Pork Producers past president.
What are you doing to practice and promote soil and water quality?
Some of the things we've been doing on our farm would be field buffers and terraces. We've also installed a saturated buffer in one of our fields and done some no-till and cover crops as well. So we've tried a variety of practices. Not everything works in every field, so I think it's good to have options for what you can try in your fields.
What needs for soil health and water quality do you see in your region/county?
One of the needs is a sound support system for producers who want to try a new practice that they haven't done before because there's a risk in trying something new. Sometimes it involves acquiring new equipment. So there's even more risk to trying something new. We need to build support systems in our local communities for producers who are willing to share knowledge to support each other when we try conservation practices.
What could be done with more public funding for soil and water quality?
If more funding was available, I believe cost share is an excellent first step that helps mitigate some of the risks of a producer trying something new. That gets your foot in the door. If we want to see sustained long-term success, some of those funds have to get the right people in place to help producers make sure they are successful when they try these new things out.