Robb EwoldtDavenport, Iowa
Robb farms in Scott County and is President of the Iowa Soybean Association. He grows corn, soybeans, cattle and hogs.
What are you doing to practice and promote soil and water quality?
We've moved into strip-till for our corn and no-till for our soybeans. We've been doing that, along with the cover crops now, for probably about 10-12 years. We put in a bioreactor for the edge of field practices. We've also made waterway improvements and tried to improve our soil health to get more water infiltration into our soils, so we don't have surface erosion.
What needs for soil health and water quality do you see in your region/county?
We need to have some more agronomists that concentrate on conservation. If we get the information out to those farmers and they understand it a little bit better than what we've been trying to do, whether it's just through media or mailings, we'll see this conservation effort grow.
What could be done with more public funding for soil and water quality?
We learned that failure could set you back a long way. Many different things have to happen when you start talking about cover crops, no-till planters, nutrient placement on a planter, or strip-tilling; if people try them and don't do them right, then we're going to get set back a long way. So we need to have programs that help these farmers succeed in their conservation practices.