Emery Davis




What are you doing to practice and promote soil and water quality?

On our farm we are focused on doing everything we can for soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat while raising grain profitably. We have CRP prairie on the areas most prone to erosion as well as the less profitable acres and we have seen wildlife flourish. We started using no-till and cover crops on 100% of our acres about 6 years ago and have found that we are able to reduce fertilizer, chemical, and labor inputs while raising good crops. We recently diversified our corn and soybean rotation by adding small grains- this has created an additional income stream and allowed us to use different cover crops. In my day job as a Conservation Agronomist with Heartland Co-op, I work with farmers that want to adopt conservation practices. I talk through what it would take to adopt new practices and often help farmers sign up for funding that will help cover the costs associated with trying something new.

What is being done in your county to support soil and water quality?

I’m lucky to be in an area that has watershed projects both where I farm and where I work. I’m really excited about the new and innovative partnerships that are forming that are proving to get more conservation on the ground and engage more farmers in conservation activities. Through these watershed projects there is dedicated staff available to help farmers find the funding to improve soil health and water quality.

What could be done with more public funding for soil and water quality?

There is a lot of demand from farmers with regards to funding for conservation practices. Farmers are interested in adopting practices and funding is an important piece of the puzzle. More funding availability would help, but maybe even more importantly, easier access to those funds would greatly increase the adoption of practices across the state. In order for Iowa to reach it’s nutrient reduction goals, I believe, we will need to see slightly higher cost share rates and easier access to the programs that are funding water quality improvements.

Questions or Comments?

Contact: Aaron Putze

1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy, Ankeny, IA 50023