The Benton/Tama Nutrient Reduction Demonstration Project, an Iowa water quality initiative, is located within the watersheds of Rock Creek, Pratt Creek and Lower Wolf Creek in Tama and Benton Counties. The primary objective of this project is to demonstrate nutrient reduction practices, as identified by the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, on cropland acres devoted to seed corn production. Seed corn production traditionally leaves lower residue and crop fields and left unprotected for longer periods during the year compared to corn grown for grain. This makes these areas vulnerable to loss of nutrients. The public has the perception that conservation and seeed corn are incompatible. This project will use conservation practices, field trials, demonstrations, and education to prove the seed corn industry can and will support conservation.
This project plans to treat 3,000 acres in corn production with, or in combination with, practices like cover crops, nitrogen inhibitors, no till/strip till, and improved nutrient applications. It is anticipated that through education and outreach, these practices will be accepted and adopted by farmers and not only in seed corn production, but also in traditional row-crop production as well.
Financial assistance will be provided at a rate of 50% of the actual expenditure or at the scheduled practice rate. EQIP, IFIP, and other funding will be prioritized for this project. Administrative and financial assistance will be provided by the Benton County SWCD. Additional technical assistance will be provided by NRCS and IDALS.