farm Conservation Practices

The science assessment done in conjunction with development of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) identified effective nutrient reduction practices in three categories: nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) management, land use, and edge-of-field/erosion control. The science assessment also identified benefits and limitations, and developed estimated costs for practice adoption.

The list of nutrient reduction practices could be very long when considering variations and combinations of practices. The practices listed here are based on research and are those that have the greatest potential to make a significant impact on reducing the loss of nitrogen (nitrates) and phosphorus (phosphates) into the water supply. These practices are applicable to large portions of Iowa.

 

Edge-of-Field Conservation Practices

Edge-of-field and erosion control technologies provide opportunities to remove nitrate (N) and phosphorus (P) from water leaving production fields. Note: Some edge-of-field and erosion control technologies impact only nitrogen or phosphorus, while some impact both. This is indicated by the inclusion of N or P in the practice titles.

Bioreactor (N)
Saturated Buffer (n,P)
Wetlands (n,P)
Drainwater Management (N)
Grassed Waterway (P)
Terrace (P)
Stream Buffer (n,P)
Shallow Drainage (N)
 


In-Field/Land Use Conservation Practices

Land use options physically change the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) dynamics by changing the vegetative cover. Note: Some land use practices impact only nitrogen or phosphorus, while some impact both. This is indicated by the inclusion of N or P in the practice titles.

Perennial Crops (N,P)
Extended Crop Rotation (N,P)
Land Retirement (CRP) (N,P)
Row-Crop to Pasture (N,P)
Wetlands (CREP) (N,P)


Nutrient Management

Management practices focus on the most effective or efficient use of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). Note: Some management practices impact only nitrogen or phosphorus, while some impact both. This is indicated by the inclusion of N or P in the practice titles.

Cover Crops (n,P)
Sidedressing (N)
Spring-Applied Nitrogen (N)
Nutrient Source (N,P)
Soil-Test P (P)
P Placement (P)
Site-specific P Management (P)
Tillage (P)
Nitrification Inhibitor (N)
Nitrogen Application Rate (MRTN) (N)

General Management Resources - 4Rs Nutrient Stewardship
Nutrient Management Best Management Practices - Iowa State University Extension