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KIMT News 3 – Recent trends show our waterways are getting much cleaner as farmers focus on conservation.

Iowa State University researchers say nutrient levels in waterways are falling off due to nutrient reduction strategies.

Last spring, heavy flooding led to many nutrients placed in soil to run-off into waterways.

This year, area farmers look to use techniques such as cover-cropping and short tilling to avoid any contaminated streams.

“What it can really do though is help us kind of reduce that loading to our local water so not only would it have a positive impact ultimately hopefully in the Gulf of Mexico but locally as well,” said Matt Helmers, Associate Professor with Iowa State University.

Helmers says he understands when we deal with nutrient loss, we’re dealing with money being wasted which is why he hopes to make the process more efficient.

“Making sure that they’re putting on reasonable rates for the crops that are being grown it’s critical thinking about can I change my time is slightly so that I try to have that nitrogen more that nitrogen there when the crop needs it,” said Helmers.

Farmers may be hesitant to adjust their strategies but Helmers says, ultimately their concern for a healthy environment will win them over.

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