Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Iowa DNR Director Chuck Gipp and Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Associate Dean Dr. John Lawrence recently highlighted coordination and scaling-up of water quality efforts in presentations before House and Senate Committees in the Iowa Legislature.

Northey also provided legislators an Iowa Water Quality Initiative scale-up plan that outlines the water quality efforts that will be prioritized as additional funding is available to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The scale-up plan can be found at www.IowaAgriculture.gov under “Hot Topics” or at http://www.cleanwateriowa.org/news-and-blog.aspx.

“The Governor and legislators have been very supportive of the Water Quality Initiative to this point and remain committed of identifying a growing, ongoing source of funding to expand efforts. This scale-up plan identifies how our Department will prioritize additional funding on scientifically proven practices around land use, edge-of-field practices, cover crops and nutrient management to achieve our water quality goals,” Northey said.

Lawrence outlined research accomplishments of the legislatively funded Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University. “Over the past four years, we’ve had more than 40 research collaborations involving nearly 80 scientists across the three Regents universities and including IDALS, DNR and USDA,” he said. “The work is helping us better understand nutrient movement across the landscape, be more precise with conservation practices and address barriers to the use of cover crops.”

Lawrence also shared ideas developed by Iowa State water quality researchers on how the state of Iowa might consider increasing the implementation of water quality and soil conservation practices.