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Iowa producer doing right for the environment

Article-Iowa producer doing right for the environment

Field tile drains water into a waterway.
Mike Ehlers and his family are just one shining example of crop and hog producers taking steps to protect water quality.

Mike Ehlers, crop and hog producer from Marathon, Iowa, took part in a press conference during the recent Iowa Pork Congress, where it was announced that the Iowa Pork Producers Association would be providing $25,000 to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to help offset up to 50% of the costs for pig farmers to install saturated buffers or bioreactors on their farm land.

Ehlers is one of the many producers who is doing things right for the environment on his family’s farm in the northwestern part of the Hawkeye State, having installed a bioreactor last spring. “Nitrates coming into the bioreactor are running 6 to 8 parts per milion,” Ehlers says. “And when it leaves the bioreactor, we’re less than a half of a part per million, so it’s as close to nitrate-free water as you can get.” 

“This additional $25,000 investment by the Iowa Pork Producers Association will help support our efforts to scale-up the adoption of these edge-of-field practices focused on improving water quality. Both bioreactors and saturated buffers are still fairly new practices. This investment will help us continue to place these practices throughout the state to show farmers how they might fit in their operation,” says Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, in an IDALS press release. “Thank you to the Iowa Pork Producers Association for continuing to invest in water quality efforts in our state.”

IPPA President Gregg Hora, a pig farmer from Fort Dodge, also says in the release, “IPPA is very pleased to continue this successful partnership with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. We know public-private partnerships such as this continue to drive momentum of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. … This brings IPPA’s support of these efforts to $75,000.”

Ehlers explains in this video (below) the environmental practices his family has invested in for the betterment of water quality. 


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