Spencer, IA: The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says the wet spring this year not only made for late planting, but it also led to increased soil erosion in parts of Iowa.
The Group’s new report concludes that the soil loss was so severe and over such a short period of time that every landowner should be required to employ at least basic conservation practices to minimize soil erosion on their farms.
The EWG cites Iowa State University data that showed soil erosion in parts of Iowa exceeded five tons per acre in a five day period from May 25th to 29th. The report said that, in 15 of the 50 Iowa townships studied, fields suffered erosion of 7.5 to 13 tons per acre, far more than the five-ton annual rate considered “tolerable” by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The report indicated that some of the worst-hit areas lost as much as 40 tons per acre in just five days.
The EWG says the damage done in Iowa should sound “alarm bells” on the need for stepped up conservation practices. To start with, the EWG report says, is full enforcement of the “conservation compliance” requirements already in the farm bill.