Iowa Public/Private Partnership to Increase Cover Crop Acres

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has entered into a cooperative agreement with Polk County, the City of Des Moines and Des Moines Water Works to help increase and expedite the amount of cover crops planted in the Des Moines and Raccoon River watersheds. “What happens upstream impacts the safety of our drinking water and the recreation in our rivers and lakes for everyone in Polk County. We know the utilization of cover crops can have a tremendous impact on reducing nutrient load from agricultural operations in our surface water and groundwater, and improve soil health,” said Angela Connolly, Chair of Polk County Board of Supervisors. As part of the Central Iowa Cover Crop Seeder Project, Polk County, with support from the City of Des Moines and Des Moines Water Works, will purchase high-clearance equipment used to seed cover crops into standing crops in fields. Ag retailer Heartland Co-op will use the seeder to apply cover crop seed for farmers and landowners in central Iowa.