The Polk County Saturated Buffer Project formed a SWCD-County-IDALS-NRCS-ADMC partnership and created a new framework to remove barriers to adoption in order to install saturated buffers and bioreactors at a significant pace. The partnership is proud to announce that the project is moving to the next phase as the combined 51 saturated buffer and bioreactor sites are now out to bid for installation. The bidding packages are open until April 1, 2021 with submittal instructions found in the bid documents. The bids can be submitted to John Swanson, Watershed Management Authority Coordinator, via email. The packages include: Eastern Polk County Group – 5 saturated buffers and 3 bioreactors Walnut Creek Group – 2 saturated buffers and 1 bioreactor Fourmile Creek Group – 33 saturated buffers,
Drainage water management (DWM) offers great promise to improve environmental performance and farm economic viability on tile-drained cropland. In-field experience and on-farm research have demonstrated crop production and nutrient loading reductions can be compatible goals when DWM is applied in a conservation systems approach. In the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Basins alone, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has estimated 29.2 million cropland acres are potentially suitable for the implementation of DWM. The absence of DWM on these cropland acres represents an opportunity forgone for both farmers and the environment. That is, water quality benefits are not optimized, crop production and resilience are diminished, and full farm income potentials are not achieved absent the implementation of DWM using a conservation systems approach. Adoption
Reflecting on 2020, as strange as it was, it was also a successful year for the Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition. Membership support has continued to increase and has allowed ADMC to build valuable relationships and to educate partners throughout the Midwest and Northern Plains.
2020 has been, well 2020. Pandemic news aside, agriculture is dealing with another year of weather extremes. I was in the middle of a covid mandated Zoom call when it was cut short by a derecho event striking central Iowa. Fortunately, we came out only losing a few branches and had power back after 12 hours. However, this weather extreme, damaged an estimated 3.57 million acres of corn and 2.5 million acres of soybeans in Iowa. It also devastated Iowa’s 2nd largest city, Cedar Rapids, and many others. Of course, the derecho was not on anyone’s mind in July, but the drought conditions spreading throughout the Midwest have been.
Director’s Desk I would first like to thank all of ADMC’s returning members for your continued support. The important mission of ADMC could not be accomplished without you. Jeanne has been busy receiving and processing renewals throughout the spring, and we appear to be ahead of schedule with dues this year. We continue to try to strengthen ADMC’s standing through both retaining and recruiting members, as well as pursuing contracts and grants that align our mission. Please read the following updates on ADMC’s contracted projects and collaborations. Contracted Projects Polk County Saturated Buffer Project The Polk County (Iowa) saturated buffer project has brought together the Polk SWCD, Polk County, NRCS, FSA, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and ADMC as partners with the goal
ADMC has entered into an agreement with the Polk Soil and Water Conservation District, central Iowa to facilitate the implementation of a minimum of 25 saturated buffers by December of 2020. The saturated buffers will be located within five small HUC 12 watersheds in the county.