Published Jul 5, 2016

Keep up the good work

By Mark Peterson


Once again the crew and I were out in the Ranger last Thursday. What a glorious morning to be out! A little cooler than it has been with just a little breeze. When we would stop, quail and pheasants could be heard calling from various parts of the farm. This I attribute in part to the addition of small grains to our farm.

My oats are starting to turn so harvest will be coming. This trip, we were out collecting our bi-monthly water samples. I am proud to be in our second year of sampling in conjunction with the Iowa Soybean Association. All PFI members participating should be proud. Word has reached me that as a group, PFI member water samples are running on average at a much lower rate than the group as a whole. Personally, I’m seeing nitrate levels well below the EPA drinking water standard (10 ppm) from the water coming out of my oat crop and rye cover crop fields. Other Practical Farmers involved are also seeing success when it comes to water quality with cover crops and pastures. While I won’t go into specific numbers, Des Moines Water Works would be happy to have our water come through. To me once again this proves that the practices that we are using on our farms are working, and we need to keep up the good work.