Iowa Ag Secretary voices support for voluntary conservation

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Iowa Agricultural Secretary Bill Northey said Wednesday that a "science-based voluntary" approach to conservation works best for all farmers.

Commenting on the Iowa's 2012 Nutrient Management Strategy during discussion at this week's 94th annual Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) meeting in Des Moines, Northey summarized his thoughts this way.

"I do believe now is the time for farmers to find these practices that work in our own operation, to figure out how we each can do a better job," the ag secretary said. "This is voluntary, science-based, but it does not work if we don't put them on our farms.

"We want to tell the story that we are making progress," Northey said. "It's a better alternative than one size fits all regulation that limits choices," said Northey.

He encouraged farmers to familiarize themselves with the water quality plan and participate in the online public comment

An estimated 1,100 farmers, community and business leaders attended the annual session. Animal rights, changing markets and future agricultural trends were among other of the meeting's agenda topics.