Letter to the Editor

Taking initiative on nitrates

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Yesterday, 9/19/16, I was in my local Iowa State U. extension office talking about water quality ideas-and a local farmer came in to gather info about a research project near Newell, Iowa where Kris Kohl, Engineer, had modified a drain tile. Casey Schmidt, the farmer, wanted to show this to his banker for support (ok, a loan).

Alright, I jumped in on the conversation-because I knew the players involved - the tile project happened on Tom Olsen's farm - yep - he remembered the name. They had put "risers" in the tile line, so water intermittently backs up - so there is greater chance for nutrients to reabsorb around plant roots. I call it a "stepup" system. Apparently they did this project years ago.

The point here is that even before this new would-be invasion by Des Moines we had guys on this up here - that haven't quite gotten the credit due for actually trying new things to reverse this problem. And kudos to Casey Schmidt for reminding me of this one - and actually implementing a new strategy and that's that.