CALMAR, IOWA – April 16TH, 2014 – Northeast Iowa RC&D hosted a meeting on April 16th at Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar for all producers in the Turkey River Watershed. The meeting provided an opportunity for landowners from seven counties to learn about the Turkey River Watershed Management Authority’s (TRWMA) planning efforts and more importantly for the producers to provide input and insight to the group, which is working on a plan to reduce flooding and improve water quality in the Turkey River Watershed.
Northeast Iowa RC&D partnered with representatives from the Iowa Corn Growers, the Iowa Soybean Association, Winneshiek, Fayette, and Howard County Farm Bureau, and the Winneshiek County Cattlemen’s Association to invite producers to the meeting.
Discussion at the meeting focused on practices that retain water on the landscape rather than moving it downstream. Structural practices such as ponds, wetlands, and sediment retention basins were discussed along with non-structural practices like no-till and cover crops. The producers agreed that using a combination of practices would provide the best results.
The meeting was on opportunity for producers to see the TRWMA planning process and to see how other groups are participating in the project. Ross Evelsizer, watershed planner with RC&D stated, “This is truly an all hands on deck sort of project, so it was great to get input from the producers and see that they are eager to participate.” In addition to the producers, the TRWMA is working with the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, community representatives, county engineers, county supervisors, county conservation boards, and Iowa DNR wildlife and fisheries personnel to develop comprehensive plans to reduce flooding and reduce nutrient loss across the entire Turkey River Watershed.