1. Perspective from Non-point Source Credit
July 18, 2013
Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
Roger Wolf, Director of Environmental Programs and Services, Iowa Soybean Association
Drivers and Motivation
Our Understanding, Concerns
A Watershed Infrastructure
Question and Discussion
3. 8/5/2013 3
Upper Midwest Crop Area
1920 1940 1960 1980 2000
Source: Jim Baker - ISU
• Upper Midwest
privately owned and
• Nutrients lost from
landscape due to
land use change
5. Our understanding and concerns regarding
- We recognize that Water Quality Standards
and Caps are what generates the drivers for a
- We believe we can supply lots of credits,
however given the geography of the Pt and
Nonpoint source communities is variable there
may not be enough buyers to be meaningful.
- What is liability for farmer if performance is
6. Our understanding and concerns regarding
- What are the specific terms and conditions of
- Who are the ultimate gate keepers of trades?
- Farmers believe they are already using
many/most of BMPs recommended and as
such not sure what trading does for them
- Trades perceived to be very structured and will
require brokers/middleman and paperwork.
7. Challenges for advancing water quality trading
• Land tenure – owners / operators
• Technological limitations – weather and
landscape variability year to year
• Validating performance, is it site specific or at
some other scale?
• Overcoming the regulated vs non regulated
dynamic and equity concerns –Urban vs Rural.
8. Iowa Soybean Association
Actively working on 225 farms, 52 defined watersheds - 8 HUC
8’s and 44 HUC 12’s (27 active and 17 supporting) covering
over 6.4 million acres and coordinating with over 35 public
and private partners.
9. • A comprehensive plan for the watershed (follows
IDNR/EPA watershed planning protocol)
• Infield/Edge of Field
• Set of integrated solutions; no silver bullet
• Upper Cedar River watershed
- Rock Creek (Walton Foundation)
- Beaver Creek (IFC/WMA)
- IEDA/HUD; sub-watershed planning (WMA/MSA)
• Chequest Creek (Davis County)
- Watershed management Plan (IFC/WMA)
• Other Watershed Management Authorities
• Priority watersheds/Nutrient Management Strategy
Environmental Programs and Services
Watershed Services - Planning
• National Water Quality Initiative
• EPA Section 319
• Iowa DNR - TBD
• Local Match/Other - TBD
Planning and Implementation
• Watershed Implementation Plans
• Dedicated Technical and Financial Assistance
• Implement, track and validate practices
• Stakeholder engagement
11. Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy
A science-based framework for assessing
and reducing nutrient loss from both point
and nonpoint sources.
Nonpoint Source Goals
Reduce Total N by 41%
Reduce Total P 29%
Dedicated and leveraged funding
12. Agriculture Nitrogen Reduction Practices
% Nitrate-N Reduction
[Average (Std. Dev.)]
Timing (Fall to spring) 6 (25)
Source (Liquid swine
compared to commercial)
Nitrogen Application Rate Depends on starting point
Nitrification Inhibitor 9 (19)
Cover Crops (Rye) 31 (29)
Perennial – Land retirement 85 (9)
Living Mulches 41 (16)
Extended Rotations 42 (12)
Drainage Water Mgmt. 33 (32)*
Shallow Drainage 32 (15)*
Bioreactors 43 (21)
Buffers 91 (20)**
* Load reduction not concentration reduction
**Concentration reduction of that water interacts with active zone below the buffer
- Source Iowa State University Nutrient Science Assessment Team
cost to install.
Better able to
13. Data Aggregation
Source: Preliminary STAARS Data Analysis N= 72 Producers 149 Fields
Iowa Soybean Association Environment Programs and Services, February
Funded by: Soybean Checkoff, USB and 6 QSSB’s
14. Quantifying Practices
1 Tillage Pass
3 Tillage Passes
Fall Disk/Spr Cultivate
Fall Plow/Spr Cultivate
Fall Deep Till/Spr Cultivate
2 Tillage Passes
Frequency of Tillage among 2010 Iowa Soybean Fields (n=151)
Source: Preliminary STAARS Data Analysis
Iowa Soybean Association Environment Programs and Services,
Funded by: Soybean Checkoff, USB and 6 QSSB’s
15. Drainage Water Treatment
Source: Christianson, Laura and Matthew Helmers. 2011. Woodchip bioreactors for
nitrate in agricultural drainage. Iowa State University Extension Publication. PMR
Available at: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/ItemDetail.aspx?ProductID=13691.
16. Lyons Creek Watershed Management Plan
5. Goals and Objectives
5.1 LYONS CREEK GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Goal 1: Within 20 years of project start date reduce nitrate-N loads leaving the Lyons
Creek watershed by 34% or 80,616 pounds per year while maintaining agricultural
productivity. This is the required reduction from the Des Moines River Nitrate TMDL.
Objective 1: Implement best management practices aimed at avoiding, trapping and
treating nitrate-N in surface water within the Lyons Creek watershed.
Task 1: Enroll 4,000 acres of nutrient management plans.
Task 2: Install 12 denitrifying bioreactors.
Task 3: Install 3 nitrate removal wetlands.
Task 4: Implement 3,000 acres of cover crops.
Task 5: Implement 150 acres of pasture management.
Task 6: Install 200 acres of streamside buffers.
Task 7: Implement 2,000 acres of reduced tillage practices.
Task 8: Restore 8 oxbow wetlands.
Page 25 Lyons Creek Watershed Plan
17. Lyons Creek Watershed - Implementation
18. Validating Performance
• 600 – 1,100 acres
• Two treatment; one control
19. 8/5/2013 19
• Nutrient issue are real, complex and
challenging to tackle in variable landscape.
• We are working on these issues by engaging
famers in watershed management.
• Working with both point and non point
source community in a watershed context is
• Targeting locations in landscape where we
can achieve reductions makes sense to
20. 8/5/2013 20
• Watershed infrastructure to produce
services to meet downstream outcomes
presents a logical framework for achieving
• Financing watershed infrastructure – similar
to wastewater and drinking water
infrastructure will need to be realized to
achieve downstream expectations.
• Financing mechanisms – trading other
services – recreation ? carbon?