PRACTICES TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY
To make farming operations productive and viable, most agricultural land located in north central Iowa is artificially drained or tiled. Because of the tile systems, high concentrations of soluble nutrients like nitrate-nitrogen are reaching Iowa's streams and rivers.
Edge-of-field treatment systems – bioreactors, wetlands and saturated buffers – can reduce contaminant loads in subsurface drainage. Other in-field practices such as precision nitrogen application and cover crops, can help reduce nitrogen and phosphorus entering Iowa’s streams.