Helmers featured on Conservation Chat

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As we celebrate Soil & Water Conservation Week, it’s time for another episode of the Conservation Chat podcast! April’s episode features an interview with our own Dr. Matt Helmers, visiting with host Jacqueline Comito about the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and the variety of conservation practices, both in-field and edge-of-field, that will help contribute to reducing nutrient export from our state.

Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy, released in 2012, calls for 45% load reductions in total nitrogen and total phosphorus leaving our state. Helmers was instrumental in development of the Nonpoint Source Nutrient Reduction Science Assessment component of the strategy, specifically looking at the nitrogen side of things.

Since the Nutrient Reduction Strategy was released, Helmers estimates that he’s given over 100 talks about the Nutrient Reduction Strategy at field days, workshops, conferences, and more. Reaching the Strategy’s 45% reduction goals will require incredibly high levels of conservation implementation across the state, and it will require a suite of practices as well. Tune in to the Conservation Chat to hear his perspectives on how we get there!

A few highlights:

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The Chat is not all technical – far from it! Much of the engaging conversation is focused on changing attitudes and perceptions about water quality issues, the larger paradigm shifts occurring in our state, and the great economic opportunities available related to the nutrient reduction strategy, for instance, the design and construction of 7600 wetlands.

As a fun side note, I was also entertained by Helmers’ account of his early interests with water:
“I do still remember, as a kid, playing in the water and building dams to stop water flow. OR, even better, busting the dam and watching erosion!”

For more, tune in to the full episode of the Conservation Chat as Helmers and Comito dig in and visit about how we work together to promote conservation practices statewide and strive to reach the Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals! And for another fun spin on nutrient cycling and water quality, tune in as Helmers and the Water Rocks! team Slow Jam the Nitrogen Cycle.

Ann Staudt

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