The use of soil-focused conservation practices is on the rise in Iowa. Data from the Iowa Nutrient Research & Educational Council, in partnership with Iowa State University and local ag retailers, revealed that 3.8 million acres have been enrolled in cover crop planting in the first decade of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Last year, 16.6% of all corn and soybean acres were planted with cover crops, compared to 1.6 million in 2017. Rye accounts for 81.2% of cover crops planted. Nutrient management practices such as timing, rate, source and placement are also analyzed and 45% of nitrogen applications have occurred in the spring before plating, followed by fall-only applications at 20%.

Read more on nutrient management trends in Iowa here.