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Organic Agriculture

NIFA Grant Supports Iowa State Water Quality Project

Using funds from a 2009 National Institute of Food and Agriculture Integrated Organic and Water Quality Program grant (IOWP), researchers in Iowa will compare water quality in conventional and organic cropping systems. Studies will be located on an organic farm in Jefferson County, IA, and an Iowa State University (ISU) site in Story County. Water quality measurements will include the amount of sediment in the runoff water, nutrient use and transport, and overall water availability. The project is designed to demonstrate the benefits and challenges to soil and water availability, both in quality and quantity posed by implementing certified organic practices. As part of the grant, ISU will also provide extension training in the area of self-assessments and implementation of water quality enhancement programs on individual farms. IOWP is a joint effort between the Organic Transitions Program and the National Integrated Water Quality Program, whose goal is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of surface water and groundwater resources through research, education, and extension activities. For more information on the new project, read the article “Iowa State Organic Program Launches Water Quality Program with Grant.” More information on ISU’s Organic Agriculture program is available online.

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