Project Description

Sustainable Soy: Continuous Improvement Program

Using the Fieldprint® Calculator to document sustainable soybean production practices and improve the adoption of priority conservation systems will help guide improvements in nutrient use efficiency and sustainability.

Project Summary

This program provides an opportunity to use consumer demand for sustainably produced food to drive practical conservation on the farm. An Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) funded cost-share, a premium from Unilever, and a potential seed discount from La Crosse Seed all help overcome the additional expense of cover crop management, the obstacle farmers most frequently cite when considering adding cover crops.

Program participants receive agronomic guidance from the staff of Practical Farmers of Iowa in order to ensure that their early experiences with cover crops leave them enthusiastic about expanding their cover cropped acres. Working with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to track participating farms using Field to Market’s Fieldprint Calculator is providing a look at the ecological and agronomic benefits this project is delivering at both the farm and watershed scale. Participant interviews conducted by Purdue University are helping determine how the Fieldprint Calculator can be best utilized to promote conservation systems.