News release
Carol Brown, AWCA communications liaison,
Ag Retailers Reaffirm commitment to Environmental Stewardship
Ankeny, Iowa — Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance (ACWA) members have reaffirmed their agreement to protect Iowa’s soil and water resources. 
As ACWA marks its 20th year as an organization, the group of 11 ag retailers has reaffirmed the voluntary Code of Practice for Nitrogen Fertilization for 2019. It stipulates that fall anhydrous applications without a nitrification inhibitor be delayed until soil temperatures are 50 degrees Fahrenheit and trending lower. Members use the county soil temperature and forecast maps compiled by Iowa State University as a decision-tool for beginning fall fertilizer applications.
The code of practice was adopted in 2001 and ACWA members have renewed it annually.
 “ACWA members are committed to protecting Iowa’s water and agreeing to this code of practice every year is an illustration of our commitment,” said Brent Low, ACWA president and Ag Partners agronomy vice president. “Given field conditions last fall, I’m sure farmers will be anxious to start this year with fall application. Our member organizations are prepared to find the best solutions for farmer productivity and water quality.”
ACWA supports the adoption of nutrient management technologies to maximize nutrient use efficiency and help protect water quality. They include nitrogen stabilizers, slow release fertilizers, incorporation or injection, soil nitrate testing and other tools that minimize loss of nitrogen to water sources.
ACWA also supports 4R Plus, which focuses on the 4R’s of fertilizer application: the right source, right rate, right time and right place. The Plus adds conservation practices to enhance soil health and improve water quality. Led by the Nature Conservancy, 4R Plus is guided by a coalition of agricultural and conservation organizations to support farmers’ efforts to implement precise nutrient management and conservation practices.
ACWA encourages farmers to implement conservation practices to reduce nitrate flow from tile systems including bioreactors, constructed wetlands, conservation stream buffers and cover crops. Members agreed this year to add saturated buffers to the list of recommended conservation practices as part of the code of practice. Saturated buffers allow for natural denitrification from tile drained water that has been diverted to adjacent streambank buffers.
“Members of ACWA know water quality is just as important as proper nutrient management,” said Roger Wolf, ACWA executive director. “The responsibility that ACWA members assume annually through the code of practice is a testament to this commitment. Members and their employees are doing what they can to improve their customers’ production as well as profitability while protecting the environment.” 
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Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance (ACWA) is an association consisting of 11 ag retailers and five associate members that support farmer customers in the Des Moines and Raccoon River basins. The ACWA mission is to help agriculture identify and implement solutions that reduce nutrient loss to Iowa waters.