Supply Chain Sustainability Project Trains Crop Advisors and Ag Retailers
CTIC's ongoing sustainable supply chain project in Iowa has shifted to engage local retail agronomists, certified crop advisors (CCAs) and individual farmers to advise and advocate for the adoption of critical conservation systems identified in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
The first four years of the project, which included agronomic consultation and cost-share funding for farmers, helped producers in six critical watersheds plant nearly 40,000 acres of cover crops. A three-year extension funded by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) allows the effort to now shift to building capacity among trusted crop advisors in the Skunk River watershed.
Technical assistance is key to success with cover crops, notes CTIC project director Mike Smith.
"Those relationships will be enhanced by a training and incentive program," Smith adds. CTIC is working with Practical Farmers of Iowa and The Nature Conservancy to deliver technical assistance to advisors and retailers.
Understanding advisor awareness, attitudes and behaviors will be vital to ensuring that farmers get the support they need in adopting such important conservation practices. For more information, contact Mike Smith at CTIC.