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Source: Iowa Department of Agriculture

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey issued the following statement on the release of the 2016 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The 2016 poll covered issues such as: conservation practice use; changes in farming practices since the implementation of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy in 2013; monarch butterfly conservation; and other issues. A summary of the report is available at

More information about the Farm and Rural Life Poll, including links to past poll results, can be found at If you have any questions regarding the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll, please feel free to contact Dr. J. Gordon Arbuckle Jr. at

Northey's statement follows here:

"The Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll is a great tool to gauge what farmers are thinking and I appreciate the continued focus by the poll on conservation and water quality efforts. I am very encouraged by a number of the results that show farmers increasingly aware of the issue and continuing to try new practices.

"It is encouraging that 20 percent of the poll respondents used cover crops in 2015 and 33 percent said they might use them in the future, especially when compared to the number of farmers using cover crops just a few years ago. It also shows the potential for significant growth in acreage of cover crops. In many cases farmers are trying cover crops on a limited acreage and then starting to expand that as they become more familiar with the practice and better understand how it fits into their farming operation. We all recognize that we still have a lot of work to do, but the engagement by Iowa farmers and their willingness to make investments to better protect water quality is very encouraging."

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