Soil Conservation | Building a Culture of Conservation

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Soil Conservation

"Soil is one of our most precious natural resources. It is the foundation of our whole ecosystem. It is the basis of all plant growth providing us food, clothing and other materials. Soil filters water, decomposes waste, stores heat and exchanges gases."

--"Don't Call it Dirt: A Passion for Soil"

View the ILF video, Don’t Call it Dirt: A Passion for Soil (7:55). In the video, viewers are asked to think about soil and how it is used. It also provides ideas so that everyone can improve soil quality and keep it where it belongs.

Soil Conservation Resources

A Closer Look: What Drives Conservation Decisions in Iowa?
Iowa’s fertile soil has helped the state become a global agricultural leader. However, that same soil and the fertilizers used to boost crop production contribute to water quality challenges when nitrogen and phosphorus leave through drainage, runoff and erosion. The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy set statewide goals for reducing nutrient losses through a variety of practices.

Iowa Learning Farms' publication series "It Begins With You."

Iowa Learning Farms Publication CoversEconomics of Residue
The Cost of Soil Erosion
Transition to No-till
Strip-tillage Crop Management, NEW! Strip Tillage Infographic
A Whole Farm Approach
Economics of Cover Crop

Other publications in this series include:
Cellulosic Biofuels and Your Farm
Language of Conservation
Urban Conservation Practices
Iowa Watersheds
Water Quality and Conservation Practices
Wetlands Infographic 

*Eight Supplement sheets (by soil region) are also available.  See the "Water" section on this website for the supplements.

To receive printed copies of these handouts, email Iowa Learning Farms:


Check out the ILF video series "Converting Your Planter for No-Till Operation".
(Note Click the three lines in the top left hand corner of the video for the entire playlist.)


Check out the ILF video "Strip-Tillage Crop Management" in six chapters.
(Note Click the three lines in the top left hand corner of the video for the entire playlist.)

Cover Crops

Go to the cover crop pages for resources, research resultsvideos and event schedules.

STRIPs Project

STRIPs at Neal Smith National Widlife Refuge website