Leading food and agricultural supply chain companies and conservation organizations have formed a partnership to support farmers in the improvement of soil health and water quality. The launch of the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative has been announced. Midwest Row Crop Collaborative is a broad-based effort to support, enhance, and accelerate the use of environmentally preferable agricultural practices already underway in Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska.
As part of this effort, the Collaborative has committed to raising $4 million over four years to help accelerate the Soil Health Partnership, a farmer-led initiative of the National Corn Growers Association. With 65 farm sites already a part of the effort, the Soil Health Partnership’s goal is to enrol 100 demonstration farms for testing and measuring management practices that improve soil health. The Soil Health Partnership’s research is quantifying the economic benefits of these practices, equipping all farmers with information on how healthy soil benefits both their bottom line and our natural resources, like protecting vital water supplies from nutrient runoff.
The Collaborative plans to focus on optimizing soil health practices outcomes, reducing nutrient runoff into the rivers and streams of the Mississippi River Basin, maximizing water conservation to reduce pressure on the Ogallala Aquifer, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Midwest Row Crop Collaborative has collaborated with the Keystone Policy Center to facilitate its work.