Watershed Projects Improve Profits

Virgil Schmitt, Crops Field Specialist, Southeast

Problem Statement:   While watershed projects have historically been useful in providing funds for the installation of structures to improve the quality of water leaving a farm, the projects history of instilling in the producers a desire to make long-term behavioral changes has been less stellar.
Programmatic Response:
  Iowa State University Extension joined with the Muscatine Soil and Water Conservation District to provide educational programming centered on simultaneously improving water quality and improving producer profits in the Mud Creek Watershed.  This included demonstrations, field days, meetings, news letters, and newspaper articles.  Producers in the Pike Run Watershed were invited to participate in Mud Creek Watershed activities.
A one-on-one survey of several active participants (The assumption was that if someone had been to a meeting or field day or was involved in some other way, he/she is an active participant.) in the project revealed that they believed their profitability had increased by an average of approximately $16 per acre.  These improvements in profitability were credited to reduced costs and improved yields due to improvements in soil fertility practices and pest management practices.  The average farm size is 287 acres.  At $16 per acre over 287 acres, producers improved their profits by nearly $4,600 per farm.  Assuming 65 active participants (the length of the list used to draw for the survey), the improved profits total nearly $300,000 for the 2005 growing season.

March 10, 2006
142 - Integrated Pest and Crop Management

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu