The Iowa Soybean Association says it strongly supports the decision by the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) maintaining the ability for Iowa’s farmers to effectively manage nutrients for use on soybean ground, as has been the interim policy the last five years.
At a meeting in Des Moines this week, the Iowa EPC declined to implement a ban on manure applications on soybean fields. EPC standards currently limit liquid manure application on soybean fields to no more than 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre. The rule would have changed to an outright ban in May of 2013, if the commission had taken affirmative action to implement the ban.
But after Iowa State University researchers presented studies that showed the practice would have little effect on nitrate pollution, the EPC decided to take no action and let the current policy remain in place.
The decision was not without controversy. According to a report in the Quad City Times, EPC members were met with jeers and insults from angry members of the group called Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. They accused the panel of shirking its duty to protect the state’s environment.
Representatives of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and Iowa Corn Growers Association opposed the ban. We discussed the issue with Roger Wolf, director of environmental programs and services with ISA.