Two Rivers Cooperative was recently acknowledged for its outstanding leadership and efforts to improve water quality. Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, presented the Iowa Ag Leader Award to Two Rivers at the Agribusiness Association of Iowa’s Showcase and Conferences in February. Dow AgroSciences and two Certified Crop Advisors were recognized as well. “All of these award winners are a great example of the stakeholders across the agriculture industry in Iowa that are providing tools and information to help farmers and landowners make improvements on their farm to better protect water quality,” Northey stated.
Since the cooperative merger in 2001, Two Rivers Cooperative has been dedicated to working with producers to improve nutrient application on cropland. The farmer-owned cooperative supports the use of grid sampling and has implemented the use of variable rate technology for applying phosphate and potash. Two Rivers also promotes efficient nitrogen usage by utilizing nitrogen stabilizers and encouraging split application of nitrogen products to prevent nutrient loss. Following the rule “don’t apply until 50 degrees” also enhances nutrient efficiency.
Committed to protecting the state’s waterways, Two Rivers Cooperative has embraced the voluntary approach of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Adding the usage of cover crops is one of the ways that the cooperative has been working with customers to expand the adoption of best management practices. Since the introduction of the cover crop custom drilling program in the fall of 2013, Two Rivers has seen the number of acres planted and seed sales for cover crops double.
Receiving the Iowa Ag Leader award was an honor for Two Rivers Cooperative. Providing services and guidance on improving water quality to customers of the cooperative is important and will continue to be a top priority in the future.