After Court Ruling: Northwest Iowa Farmer Still Working to Lessen Nitrogen Runoff

IDA GROVE, Iowa- The Iowa Supreme Court ruling saying Des Moines Waterworks could not seek damages from rural Iowa drainage districts, is just a “piece in the puzzle,” according an Ida County farmer.

Jolene Riessen is a family farmer near Ida Grove. The family farm also includes two sons, who farm ground in Sac County.

Riessen said the lawsuit had caused concern for area farmers.

“It was actually quite concerning because not only was that lawsuit going to affect the Sac, Buena Vista, and Pocahontas Counties, whatever we end up shaking out with is going to affect all farming altogether,” said Riessen.

Riessen credits efforts by Iowa State University to determine parameters to determine how much nitrogen farmers actually need on crops.

“As a farmer, I have a smorgasbord of things I can choose from to put me in a better spot as far as nutrient runoff,” said Riessen. “We continue to work with a cover crop. Part of it is for us to be able to put in some waterways and working more with no till.”