Hundreds of thousands of Iowans own farmland across the state. But as inherited land splits up, much of what is left may not be farmed by the owner. Fifty-five percent of the state is cash rented.
Now, there are educational conferences out there to try and inform landowners about stewardship. This is the third year of the Iowa SOIL conference at Drake University, talks were on how to be a good steward investing into land.
At a panel of four farmers talking about some of the challenges of convincing some landowners to put cover crops on their fields. One of the points made, was old fashioned, peer pressure. As more farmers get into conservation, more try it out.
Drake Ag Law Professor Neil Hamilton says farmers and landowners have to work together when designing ways to practice conservation.
He says, "Thinking about the connection between, how we use the information we have. How we tie our understanding about fertility and the soil. And thinking of how that relates to water quality and how that actually leaves the land. That's an important opportunity, and I think a fairly exciting one."