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Our valuable soil

March 24, 2019
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Letter to the Editor:

Do you remember playing in the dirt as a child? As a farmer, I love to play in my "dirt"-or soil- and because of the recent National Ag Week, I'd love to share with you how I protect that valuable resource.

We start with "feeding" our soils nitrogen and phosphorous, or as I liked to call it-plant food! You and I both know, we need food to provide fuel for our bodies to grow strong. Likewise, corn and soybeans need plant food to help them thrive in Iowa's long, hot summers. As a farmer, it's important to me to help protect our local streams and rivers by keeping my plant food in the soil, instead of it washing away during extreme weather events.

When it comes to our crop fields, farmers like me love to know what's going on with their land's soil health. By testing what's in our soil, we are able to apply this plant food only where the soil needs it-instead of over or under-feeding it.

Another example of how many farmers like myself protect our water from erosion sediment is by using grassy waterways. This type of vegetation can filter and absorb water runoff that we don't want in our local streams and provides habitat for small birds and animals to live and also "play in the dirt."

So, the next time you think about the dirt beneath your own very two feet, know it is a vital ingredient to grow the best and most nutritious food possible for you and me. Farmers, especially here in Iowa, are taking steps to stop erosion, nutrient loss and soil loss. We care about our land and soil and want to protect it for our future farming generations and our community members.

Emily Doyle

Rural Clutier



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