Some Iowa Farmers Back Crop Buffer Law to Protect Water

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s farmer-dominated conservation districts are calling for a state ban on planting crops within 30 feet of streams to improve water quality, but the state’s top agricultural official opposes the idea.

The Gazette reports that the Conservation Districts of Iowa isn’t the first group to push for a buffer law, but it’s the first time a group made up mainly of farmers and retired farmers has advocated for something more stringent than voluntary action.

Dennis Carney, the group’s president, says he sees a growing realization that current policies aren’t achieving the desired results.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig says he opposes a buffer strip requirement because more regulation runs counter to his agency’s philosophy. He questions whether the conservation district reflects the views of most Iowa farmers.