On Your Farm

Choose the 4R Plus Practices that Best Fit Your Farm

4R Plus practices are more effective when they are targeted in areas with the greatest runoff, nutrient loss and soil loss. No farm is the same, so talk to your crop adviser, conservation district representative or Natural Resources Conservation Service expert about the 4R Plus practices that are best for your acres.

Legend

  1. Brush Management
  2. Conversation Cover
  3. Contour Buffer Strip
  4. Contour Farming
  5. Cover Crop
  6. Crop Rotation
  7. Denitrifying Bioreactor
  8. Farmstead Energy
  9. Fence
  10. Field Border
  11. Filter Strip
  12. Forage and Biomass Planting
  13. Grade Stabilization Structure
  14. Grassed Waterway
  15. High Funnel System
  16. Manure Storage
  17. No-Till/Strip-Till
  18. 4R Nutrient Management
  19. Pest Management
  20. Pond
  21. Prescribed Burning
  22. Prescribed Grazing
  23. Riparian Forest Buffer
  24. Stream Crossing
  25. Stream Bank Protection
  26. Terrace
  27. Tree/Shrub Establishment
  28. Upland Wildlife Habitat Management
  29. Water and Sediment Control Basin
  30. Watering Facility
  31. Wetland
  32. Windbreak/Shelterbelt

Best Management Practices to Reduce Soil Erosion

  1. Reduce or eliminate tillage to leave more crop residue on the soil surface.
  2. Provide a continuous living crop like cover crops between row crop seasons to protect the soil and utilize unused nutrients.
  3. Install stream buffers to trap soil and nutrients before they enter streams.
  4. Use grassed waterways to channel water from the field through perennial vegetation to retain sediment and nutrients in the field.
  5. Install prairie strip to slow water movement, reduce runoff and soil loss, and improve wildlife habitat.
  6. Add terraces to slow water movement and increase water infiltration on sloping fields.
  7. Trap water and soil within crop rows with contour farming practices.
  8. Convert highly erodible land to perennial vegetation or enroll it in the Conservation Reserve Program.
  9. Add another crop to a row crop rotation to break up pest cycles and improve soil biodiversity.
  10. Incorporate rotational grazing of livestock to give previously grazed sections time to regrow.

Sources: Soil Management/Environment: Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Learning Farms, Conservation Choices: Soil Health Practices. Natural Resources Conservation Service