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Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)

Abstract

In applying conservation and fertility improvement plans, farmers have a choice between alternative combinations of land use, fertilizer applications and erosion control practices. Within limits, they may choose between different rotations and different fertilizer applications combined with different erosion control practices and still farm the land in accordance with the soil capabilities.

While land use in accordance with soil capabilities and appropriate fertilization is basic to soil conservation, these measures need to be supplemented by supporting conservation practices such as contouring, sod waterways, mulching, drainage, flumes, etc., if soil is to be conserved and improved most efficiently.

Successful conservation farming (that system which will increase total farm production, build up soil fertility, control erosion and maximize earnings) cannot be tailor-made to fit all farms but involves consideration of each individual's situation. The farmer (and those working with him) must analyze his problem to determine his costs and returns for the farm as a whole under alternative combinations of crops, fertilization and supporting conservation measures to determine which system will best fit his capital position and abilities and still do the conservation job.

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