Local farmers recognized as water quality bill is signed into law

Iowa Cover Crop founders James Holz and Bill Frederick, of Greene County, were highlighted in remarks by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Wednesday as she signed Senate File 512 into law.

Holz and Frederick were recognized for their efforts building a business focused on conservation in the state of Iowa during the governor’s first bill signing. The new law, Senate File 512, will provide $282 million to water quality issues in the next 12 years.

James Holz (left) and Bill Frederick (lright) were among those invited when Gov Kim Reynolds signed Senate File 512 on Jan. 31.

“Numerous Iowans have stepped up to start or expand businesses to help assist [conservation efforts],” Reynolds said in her comments at the bill signing.

Greene County farmers Holz and Frederick started Iowa Cover Crop to help farmers improve soil health, reduce erosion, and reduce compaction while increasing economic opportunities for farmers through grazing opportunities and improved yields over time.

“We would like to see the widespread use of cover crops, such as rye, oats and turnips,” said Frederick. “Cover crops have remarkable benefits for erosion and soil quality, which helps with conservation efforts throughout the state.”

To work toward the goal of increased acres planted in cover crops, Iowa Cover Crop has coined the phrase, “conservation with convenience”. The company has made the seeding of cover crops simple for Iowa farmers by providing cover crop consultation, organizing airplane or Hagie application, and mixing seed blends.

“In order to get Iowa farmers to adopt cover crops into their existing practices, we’ve made the process of applying cover crops into conservation practices simple and straightforward,” said Holz. “Learning about a new crop variety, figuring out how to integrate into existing production systems and coordinating the logistics to apply is often a barrier of entry for Iowa farmers. We can handle that for them.”

Holz and Frederick farm with their fathers in Greene County and have 12 years of experience growing cover crops. They have grown rye grain, rye grass, oats, spring and winter wheat, peas and more on their farms.

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