Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance (ACWA) is an organization whose membership is made up of leading agricultural retailers in northwest and west central Iowa. It was formed in 1999 to address concerns about nitrate levels in the Raccoon River Watershed and later expanded to include the Des Moines River Watershed. Initial efforts involved sampling and analyzing water from local streams and rivers throughout the watersheds. A significant amount of water monitoring data was collected during those early years. This data helps to illustrate the scope, scale and complexity of challenges to impact water quality and has now led to advancing new opportunities targeting local subwatershed implementation efforts. Today our support of water monitoring continues, plus, we continue to expand our efforts to implement practices that improve water quality with help from a variety of partners. Our mission statement says best our aspirations: helping agriculture identify and implement solutions that reduce nutrient loss to Iowa’s waters.
From the outset of ACWA, members have adhered to a code of practice for nitrogen applications that is updated as needed and reconfirmed with each member every year. Staying in line with the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, ACWA members agree to delay fall anhydrous applications without a nitrification inhibitor until soil temperatures are 50 degrees Fahrenheit and trending lower. Members use the county soil temperature and forecast maps compiled by Iowa State University as a decision-tool for beginning fall fertilizer applications. Additionally, individual members support a vast network of Certified Crop Advisors providing advanced nutrient management products and services consistent with 4R Nutrient stewardship principles. Our members believe it is of paramount importance to continue outreach to credible aligned resources to further advance our efforts. The membership is dedicated to the advancement of the ACWA mission, as well as supplying its customers the right products and services for economic success in concert with water quality solutions for their communities and beyond.
ACWA supports adoption of nutrient management technologies to maximize nutrient use efficiency and help protect water quality. The members of ACWA have a complete menu of products and services they offer through their individual businesses. Their services include nutrient management planning, soil and plant analysis, site specific application of crop nutrients, field scouting, and general crop consulting advice to name a few. A complete offering of fertility and crop protection products is available at all member businesses. Nitrification inhibitors, multi seasonal application services, and product efficiency products are part of their daily tool kits. They are leading and trusted suppliers to the needs of crop producers in their respective markets. ACWA membership allows them collectively to support the demonstration projects and water quality improvement projects that advance the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy in addition to their own localized initiatives.