Project helps farmers in the Turkey River Watershed boost their bottom-lines

May 4, 2016

With farming margins tighter than ever, farmers in the Turkey River Watershed can get help identifying areas of their operations that are dragging their bottom-line. 

The Iowa Soybean Association, in conjunction with the Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D), is leading a project in the Turkey River Watershed to offer farmers a confidential profitability analysis at a discounted price of 25 cents/acre.

“This assessment can help farmers identify areas that may be netting a financial loss,” said Adam Kiel, ISA operations manager of water resources. “Once the analysis is done, we can discuss how to implement alternative, more profitable practices for each individual farm.”

Often, areas of a field resulting in net loss are the most environmentally sensitive and have a negative impact on water quality and soil health. The analysis provided in this project will indicate where conservation practices could be placed and how implementation may benefit the bottom line, either by generating income or reducing loss.

Initially, farmers will work with the Northeast Iowa RC&D, to gather needed information—yield, management and input cost data. Then ISA will perform the analysis for each farm, categorizing acres into three zones: high performing, reasonably performing and non-performing. Combined, these acres generate the overall picture of the farm and help farmers identify ways to optimize profit. ISA will follow up with an on-farm consultation to discuss alternative practices that may be more profitable and methods for implementing those practices.

“The project allows us to assess 4,000 acres in the Turkey River Watershed—first come, first serve,” said Ross Evelsizer, watershed planner with the Northeast Iowa RC&D. “We are enrolling farmers now to begin profitability analysis this summer.”

In addition to profitability analysis, area farmers may participate in complementary conservation planning provided by the ISA. For more information or to participate in profitability analysis, farmers can contact Evelsizer at 563-864-7112 or Kiel at 515-334-1022.

The project is sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.


The Iowa Soybean Association ( develops policies and programs that help Iowa’s more than 36,000 soybean farmers expand profit opportunities while promoting environmentally sensitive production using the soybean checkoff and other resources. The association was founded in 1964 and is governed by an elected volunteer board of 21 farmers. It strives to be honest and transparent, fact-based and data driven and committed to environmental stewardship, collaborations and partnerships.