Iowa’s largest agriculture cooperative, Landus, has been a member of ACWA since 1999 when the organization was founded. The coop has been known as Landus since 2016, but its agricultural roots go back more than 130 years.
Landus offers products and services for all aspects of farming: agronomy, grain, feed, animal nutrition and data. The company has locations in 23 counties, most of which are in the Des Moines and Raccoon River watersheds. These rivers serve as the drinking water source for residents of the Des Moines metro area. Landus also has farmer-members located above the Cedar River watershed, the drinking water source for Cedar Rapids residents. Farming practices in these key geographical locations directly affect downstream residents in Iowa and beyond.
Landus believes it is important that they represent their 7,000 farmer-members to have a voice in solutions for our water quality challenges. The company shares the ACWA goal of implementing agricultural practices to reduce nutrients and sediment entering Iowa’s waterbodies. These key reasons are why Landus’ membership in ACWA is important.
Landus is one of three cooperatives that are part of the Farm to River Partnership, an Iowa Water Quality Initiative (WQI) led by ACWA. The Farm to River Partnership conservation agronomist works alongside field agronomists at Landus, Nutrien and NEW Cooperative to help farmers implement improved water quality and soil health practices to meet the WQI project goals. Farmers and landowners can add bioreactors, saturated buffers, cover crops and more with financial assistance through the project.
In addition to informing and encouraging their customers to implement practices for improved water quality, Landus has partnered with Des Moines Water Works to connect urban residents with agriculture. Their Plots in the Park is an innovative example demonstrating an upstream-downstream collaboration and another connection between agriculture and urban residents.
The Code of Practice for Nitrogen Fertilization is an annual commitment by all ACWA members. Landus believes this agreement has a great impact on water quality. Under the Code of Practice, ACWA members agree not to apply nitrogen fertilizer in the fall until soil temperatures are at 50 degrees and below.
Leaders at Landus believe that partnering with ACWA sends a message to their customers that the company takes the issue of improved water quality seriously and that they are making a positive impact for all Iowans.