We Proactively Protect Water Quality and Retain Our Valuable Top Soil:
The correlation between food and land is direct: Growing healthy foods requires healthy soil and healthy water. And given soil and water don’t respect boundaries or fences, it is our responsibility as agricultural professionals to protect resilient Iowa lands and waters and in turn produce food and water sustainably.
All streams and ponds at Dalla Terra Ranch are fenced off in order to prevent animals from leaving behind waste and contaminating our Iowa water supply. Instead, animals drink water from deep, cool wells located throughout the farm. Taking advantage of both wind and solar energy, our well pumps run smoothly and efficiently.
Without damaging hoof traffic, our streambanks and ponds remain structurally strong and don’t erode. Deep rooted native Iowa grasses in and around our waterways retain valuable topsoil, reduce downstream flooding, filter out pollutants and nutrients, and improve wildlife, fish and aquatic habitat.
We Restore and Preserve Native Ecosystems:
The ranch boasts many areas of restored prairie, oak savannah, and wetlands. Native Iowa-harvested seed has been strategically incorporated to diversify our plant species and round-out ancient seed beds which have reemerged. Deep-rooted, native species are resistant to heat and drought and thus thrive in extreme conditions. This restoration work enhances the natural beauty of the landscape, attracts pollinators and provides cover for wildlife.
Along the way, we’ve aggressively cleared invasive species and cleaned out debris. While this work is continuous, annual, diligent maintenance keeps the task from becoming overwhelming. Prescriptive fire is used to keep the prairie and savannah areas healthy and vigorous.
A beautiful ox-bow on the ranch, dating back to the early 1900’s, has been restored and cleaned up. This oxbow stores excess water that might otherwise lead to flooding, filters water, and provides habitat to a variety of aquatic species.