The two candidates running for secretary of agriculture in Iowa disagree on how well the state is doing at addressing water quality.

Iowa State University and various state agencies including the department of agriculture released a list of conservation practices farmers could implement voluntarily to help reduce farm pollution.

Democrat John Norwood says the state’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy is not making enough progress as it turns ten next year.

“The current Nutrient Reduction Strategy isn’t working. Doing things one at a time can’t scale to the 23 million acres. So we need to be thinking less about ‘Is it voluntary or regulatory?’ The framework ought to be not doing things one at a time and doing them systematically.”

Norwood is a Polk County Soil and Water Commissioner and small business owner.

Republican incumbent Mike Naig recognizes nitrogen in waterways has increased over the last ten years but says there’s never been more awareness and conservation work in the state’s history.

The two made their comments in a weekend appearance on Iowa Press on Iowa PBS.

Reporting by IPR’s Clay Masters