The Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) is a computer model that uses high-resolution geo-spatial data to show existing and suggest locations that may be good possibilities for additional flood reduction or nutrient removal practices, including Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOBs), Contour Buffer Strips, Grass Waterways, Nutrient Removal Wetlands, Drainage Management Areas, and Bioreactors. Any of these man-made ‘structural’ practices installed on the land should of course be combined with good ‘soil health’ practices.

The ACPF model is far from perfect — it does not recognize the many sinkholes on our Northeast Iowa landscape, it doesn’t necessarily reflect recent land-use changes, and it creates oddly-shaped WASCOBs for example — but it does serve as a tool that can provide ideas for conservation practices that can be followed-up on through conversations with local county soil and water conservation district personnel. Just take the locations it suggests with a grain of salt — “all models are wrong, some are useful”.

Guide to the ACPF Map

  • Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOBs) are shown as light blue shapes on the landscape.
  • Contour Buffer Strips are shown as light-green, string-like lines following the contours of the landscape. (Note: They may be slow to load).
  • Grass waterways are bright-green lines following the path of water
  • Nutrient Removal Wetlands are blue and are surrounded by a vegetative buffer, shown in green.
  • Drainage Management Areas are shown as white, semi-transparent overlays on the landscape.
  • Bioreactors (trenches filled with wood chips to remove nitrogen) are shown as brown squares
  • Sinkholes, both current and historical, are shown as black discs with a white circle border.

Show/Hide Map Layers


Contour Buffer Strips
Grass Waterways
Nutrient Removal Wetlands
Drainage Mgmt Areas