Drainage water management and cover crop field day Sept. 10 near Woolstock

August 31, 2015

Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers of Iowa are hosting a field day on Thursday, Sept. 10, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Arliss Nielsen farm, rural Woolstock. Also sponsoring the field day are Iowa Soybean Association and the Boone River Watershed Water Quality Initiative.
 
The field day will focus on the topics of drainage water management and cover crops. Nielsen recently had a drainage system installed on 320 acres of his farm as well as a bioreactor. He, along with his contractor, will discuss the steps involved with installation and benefits of having a water drainage system and a bioreactor. Wright County farmer Tim Smith will share his experience of adding conservation practices on his farm to improve water quality. Smith is using a number of practices including cover crops, filter and buffer strips, grassed waterways, reduced tillage and a bioreactor. All of these practices help reduce nutrients leaving fields and entering waterways—the goal of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
 
Also speaking at the field day are Keegan Kult and Kellie Blair with the Iowa Soybean Association. They will share data from the ISA bioreactor project. Stefan Gailans, Practical Farmers of Iowa, will share results of a long-term cover crop research project and a cover crop seeding method project. Also Bruce Voigts, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), will provide cost share funding that is available for conservation practices and give updates with the Boone River Watershed WQI.
 
The field day is free, open to the public and includes a free supper sponsored by Iowa Soybean Association. An RSVP is requested for an accurate meal count. Contact the Clarion NRCS office at 515-532-2165 by Sept. 8.
 
The Nielsen farm is located at 3150 Hancock Ave., Woolstock. From Eagle Grove, go south on Highway 17 for two miles. Turn east (left) onto 300th St. and go three miles. Turn south (right) onto Hancock Ave. (R33) and go one mile. The farmstead is on the east side of the road at the T-intersection of Hancock Ave. and 315th St.
 
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a guideline to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus that enter Iowa’s waterways. Using a suite of conservation practices such as cover crops, extended rotations, nutrient management, and edge-of-field structures such as bioreactors and wetlands will reduce nonpoint source pollution significantly in Iowa waters and downstream. For more information on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, visit the website: www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu/.
 
Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, visit www.practicalfarmers.org.
 
Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms are the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319), Conserva­tion Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Water Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website: www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/.
 
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