ILF July webinar to focus on soil sustainability

July 1, 2013

The Iowa Learning Farms’ (ILF) monthly webinar, will be on Wednesday, July 17 at 11:30 a.m., and features Michael Castellano, assistant agronomy professor at Iowa State University. His research focuses on nitrogen and soil organic matter. The webinar is part of a free series, hosted by ILF, through Adobe Connect. The series is on the third Wednesday of each month. A computer with Internet access is all that is needed to participate. 
Soil organic matter, rather than fertilizer, is the largest direct source of crop nitrogen uptake – regardless of the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied. Soil organic matter is also typically the largest sink for nitrogen fertilizer. Due to the effects of soil organic matter on nutrient availability as well as water holding capacity, soil organic matter is positively correlated with the amount and stability of crop yields. Castellano will discuss the status and management of soil organic matter stocks in Iowa soils.
Castellano received his Ph.D. in soil science from The Pennsylvania State University in 2009. He has worked in agricultural systems in Arizona, Texas, and Maryland. His research focuses on the use, transport and transformation of nitrogen.
To connect to the webinars, go to: at 11:30 a.m.on the morning of the webinar and log in as a guest. Castellano will be able to answer questions from webinar “attendees” via the Adobe Connect chat box. The ILF website contains links for archived webinars from all previous sessions:  The webinar archive will also be available in a podcast through iTunes.
Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between 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); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Water Center.