Iowa Learning Farms to co-host field day strategies to improve field drainage water quality

August 15, 2011

Ames, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms and Iowa State University Extension are co-hosting a field day that focuses on water quality of tile-drained landscapes on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 5:00 p.m. near Gilmore City in Pocahontas County. The field day is free, open to the public and includes a complimentary evening meal.
The field day will be held at a research site, established over 20 years ago, that originally focused on agricultural drainage wells and has been expanded to include water quality issues relating to tile drained lands. The research, conducted by several Iowa State University (ISU) faculty members, examines nitrogen loss, drainage system design and how to meet crop production demands while maintaining water quality expectations.
Speakers at the field day include ISU agricultural and biosystems engineer Matt Helmers, who will provide information about drainage water quality; ISU agronomy professor John Sawyer and staff will speak about the effects of cereal grain cover crops on corn nitrogen management; ISU professor of wetland ecology Bill Crumpton will explore nitrate removal systems; ISU agricultural and biosystems engineer Mark Hanna will discuss planting in high residue systems; and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) natural resources engineer Dean Lemke will review some of the state programs addressing water quality. Also local NRCS personnel will be on hand to answer questions about local programs. Attendees can visit a combination of speakers who interest them as they will be held simultaneously and repeated.
The site is located two miles west of Gilmore City on Hwy 3, one mile north on 320th Avenue and then one-half mile west on 510th St.
Iowa Learning Farms are building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF staff are working together to encourage farmers to implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable. Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the US EPA (section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.