Iowa Learning Farms field day June 18 in Buchanan County

June 5, 2015

Iowa Learning Farms, along with the STRIPS project and the Iowa Cover Crop Working Group, will host a field day on Thursday, June 18, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Dick and Diana Sloan farm, rural Rowley.
 
The STRIPS project, Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips, is at Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge, Prairie City. The project focuses on planting a small percentage of a field into strips of perennial prairie plants to reduce soil erosion, water runoff, and to create habitat for pollinators. Iowa farmers are now applying this conservation practice on their own fields for the benefits that the research results have shown.
 
Speaking at the field day is host farmer Dick Sloan, who will share his experience using cereal rye cover crop as well as the installation of perennial prairie strips within his corn-soybean fields. Also speaking is Mary Harris, who is a member of the STRIPS project team. She will discuss the importance of pollinators and how the prairie strips are an important part of the ecosystem. Tim Youngquist, STRIPS project farmer liaison, will discuss details of installing prairie strips as well as the benefits that this conservation practice offers. Following the speakers, attendees can enjoy a complimentary supper, with the Buchanan County Cattlemen at the grill.
 
The field day will be at the Dick and Diana Sloan farm: 3046 Harrison Ave., Rowley. From Independence, go south on Highway 150 for 5 miles, turn west (right) onto D47 (290th St.), and go 2.75 miles. Turn south (left) onto Harrison Ave. and go 1.5 miles. The farmstead will be on the left.
 
The field day is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested. Contact Iowa Learning Farms to reserve a place for the meal: phone 515-294-8912, or email: ilf@iastate.edu.
 
As part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, cover crops added to a corn-soybean rotation reduces soil erosion, reduces nitrogen and phosphorus loads, and increases soil organic matter. Research has shown that cover crops can reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses by approximately 30 percent. These crops, used in combination with other best management practices, will reduce point and nonpoint source pollution significantly in Iowa waters and downstream.
 
The Iowa Cover Crop Working Group promotes the use of living cover on Iowa agricultural lands. The group provides a unified voice from academy, non-profit, and industry sectors on the benefits of cover crops and encourages their use in cropping systems across the state.
 
For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/.
 
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.
 
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