AMES, Iowa – The Soil Health Partnership, along with the Iowa Learning Farms and Bremer County farmer partner Mark Mueller, will host a cover crop and soil health field day on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at the Borlaug Learning Center at the Iowa State University Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm, near Nashua. The event is free, open to the public and includes a complimentary meal.
Speaking at the field day is Mark Mueller, SHP demonstration network and ILF farmer partner, who will share his experience with cover crops and other conservation practices. Mueller is a fourth generation farmer on a Centennial Farm near Waverly. No-tilling since 2000, Mark has also added cover crops to help preserve the fragile topsoil and keep it in place during rainstorms.
Also speaking at the field day is:
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach water quality engineer Matt Helmers, who will provide a research update of the long-term drainage plots at the research farm.
Tyler Mitchell, agricultural specialist at the Northeast Research Farm, will provide updates for ongoing projects.
Elyssa McFarland, Iowa Field Manager for the SHP, will discuss management strategies to improve soil health.
The field day will also feature a tour of the ILF cover crop mixtures trial plots. The field day has been submitted for two Soil and Water CEU’s for Certified Crop Advisors for no charge.
The event will be held at the Borlaug Learning Center, 3327 290th St., Nashua. From Charles City, head south on US-218 for 9 miles. Take exit 220 for IA-346 (280th St.) toward Nashua. Turn right (west) on IA-346 (280th St.) and take the first left (south) on to Windfall Ave. (gravel road). At the T-intersection, turn left (east) on 290th St. The farm is on the left (north); please park in the east parking lot.
The field day is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested. Please contact SHP Field Manager Elyssa McFarland, firstname.lastname@example.org.
An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, the Soil Health Partnership works closely with diverse organizations including commodity groups, industry, foundations, federal agencies, universities and well-known environmental groups toward common goals. “We encourage sound soil practices combined with scientific quantification of results from farmers taking positive actions,” said Nick Goeser, SHP director. “Improved crop productivity, environmental gains and economic growth are all benefits of progressive soil management strategies.”
Providing food, fuel and fiber for a growing population without harming resources for future generations is one of agriculture’s greatest challenges. But the nation’s farmers are a resourceful lot, with many embracing innovative technology and practices to achieve ambitious strides.
About the Soil Health Partnership
The Soil Health Partnership brings together diverse partner organizations including commodity groups, federal agencies, universities and environmental groups to work toward the common goal of improving soil health. Over a five-year period, the SHP will identify test and measure farm management practices that improve soil health and benefit farmers. The SHP believes the results of this farmer-led project will provide a platform for sharing peer-to-peer information, and lend resources to benefit agricultural sustainability and profitability. An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, SHP provides the spark for greater understanding and implementation of agricultural best practices to protect resources for future generations. For more information, visit soilhealthpartnership.org.
About the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy
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: http://www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu/.
About Iowa Learning Farms
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: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/.