Cover Crop and Saturated Buffer Field Day To Be Held Near Walcott On November 17 | Building a Culture of Conservation

Cover Crop and Saturated Buffer Field Day To Be Held Near Walcott On November 17

October 29, 2021

Iowa Learning Farms, along with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering, Iowa Geological Survey and Partners of Scott County Watersheds will host a cover crop field day on Wednesday, November 17 from 12:00-2:00 pm at Mike Paustian’s farm near Walcott. The event is free, open to the whole family, and includes a complimentary meal.

Mike Paustian returned to the family’s heritage farm in 2008 which encompasses nearly 1,400 acres and a 1,200 sow farrow-to-finish hog operation. In addition to utilizing no-till and minimum till, the Paustian’s have added cover crops to hold soil in place while scavenging nutrients from the soil and fall applied manure. Their goal is to build long term soil health and organic matter in their fields and improve water quality. In the past two years, they have increased their use of cereal rye and oats to cover nearly all of their acres. 

Taking the next step to reduce nitrate loss from their farm, the Paustians installed a saturated buffer just north of their home in the summer of 2018. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Mike and are encouraged to ask questions about their family’s experiences with the saturated buffer, cover crops and more. 

The workshop agenda will also include Dr. Keith Schilling, State Geologist and Iowa Geological Survey director, Dr. Matthew Streeter, Iowa Geological Survey assistant research scientist, and Dr. Kay Stefanik, Iowa Nutrient Research Center assistant director.

The field day will begin at Paustian Farms, 6520 215th St, Walcott, IA 52773. The workshop is free and open to the whole family, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. For reasonable accommodations and to RSVP please contact Liz Ripley at 515-294-5429 or  

Iowa Learning Farms field days and workshops are supported by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by 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 include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319) and GROWMARK, Inc.