AMES, Iowa— Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Wednesday, February 20 at 12:00 p.m. about the consequences of farming prairie potholes and management options for these common Iowa landscape features.
In Iowa, many of the features known as prairie potholes are actively farmed. Because of their position in the landscape and their topographic and soils characteristics, prairie potholes flood frequently after rain events, even with artificial drainage. Dr. Amy Kaleita, Professor, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University, will explain this flooding behavior, and the effects it has on crops and watersheds. She will also discuss options for managing these features to decrease the frequency of negative impacts.
“Some research has shown that farmed prairie potholes lose money more often than they make a profit. Because they also have significant environmental impacts, conservation-minded management of these features may provide benefits at a lower cost than changes in more productive parts of the field,” said Kaleita, whose research on precision conservation focuses on how to use publicly available or low-cost data to improve conservation decision-making within production agriculture. She hopes webinar viewers will gain a better understanding of the unique behaviors of prairie potholes and how they can best be managed in an agricultural setting.
To watch, go to www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars and click the link to join the webinar shortly before 12:00 p.m. on February 20 to download the Zoom software and log in option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.
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, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319) and GROWMARK, Inc.
Hilary Pierce Jacqueline Comito
Extension Outreach Specialist ILF Program Director