Iowa Learning Farms (ILF), the Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach conservation and water quality education program, announced three field days taking place in September. Covering topics from cover crops and nutrient management to pollinators, the programs will provide farmers with important updates and information from ISU experts. Two of the field days will be in person, marking a return to the more traditional locale-based format, while the virtual field day program launched in 2020 will continue to offer sessions accessible online to audiences anywhere.
“Field days are a fundamental outreach tool that provides farmers with science- and research-based information that can help improve water quality, as well as crop and soil health, increase understanding of practices, and enable them to ask questions and share experiences and information,” said Jacqueline Comito, ILF director. “Virtual field days have been exceptionally well received as a communication channel, but they cannot provide the social learning and interchange that happens when neighbors and friends attend a field day to learn, discuss, argue, challenge and ask questions of the ILF team.”
ILF field days in September include:
- September 8 – nutrient management, cover crop and wetland field day– near Gilmore City
- September 14 – cover crop field day – near Grinnell
- September 23 – What's the Buzz? Exploring the Impact of Prairie Strips and Pollinators virtual field day
ILF continues to work with farmers and partners to schedule in person field days. In addition, the team is preparing for additional virtual field days covering topics including conservation planting – with an emphasis on site selection, plant establishment and early management considerations; and cover crop dos and don’ts – lessons learned about cover crops, corn growth, diseases and pests.
In person field days will be conducted with respect to ISU health policies and the needs and wishes of the hosting farmer or landowner. Social distancing and other prudent practices will be encouraged.
Virtual Field Days are archived and available for viewing at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/virtual-field-day-archive.