Ames, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms, along with the STRIPS project, will host a field day on Tuesday, September 6th. The 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. field day near Dike is free and open to the public. It will include with a complimentary meal.
The field day will highlight the installation of a saturated buffer and future seeding of prairie strips north of J. H. Roadman Memorial Park near Dike. Morgan Troendle, with Hertz Farm Management, oversaw the installation of the practices and will share information on the planning and implementation process. Researchers from the STRIPS and saturated buffer teams will also be in attendance to discuss the project results and answer questions about each of the practices. A representative from UNI Tallgrass Prairie Center, who will seed the prairie strips this fall to minimize effects of residual herbicide in the soil, will be on hand to discuss prairie establishment and maintenance. The field day will include a field tour of the site to take a closer look at the prairie strips and saturated buffer.
The STRIPS project, Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips, 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.
Saturated buffers extend the many benefits of streamside buffers, such as removal of sediment, phosphorus and pesticides while providing more abundant wildlife habitat. A saturated buffer diverts a portion of the drainage water into lateral drainage tile installed along the buffer, increasing the shallow groundwater level and providing nutrient removal. With the addition of the saturated buffer portion, additional nitrate is removed from the groundwater through denitrification and plant uptake, improving downstream water quality.
The field day site will be at the J. H. Roadman Memorial Park, located 1.5 miles west of Dike on County Road D-19 (160th St.). The park is located on the north side of the road.
For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website: /.
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.