June 11 Virtual Field Day: Exploring the Bear Creek Saturated Buffer | Building a Culture of Conservation

June 11 Virtual Field Day: Exploring the Bear Creek Saturated Buffer

June 3, 2020

AMES, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, Conservation Learning Group, and Prairie Rivers of Iowa, is hosting a free virtual saturated buffer field day on Thursday, June 11 at 1pm CDT.  Join us as we explore the first-ever saturated buffer that was installed in 2010 within an existing riparian buffer along Bear Creek in Hamilton County.

The event will include video footage from the field and live interaction with Tom Isenhart, Iowa State University Professor, Billy Beck, Iowa State University Assistant Professor and Extension Forestry Specialist, and Dan Haug and David Stein of Prairie Rivers of Iowa. Together they will discuss how saturated buffers, riparian buffers and pollinator habitat work together to improve water quality, farm aesthetics, and wildlife opportunities.

Riparian buffers are a proven practice for removing nitrate from overland flow and shallow groundwater. However, in landscapes with artificial subsurface (tile) drainage, most of the subsurface flow leaving fields is passed through the buffers in drainage pipes, leaving little opportunity for nitrate removal. Isenhart, along with Dan Jaynes, Research Soil Scientist with the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment (USDA-ARS), pioneered the process of re-routing a fraction of field tile drainage as subsurface flow through a riparian buffer for increasing nitrate removal - creating the first-ever saturated buffer that will be featured during this virtual field day.

“The Bear Creek saturated buffers are prime examples that trees and perennial vegetation can work in agricultural watersheds – benefitting both water quality and the Iowa producer,” notes Beck whose research and extension programming focuses on the impacts that trees, woodlands, and forests have on water quality and quantity in the Midwest.

Make plans to join us and participate in the live field day. Shortly before 1:00 pm CDT on June 11th, click this URL: https://iastate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUpduihpj8iE9ZHcjpsenc2DWQILG41wg0D or visit www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events and click “Join Live Virtual Field Day”.


Or, join from a dial-in phone line:

    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923

    Meeting ID: 914 1198 4892


The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time. The archive is available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events.

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.

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.



Liz (Juchems) Ripley

Conservation Outreach Specialist