AMES, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and Conservation Learning Group (CLG), is hosting a free virtual field day focused on redefining the field edge with the use of perennial vegetation on Thursday, September 10th at 1 p.m. CDT. Join us for a live conversation with Floyd County farmer Dennis Staudt and Mark Licht, Iowa State University Assistant Professor and Extension Cropping Systems Specialist.
The prairie pothole region runs from central Iowa north and west into Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and across the plains of Canada, covering nearly 173 million total acres. Even with subsurface drainage systems in place, many of these small prairie potholes are associated with high production risk and often represent the lowest profitability areas within a field. A CLG project led by Licht and funded by North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education is working with Staudt and three additional Iowa farmers to convert marginal land areas to perennial vegetation to evaluate the return on investment and explore the potential benefits to water quality, soil health and wildlife habitat.
“The edge of the field that was seeded to perennial vegetation this spring and borders on a creek that runs from a drainage district and passes it downstream. The creek is in the ditch, however, in rainy seasons, it fills up the creek and actually goes over the road in places, and likewise comes into my field. On average, I was able to harvest a profitable crop one out of three years,” noted Staudt. “I am hopeful this project will result in less grief in maintaining and harvesting that area while conserving the soil.”
To participate in the live virtual field day at 1:00 pm CDT on September 10th, 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 will be available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events.
Participants may be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU). 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