Virtual Field Day June 17: Improving Bioreactor Design and Performance

June 4, 2021

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 on June 17 at 1 p.m. CDT discussing lessons learned from one of the first bioreactor installations in Iowa. Join us for a live discussion with Matt Helmers, Iowa Nutrient Research Center Director, and Chris Hay, Iowa Soybean Association Senior Research Scientist.

Denitrifying woodchip bioreactors route tile drainage water through a trench filled with woodchips or other carbon materials to encourage the natural denitrification or conversion of nitrate to dinitrogen gas, which makes up the majority of our atmosphere. Bioreactors and other edge-of-field practices are key to reducing nitrate losses from Iowa’s agricultural landscape to local water bodies and beyond.

This virtual field day will take a closer look at one of the first bioreactors installed in Iowa as it was replaced and will also discuss installation of a blind inlet to reduce any sediment inflow to the bioreactor. The lessons learned from this site regarding the lifespan of the woodchips, depth and construction process are key to the longevity of future projects and continued nutrient reduction in Iowa.

To participate in the live virtual field day at 1:00 pm CDT on June 17 to learn more, click this URL: or visit and click “Join Live Virtual Field Day”.

 Or, join from a dial-in phone line:

Dial: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 301 715 8592

Meeting ID: 945 3331 7620

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

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.



Ann Staudt

Conservation Outreach Specialist