Iowa Learning Farms hosts Field Day at Smeltzer Trust Farm

AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms will host a field day at the Ann Smeltzer Charitable Trust Farm near Otho on Wednesday, July 17, from 4 to 6 p.m. The field day will feature several topics as visitors tour the farm. This field day was postponed from June 12 due to the wet spring and late planting.

The field day agenda includes area farmers discussing the benefits of no-till and strip-till compared to traditional tillage. They will use a 150-foot soil root pit dug across these three practices so visitors can visually compare the soil quality and root depth between the three. Also attendees can see and learn about cover crops and bioreactors. These in-field and edge-of-field practices will lessen nitrogen and phosphorus entering the waterways in accordance with Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field staff will share work being done with buffers and streambanks to lessen erosion for improved water quality. Demonstrations of the Conservation Station’s rainfall simulator will be conducted as well.

The field day includes a complimentary evening meal. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. The field day is sponsored by Iowa Learning Farms in cooperation with the Webster and Hamilton County NRCS and the Ann Smeltzer Charitable Trust. The Smeltzer farm is located approximately 2.5 miles south of Otho on County Road P59.

Iowa Learning Farms takes a grassroots approach offering innovative ways to help all Iowans have an active role in keeping our state’s natural resources healthy and not take them for granted. Farmers work with Iowa State University Extension researchers and ILF team members to identify and implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable.