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ILF December webinar discusses ISA bioreactors

 

Ames, Iowa— The Iowa Learning Farms’ (ILF) monthly webinar, to be held Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 11:30 a.m., will feature Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) watershed management specialist Keegan Kult. The webinar is part of a free series, hosted by ILF, through Adobe Connect. The series is usually held on the third Wednesday of each month. All that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access.

Kult has been at ISA for four years, after graduating from Iowa State University with a M.S. in environmental science and a B.S. in forestry. Kult works with farmers to incorporate best management practices into their operations and also conducts edge-of-field monitoring. Keegan currently monitors a network of 18 bioreactors on private farms for ISA. His webinar will discuss the latest results from these bioreactors.

A denitrifying bioreactor is an edge-of-field practice featuring an excavated area that is filled with woodchips and then covered with soil. Water flowing through tile drains in the field is routed through the bioreactor to reduce the amount of nitrate through conversion to nitrogen gas by natural denitrifying bacteria. After passing through the bioreactor, water released through the outlet contains 30 to 70 percent less nitrate than the water flowing in the bioreactor. This process helps to lessen the amount of nitrate that eventually ends up in the Mississippi River and downstream to the Gulf of Mexico’s hypoxic zone (or Dead Zone).

To connect to the webinars, go to: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/.  Kult will be able to answer questions from webinar “attendees” via the Adobe Connect chat box. The ILF website contains links for archived webinars from previous months: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/Webinars/.

Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between 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); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Water Center.

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