Iowa Learning Farms to host July 13 field day near Elkader
Ames, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) is sponsoring a field day at the Craig Embretson farm in Clayton County on Wednesday, July 13, from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The field day will include a complimentary lunch, information about strategies for no-till and also cover crop management. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
Pat Schaefers, Clayton County Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCS) District Conservationist, will share information about no-till and farmer Craig Embretson will share his experiences from 20 years of no-till crop management. Field day attendees will see no-till corn following corn, no-till corn following soybean, and no-till soybean following corn. Tom Kaspar, plant physiologist with the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, will discuss the potential of fall-seeded cereal grain cover crops to reduce soil erosion, improve soil quality in corn-soybean rotations and provide early spring grazing feedstocks for cattle. Laura Christianson, Ph.D. candidate in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering department at Iowa State University, will discuss bioreactors and other techniques to limit nitrate transport to water bodies.
Farmers and non-farmers are encouraged to bring their families to the field day to see the Iowa Learning Farms’ Conservation Station. The Conservation Station is a mobile learning lab that teaches audiences of all ages about soil conservation and ways to protect quality of our soil and water resources. The back of the Conservation Station houses a rainfall simulator, demonstrating the effects of rainfall on undisturbed soils with a variety of land covers, showing both surface water runoff as well as subsurface drainage. At the front is a learning center with hands-on displays and tools to learn about soil, water, and wetlands.
Craig Embretson’s field day site is located at the intersection of County Road X16 (Gunder Road) and Eagle Avenue (SE corner of intersection), approximately six miles north of Elkader.
Iowa Learning Farms are building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF staff are working together to encourage farmers to implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable. Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the US EPA (section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.
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