The Iowa Learning Farm is hosting a field day Aug. 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Jerry Crew farmstead, rural Webb, in Clay County. The public is invited to attend. A complimentary dinner will be provided by the Clay County Farm Bureau and the Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District prior to the program.
Jerry Crew, cooperator with the Iowa Learning Farm (ILF) project, will be discussing his ILF on-farm demonstration plot with strip-tilled compared to no-till corn on corn. In addition, ISU Extension Agronomist Mahdi Al-Kaisi will talk about the impacts of no-till on soil quality, and ISU Extension Water Quality Engineer Matt Helmers will demonstrate the ILF conservation systems rainfall simulator.
“I’m demonstrating that growing corn on corn without using tillage allows production with minimum damage to the environment,” said Crew. “This is economically feasible and also a best management practice.”
The Iowa Learning Farm project takes a grassroots approach by developing innovative ways to help all Iowa citizens have an active role in keeping our state’s natural resources healthy. The project promotes active learning by involving producers as partners in addressing water quality challenges. It also expands local leadership by facilitating, encouraging and strengthening the role of community conservationists, involving a broad set of partners and agencies.
“The Iowa Learning Farm project is important because these are tests done on real farms with real farmers who are willing to try new things to protect the environment,” remarked Crew. “Conservation has always been important, but with today’s emphasis on all things green including our carbon footprint, no-till is even more important.”
The field day will be held at Crew’s ILF demonstration site, located one-half mile east of Gillett Grove on county road M-54 or four miles north and one-half mile west of Webb on county road M-54.The Iowa Learning Farm’s focus is helping strong conservationist farmers teach other farmers about systems that will improve the quality of the soil and water on their farms, while remaining profitable and sustainable. The Iowa Learning Farm 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 the Iowa Department of Natural Resources; and in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.