Extension News

Iowa Learning Farm Field Day to Feature Water Quality Topics

8/3/2007

AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa Learning Farm (ILF) is hosting a field day on the Randy Caviness farm, rural Greenfield. The program will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 4-6 p.m. A complimentary dinner will be served following the program.

Water quality issues will be presented including an update on the North Thompson River Watershed Project, poultry manure nutrient management on no-till, and there will be a demonstration of  the ILF conservation systems rainfall simulator. Other topics for discussion include no-tillage, carbon sequestration and credits, and Barker Implement will be demonstrating updated John Deere GPS technology.

The ILF 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.

ILF partner Randy Caviness, who has been farming for 30 years, originally changed his farming practices because of mandates in the 1985 farm bill. “But I became committed to no-till due to soil samples showing gains in organic matter and soil tilth, and obvious soil savings from erosion,” said Caviness.  “After seeing soil tests over the past 15 years that showed gains in organic matter, I think more farmers should stick with it. And it will help them as well—increased yields with continuous no-till, as well as savings in fuel, machinery and labor.”

The field day is on the Caviness farm, located two miles south of Greenfield on Highway 25, then one-half mile east on 260th Street and a half-mile north on Norfolk Avenue.

ISU Extension Field Agronomist John Kennicker is helping to plan the event. “As part of the field day within the watershed, Randy is demonstrating conservation practices of no-till, no-till plus cover crops, in comparison with disk-till, as part of a study with the Iowa Learning Farm project.”

The Iowa Learning Farm will be hosting field days in Ringgold County on Aug. 23 at the Doug Campbell farm, Shannon City, and Aug. 27 in Clay County at the Jerry Crew farm, rural Webb.

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, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and Iowa Farm Bureau.

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Contacts :

Carol L. Brown, Iowa Learning Farm communications specialist, (515) 294-8912, cbrown1@iastate.edu

John Lundvall, Iowa Learning Farm field oordinator, (515) 294-5429, jlundval@iastate.edu