Extension News

Iowa Learning Farm Hosts Strip-Till Field Day in Emmetsburg

10/14/2009

AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa Learning Farm will host a strip-till field day at Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg on Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The field day will allow farmers to see strip-tillage equipment in action from several suppliers and hear from educators and experienced farmers who have been practicing strip-tillage.

Strip-tillage marries the best aspects of conventional tillage with the benefits of no-till. In the fall, the strip-tiller creates strips of exposed soil, broken up by a coulter and shank, and moves surface residue between the strips. In the spring, the strip of exposed soil warms and dries faster than the rest of the field, making this system ideal for colder, wetter soils.

The field day will be held at the college’s student agriculture farm, located one-half mile west of the intersection of Highways 4 and 18, three miles west of Emmetsburg. The farm is on the north side of the road. Before and after lunch, attendees can view strip-tillage operations in the field from a variety of implement manufacturers. Between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. lunch will be served at the farm, sponsored by Ag Partners and the Silver Lake Water Quality Project.

During the meal, Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Mahdi Al-Kaisi and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineer Mark Hanna will discuss the benefits of strip-tillage. Also, a panel of farmers practicing strip-tillage will share their experiences and answer questions. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff will be available to talk about local cost-share opportunities for farmers interested in trying strip-tillage on their farm for the first time.

The field day includes a complimentary lunch. The event is free and the public is invited to attend, but an RSVP is recommended. Please call the Palo Alto NRCS office, (712) 852-3386, Ext. 3, to register. In the event of bad weather, the field day will be postponed to Friday, Oct. 30.

The Iowa Learning Farm takes a grassroots approach offering innovative ways to help all Iowans have an active role in keeping the state’s natural resources healthy and not take them for granted. A goal of the Iowa Learning Farm is to build a Culture of Conservation, encouraging the adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and Iowa Learning Farm staff are working together to identify and implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable.

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

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Contacts :

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