AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, the Ann Smeltzer Charitable Trust Farm board of trustees and Webster and Hamilton NRCS offices were planning to host a field day at the farm Wednesday, June 12. The field day has been postponed due to the wet spring and late planting season. The field day will be held later this summer at a date yet to be determined.
At the rescheduled field day, area farmers will discuss the benefits of no-till and strip-till compared to traditional tillage using a 150-foot soil root pit dug across these three practices as a visual aid. Visitors can compare the soil quality and root depth between these practices. Also, attendees can see and learn about cover crops and bioreactors. These in-field and edge-of-field practices will lessen nitrogen and phosphorus entering the waterways in accordance with Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Local Natural Resources Conservation Service field staff will share work being done with buffers and streambanks to lessen erosion for improved water quality. Demonstrations of the Conservation Station’s rainfall simulator will be conducted as well.
Iowa Learning Farms 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 Iowa Learning Farms is to build a Culture of Conservation, encouraging the adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable.
Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership of 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.