AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, along with Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will host a field day on Tuesday, Aug. 27, beginning at 4 p.m. The field day will focus on soil health using cover crops, reduced tillage and nutrient management in the Boone River Watershed.
The field day will be held at two sites. The first site is the Arliss Nielsen farm at 3150 Hancock Ave., north of Woolstock. The field day will then move to the Larry Haren farm, Webster City, at 1387 Kendall Young Road. The event is free and open to the public.
Nutrient management will be the focus at the Arliss Nielsen farm. Wright County farmer Tim Smith will discuss strip-tillage, cover crops and bioreactors used in his farming operation. It is planned that Hagie Manufacturing will have a nitrogen toolbar/cover crop bar demonstration. Host Arliss Nielsen will share his experiences with no-till, nutrient management, a bioreactor and drainage water management on his farm. Jim Gillespie, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, will provide information on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
The field day will then move to the Larry Haren farm site for an in-depth look at cover crops. Haren will share his success using cover crops on his farm. A PFI staff member will discuss fall cover crop seeding and growing cover crops for seed; with the possibility of an aerial seeding demonstration. Bruce Voigts and Emily Funk, Natural Resources Conservation Service, will discuss the SPAD chlorophyll meter and the Fieldprint Calculator tools for nutrient management. The field day will conclude with a complimentary supper.
Pivotal partners working together with the watershed residents to improve water quality in the Boone River Watershed include Coca-Cola, The Nature Conservancy, Iowa Soybean Association, Walmart, Cargill, Monsanto, Iowa Corn Growers Association, EcoSystem Services Exchange, Agri-Drain Corp., Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship-Division of Soil Conservation, Wright and Hamilton Counties Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319).
The Arliss Nielsen farm is at 3150 Hancock Ave. From Woolstock, travel north on Hancock Ave. (gravel) 1.5 miles. The field day site is at the corner of Hancock Ave. and 315th Street. The Larry Haren site is located at 1387 Kendall Young Road, just outside northeast Webster City. From the Nielsen farm, follow R33 south to highway D20. Turn left (east) and go approximately 1.75 miles to Kantor Ave. Turn right (south) and travel to Kendall Young Road, turn right and go one mile to the Haren farmstead.
Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing. Farmers in the PFI network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call 515-232-5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.
Iowa Learning Farms takes a grassroots approach offering innovative ways to help all Iowans have an active role in keeping our state’s natural resources healthy and not take them for granted. Farmers work with Iowa State University Extension researchers and ILF team members to identify and implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable. For more information, go to: www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf.
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.
Contact: Bruce Voigts, MRBI Boone River and Lyons Creek Watershed coordinator, 515-532-2165 or 515-832-2916