Design of Drainage Water Quality Practices Focus of Workshop

Day-long event will be held on Dec. 14 in Fort Dodge


AMES, Iowa – The design and layout of new practices currently being considered for water quality improvements of farmland drainage will be the focus of a workshop scheduled for Dec. 14 in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

field with drainageThe day-long program will be held at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Webster County office at 217 South 25th St., Suite C12, Fort Dodge. It will provide information essential for designing and planning new water quality practices such as bioreactors, controls structures, saturated buffers and wetlands. While the economic benefits of tiling are well recognized, there are also environmental impacts from drainage. These new technologies can be useful in minimizing negative environmental impacts.

The workshop also qualifies for Certified Crop Advisor credits. A sign-up sheet for the credits will be available on the day of the workshop.

Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. with the morning session starting at 8 a.m. The morning session will focus on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, woodchip bioreactor sizing and layout, water table management with shallow tiles and installation of control structures. Jamie Benning, water quality program manager with ISU Extension and Outreach, will provide an update on the status of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and how different combinations of practices can be helpful. Matt Helmers, professor and extension agricultural engineer at Iowa State, will discuss the sizing and layout of woodchip bioreactors.

Chris Hay, senior environmental scientist with the Iowa Soybean Association, will conclude the morning with information on managing drainage with control structures.

The afternoon session will begin with Dan Jaynes, research soil scientist with the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, USDA-ARS, discussing site selection and the design of saturated buffers. The event will close with Kapil Arora, agricultural engineering specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, presenting on siting wetlands for small watersheds.

Additional information and online registration are available. Registration can also be done by contacting the ISU Extension and Outreach Webster County office at 515-576-2119 or lcline@iastate.edu. Registration is $150 and includes morning refreshments, lunch and workshop materials. Registration cost increases to $175 if done after Dec. 8.

Each participant should bring a laptop computer equipped with a USB drive. Microsoft Excel software used for designing select practices will be provided on a thumb drive. All laptops must have Excel pre-installed on them to run the spreadsheets and to perform design calculations. Use of laptops will be limited to practices using the spreadsheets for making design calculations.

The workshop is presented by ISU Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Soybean Association, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.