Iowa Learning Farms Co-hosts Field Day for Nutrient Reduction

AMES, Iowa — A field day will be held near Gilmore City at the Drainage Research and Demonstration Project site on Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 5-7 p.m. The field day will focus on agricultural practices that can reduce nutrients leaving the field for better water quality.

The field day is free and open to the public. A complimentary light supper will be served prior to the program. Iowa Learning Farms, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and the Cropping Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project are sponsors for this event.

The Nutrient Reduction Strategy offers practices that farmers can implement on their land to reduce nitrogen and other nutrients in water runoff, keeping nutrients on the field for crop use. The field day agenda includes an overview of the NRS science assessment by Matt Helmers, Iowa State University agricultural and biosystems engineer; and Shawn Richmond, IDALS Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program coordinator.

ISU professor of wetland ecology Bill Crumpton will discuss wetlands and their performance in reducing nitrogen in runoff, along with Matt Lechtenberg, CREP specialist with IDALS. Aaron Daigh, post-doctoral research associate in the ISU Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering department, will talk about soil moisture, tillage systems and cover crops. ISU agricultural specialist Carl Pedersen will discuss cover crop management. The event wraps up with field and wetland tours.

The Gilmore City research site is located two miles west of Gilmore City on Highway 3, then one mile north on 320th Avenue and then one-half mile west on 510th Street. This research site was established more than 20 years ago, focusing on agricultural drainage wells, and has expanded to include water quality issues related to tile drained lands.

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.