Educational DVDs available FREE: "Cover Crops: Farmer Perspectives" and "Incredible Wetlands"

The DVDs listed below are available for anyone to check out FREE OF CHARGE and view at home or show to a group.  Check them out at our office located at 14858 W. Ridge Lane, Dubuque.  Call 563-583-6496 to check on the availability.  Our newest offerings include:

"Cover Crops:  Farmer Perspectives"

This video features seven Iowa farmers who have been using cover crops on their farms. They share their experiences in establishing cover crops and provide learning tips. The video also includes segments on growning cover crops for seed and grazing cover crops.

"Incredible Wetlands"

This new video from Water Rocks! explores the beauty and benefits that wetlands can provide for the land, water, plants, and animals. The video features several Iowa wetland experts and a landowner who has installed a wetland. The footage presents Iowa wetlands over several seasons and illustrates the beauty of these areas as well as those who live in this habitat.

"Strip-Tillage Crop Management"

Strip-tillage offers a viable alternative for farmers who want to move away from full-width tillage on soils that have poor drainage and are slow to warm in the spring.  The benefits of strip-tillage are similar to those of no-till:  soil conservation, reduced fuel and labor usage, improved fertilizer nutrient placement, improved soil structure and water infiltration. 

"Nabbing Nitrates Before Water Leaves the Farm"

This video illustrates four practices that reduce nitrates from the water, as well as help improve cropland productivity:  Conservation Drainage, Working Wetlands, Riparian Forest Buffers, and Bioreactors.  The goal of this video is to educate land owners and producers on practices that can assist them in solving the nutrient water quality issues in the Mississippi River basin.  More info can be found at

"Adding a Cover Crop to a Corn-Soybean System"

Cover crops help protect soil from erosion thereby improving water quality.  They also help maintain natural cycles for water, carbon, nutrients and soil organisms.  This DVD offers helpful tips on successful crop management.  Produced by Iowa Learning Farms.

 "From Gully to Grass:  Implementing Grassed Waterways"

Grassed waterways, when properly constructed, help collect water and convey it off the landscape without causing soil erosion, thereby improving water quality.  They can be effective in preventing gully formation that can occur in draws and low lying areas.  This DVED offers insight into successful grassed waterway implementation and management.  Produced by Iowa Learning Farms.

"Manure Management and Conservation"

This DVD provides general information about manure management practices that are used as stewardship principles to help protect water quality.  It is not the intent of this video to provide the regulatory requirements for manure management issues in the State of Iowa.  Video sections include:  managing manure nutrients for crop growth, sampling liquid manure, sampling open lot manure, the value of manure nutrients, and more.  Produced by Iowa Learning Farms.

"Out to the Lakes"

Is there a water quality problem in Iowa? This question is posed to Iowans in the latest video produced by Iowa Learning Farms. "Out to the Lakes" is a provocative and engaging film that encourages viewers to think about water quality and their personal relationship with their local lake or water body. The film addresses water quality through the perspective of lakes and the water bodies that feed them.

The case study used in the film is Black Hawk Lake in west central Iowa. Black Hawk Lake is used mainly for recreational activities including swimming, boating and fishing. On screen, several local residents share their experiences and concern for the lake that has brought them so much personal joy.

Even though the film focuses on the happenings at a particular lake, the same sentiments can be applied to many lakes in Iowa and the Midwest. Like Black Hawk, lakes throughout the Midwest have been periodically closed due to high bacteria or algae levels. Some lakes are filling up with sediment coming off of nearby fields at rates higher than what should be naturally occurring.

The film features Iowans, not actors, who care deeply about where they live and their local water quality. It also features environmental experts from the Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. The film offers insight to what Iowans know, or dont know, about water and water quality.

Copies of "Out to the Lakes" are available on loan for free from the Dubuque County Extension Office.  Free copies are also availble at no charge by request:  email ILF at: or by mail: Iowa Learning Farms, 219A Davidson Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011. Please include a mailing address in the request.

The film can also be viewed in its entirety on Iowa Learning Farms YouTube Channel: For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website:  /ilf/

"Rural Road Crashes:  They're Preventable!"

The Iowa Department of Transportation identified “Rural Roads” as a priority area during the development of the 2007 Iowa Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan), ( Crash analysis revealed that about one‐half of Iowa’s annual roadway fatalities occur on local systems. The CHSP and Iowa Traffic Safety Alliance (ITSA) Rural Roads Action Team identified and moved to implement two strategies to address injuries and deaths in this category:

  1. Data Analysis: Safety Analysis of Low‐Volume Rural Roads in Iowa research project This robust analysis of crash data revealed some distinct patterns of demographics and road features most common in rural road crashes. The study clearly showed young drivers are the most at‐risk on rural roads.
  2. Raise public awareness of rural roads risk: Rural Road Crashes ‐ They’re Preventable video project

Discussion among a wide range of safety practitioners revealed that a) many driver education courses provide little exposure to
gravel and rural roads and b) Iowa drivers in general are not aware of gravel road speed limits, how risky rural roads are, and
the extensive rural road factors to be mindful of when driving rural roads. This video project supports efforts to raise public
awareness in communities and among all drivers.

The Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health Iowa (I‐CASH) identified reducing agriculture‐related injuries and
deaths from rural road crashes as a top priority for their organization. I‐CASH took the lead in this collaborative video
project. www.public‐‐roadway‐safety‐video‐project

To view the video online and access elecgtronic versions of the quiz, discussion guide, and other materials, visit:

The DVD is available for loan from the Dubuque County Extension Office, or the materials can be ordered by contacting Mary Schaer at or 515-237-3180.

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