Benefits of Organic Farming the Topic of April 21 Webinar

Soil and water quality improvements are possible with organic farming

April 14, 2021, 1:09 pm | Hilary Pierce, Kathleen Delate

Field of soybeans.AMES, Iowa – Soil health and water quality benefits associated with organic farming will be the topic of the Iowa Learning Farms webinar at noon on Wednesday, April 21.

Kathleen Delate, professor and extension organic specialist in horticulture and agronomy at Iowa State University, will share research results that show greater soil and water quality benefits in organic systems with longer crop rotations, when compared to conventional corn-soybean rotations.

Small grains and perennial legume species, like alfalfa, are integral to supporting greater soil microbial populations and aggregate stability. Certified organic production requires the use of slower-release forms of nitrogen, which are associated with less nitrate loading and improved water quality.

“Returns have (frequently) been negative in conventional row crop farming in recent years; alternatives that consist of longer crop rotations with lower inputs and improved soil and water quality need to be explored,” said Delate, who is responsible for research, extension and teaching in organic agriculture at Iowa State University. “Give organics a go. You might be surprised to see how your soil changes and how many more pollinators and beneficial insects show up on your farm!”

Webinar access instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before noon on April 21:

  • Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser, https://iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172.
  • Or, go to https://iastate.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID 364 284 172.
  • Or, join from a dial-in phone line by dialing +1 312-626-6799 or +1 646 876 9923 with meeting ID 364 284 172.
  • The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time.
  • A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU will be provided at the end of the webinar.

Original photo: Field of soybeans.

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