Bioreactor and Cover Crop Field Day To Be Held June 6 Near Ireton

Learn about the water quality benefits of bioreactors and cover crops

May 10, 2023, 10:16 am | Elizabeth Ripley

AMES, Iowa – A bioreactor and cover crop field day will be held on Tuesday, June 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Ron Vos’ farm near Ireton. The free event is open to farmers and landowners and includes a complimentary meal.

The event is organized by Iowa Learning Farms, a conservation program with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Bioreactor installation.Bioreactors, and similar edge-of-field practices, have been prioritized by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship as they are some of the most cost-effective methods to improve water quality. These practices can be located within existing filter strips and are designed to work with the field's drainage system.

When partnered with cover crops in the field, farmers and landowners can take advantage of their additional benefits, including reduced soil erosion, weed suppression, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, and increased organic matter in the soil. Numerous programs with financial and technical assistance are now available to encourage farmers and landowners to install these critical practices.

Participants will learn more about how bioreactors work through the demonstration of the Conservation On The Edge trailer and a site visit to Vos’ bioreactor installed in 2022. Vos will share his experience with the bioreactor, as well as how he has been able to incorporate cover crops into his system. Ryan Johnson, Iowa Soybean Association conservation agronomist, will share best management practices for the northwest region of Iowa, and Colton Meyer, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship environmental specialist, will share program opportunities for cost-share related to bioreactors and cover crops.

The field day will be at 2766 450th Street in Ireton. The farm is located on the north side of Highway 10, about 3 miles west of Highway 75. The event is free and open to farmers and landowners, though reservations are required to ensure adequate space and food. For reasonable accommodations and to RSVP, contact Liz Ripley at 515-294-5429 or ilf@iastate.edu. Attendees will be entered in a drawing for ISU Prairie Strips honey.

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