Edge-of-Field Conservation Series to Feature Skunk River Watershed

Learn about the benefits and eligibility requirements of saturated buffers and bioreactors

November 10, 2020, 2:45 pm | Doug Gass

AMES, Iowa – Iowans will have three in-person and online opportunities to learn about edge-of-field nutrient management practices in early December, with a special focus on projects being done within the South Skunk River Watershed in central Iowa.

Practices to be discussed include saturated buffers and bioreactors, their benefits, who is eligible and funding opportunities. Technical assistance and cost-share funding is available, and these practices are supported by the federal Conservation Reserve Program, as well as the Iowa Water Quality Initiative.

Albert City bioreactor.Up to 15 people can register to attend each event in-person, and others can register to watch the hour-and-a-half online Zoom session. The Boone County session is Dec. 1; the Hamilton County session is Dec. 3; and the Story County session will be held Dec. 10. All events run from 2-3:30 p.m.

Presenters will include Doug Gass, project coordinator with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, as well as the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“Saturated buffers and bioreactors are highly effective nutrient management practices. Each practice is capable of reducing nitrate loss by an average of 50 percent,” said Gass. “Additionally, both of these practices can be tucked in at the edge of crop fields with little to no impact on production.”

At least 75% cost-share is available to eligible farmers and landowners who install saturated buffers and bioreactors in the South Skunk River Watershed. Technical assistance is also available throughout planning and installation. Project representatives are eager to provide the guidance needed to get these practices on the ground.

“We’re finding that many people are not aware of just how much assistance is available to install saturated buffers and bioreactors,” Gass said. “Both of these practices are key tools to reducing nutrient loss in Iowa and we are dedicated to making it as easy as possible to adopt them.”

Date and locations:

  • Dec. 1, 2-3:30 p.m. Boone County Extension Office, 1327 SE Marshall St., Boone.
  • Dec. 3, 2-3:30 p.m. Hamilton County Extension Office, 311 Bank St., Webster City.
  • Dec. 10, 2-3:30 p.m. Gilbert Fire Station, 105 Southeast 2nd St., Gilbert.

Registration details:

Registration is required. To register, contact Doug Gass at dgass@iastate.edu or 515-294-7148.

The Zoom meeting link will be provided upon registration.


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