Iowa Learning Farms Webinar to Explore Edge-of-Field Practices

September 11, 2017, 7:51 am | Julie Winter, Jacqueline Comito

Matt HelmersAMES, Iowa – Edge-of-field nitrate reduction practices such as bioreactors, saturated buffers and wetlands are receiving increased attention for the role they play in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. As these practices gain in popularity, questions linger about how these practices work and the scale of implementation required to make progress towards strategy goals.

Matt Helmers, Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University and Dean’s Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will discuss how to increase awareness and understanding of these practices during the Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 12 p.m.

“For large-scale implementation of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy to be successful, we need trained individuals that can work with farmers and landowners in the private and public sectors,” Helmers said. “We need for everyone to understand where these practices are appropriate, how effective they are, and the scale and rate of practice implementation that is required.”  

One of the most effective ways to convey information about edge-of-field practices is to show people how they work. Helmers will introduce the Conservation Station “On the Edge,” a new outreach tool designed to increase awareness and understanding of edge-of-field practices for both general and technical audiences.  

Helmers researches the impact of nutrient management, cropping practices, drainage design and management and strategic placement of conservation practices on nutrient export from agricultural landscapes. His extension work is focused on increasing adoption of practices that have the potential to reduce downstream nutrient export.

The Iowa Learning Farms monthly webinar series will take place on the third Wednesday of each month at noon. To log in, go to: at 12 p.m. and log in through the “guest” option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for viewing at any time at

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA Section 319), ISU’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, Conservation Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau and Practical Farmers of Iowa.

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