Madrid Field Day Is Showcase of Conservation Practices

July 18, 2019, 1:13 pm | Elizabeth Ripley

AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and ISU Research and Demonstration Farms, will host a conservation practice showcase field day on Thursday, Aug. 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the ISU Uthe Farm near Madrid. The event is free, open to families and includes a complimentary meal.

Edge of field practices like bioreactors, wetlands, oxbows and saturated buffers are key to reducing nitrate loss from tile drained agricultural land in Iowa. Through a natural biological process, microorganisms living in the systems use nitrate for respiration and reduce the nitrate levels in tile drainage water. Together with land use changes and in-field practices like cover crops, these practices will help reach Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals.

The field day will begin with the meal and an opportunity to visit the Iowa Learning Farms On The Edge conservation station trailer. Following the meal, attendees will have the opportunity to tour four conservation practices installed at the farm. The stops will include:

  • oxbow stream between two fields.saturated buffer with Tom Isenhart, professor of natural resource ecology and management at Iowa State;
  • bioreactor with Michelle Soupir, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Natasha Hoover, research associate with agricultural and biosystems engineering, both at Iowa State;
  • oxbow wetland with Adam Janke, professor of natural resource ecology and management and extension wildlife specialist at Iowa State, and Sean McCoy, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship environmental specialist;
  • pollinator habitat demonstration with Seth Appelgate, ISU Monarch Research team member.

The field day will be held at the ISU Uthe Farm, 2122 290th Street, Madrid. From Madrid, head north on IA-17 for 4 miles. Turn right onto 290th St. for 3.2 miles and the field location will be on the south side of the road. The event is free and open to families, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Please RSVP to Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or

Iowa Learning Farms field days and workshops are supported by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The bioreactor project material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number NR186114XXXXG004.


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