Redefining the Field Edge to Improve Profitability, Wildlife and Water Quality

Iowa Learning Farms plans virtual field day Feb. 3

January 13, 2022, 11:51 am | Liz Ripley

AMES, Iowa – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Conservation Learning Group, will present a virtual field day on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. CST. Join for a live conversation with Adam Janke, extension wildlife specialist and assistant professor, Iowa State University, and Mark Licht, assistant professor in agronomy and cropping systems specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Mark Licht and Adam Janke.A project led by Licht and funded by the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education is working with four Iowa farmers to convert marginal land areas prone to flooding to perennial vegetation to evaluate the profitability and explore the potential benefits to water quality, soil health, wildlife habitat and overall aesthetics. This virtual field day highlights the steps needed to successfully establish and manage the vegetation to maximize the benefits.

“It’s important to not get discouraged when establishing perennial vegetation. It takes time and patience to get it going,” said Janke, assistant professor in natural resources ecology and management and extension wildlife specialist at Iowa State. “Unlike corn and soybeans that farmers are used to, perennial vegetation puts most of its energy in the first years into growing extensive root systems instead of above-ground biomass. Therefore, management in the first years is critical to make sure the area doesn’t get overrun with weeds and become a problem area.”

Participants in Iowa Learning Farms virtual field days are encouraged to ask questions of the presenters. People from all backgrounds and areas of interest are encouraged to join. 

Virtual field day access instructions

To participate in the live virtual field day, shortly before 1 p.m. CST on Feb. 3,

The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time. The archive will be available at

Participants will be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU will be provided at the end of the live field day.

Shareable photo: Mark Licht and Adam Janke, of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

About the Authors: 

Liz Ripley

Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks!