Summer, a Time to Learn about Improving Iowa Waterways

August 2, 2018, 11:30 am | Willy Klein, Elizabeth Ripley, Jamie Benning

close up of a bioreactor.AMES, Iowa – Summer is an excellent time to learn about improving the quality of Iowa’s waterways. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and partners host field days and workshops, set up the Iowa Learning Farms trailers at fairs across the state, and teach at research and demonstration farm annual meetings – so all interested can learn about practices that minimize and reduce nutrient loss.

Extension field agronomists, agricultural engineering specialists and water quality researchers held a series of workshops called Focus on Nitrogen: Managing Nitrogen for Maximum Profit and Minimum Water Quality Impact in July and August. One is scheduled for Aug. 21 at the Iowa State Research and Demonstration farm in Sutherland.

There are plenty of opportunities still on the summer calendar to learn about research-based practices included in Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

  • Aug. 7 – Scott County Saturated Buffer Field Day – Iowa Learning Farms, along with Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District and Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, will host a saturated buffer and soil health field day, 5-7 p.m. at the Paustian Family Farm, rural Walcott.
  • Aug. 8 – Cover Crop Field Day in Roland – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a cover crop, water quality and cost share field day at the Roland Community Center, 5:30-8 p.m. ISU Extension and Outreach specialists will share research-based information on how cover crops can improve nitrogen management while also increasing the understanding of practices that minimize nitrate-nitrogen loss.
  • Aug. 9 – Wetland, Saturated Buffer and Bioreactor Field Day near Spirit Lake – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Prairie Lakes Conference and Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District, will host a wetland, saturated buffer and bioreactor field day, 9-11:30 a.m. near the Okoboji View Golf Course, Spirit Lake.
  • Aug. 21 – Field Day to Help Farmers Focus on Nitrogen – Extension field agronomists Joel DeJong and Paul Kassel will highlight nitrogen management strategies and water quality testing practices being conducted at the farm and the results the studies have shown. They will also discuss research on rate selection, split applications, time of application, nitrogen additives, manure nitrogen and using nitrogen in wet years.
  • Aug. 22 – Wetland and Saturated Buffer Field Day – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District and Iowa Corn, will hold a wetland and saturated buffer field day Wednesday, Aug. 22 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Tim Minton farm, rural Dallas Center.
  • Aug. 23 – Bioreactor Field Day near Brooklyn – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Poweshiek County Soil and Water Conservation District, Iowa Soybean Association, Poweshiek County Farm Bureau and Iowa Corn, will host a bioreactor field day, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Roger and Louise Van Ersvelde’s farm, rural Brooklyn.

Iowa State at Farm Progress Show

The Iowa State Farm Progress Show exhibit, Aug. 28–30,  will have demonstrations, researchers and extension specialists with information about cover crops, saturated buffers and other edge of field practices. Displays inside the Iowa State tent and the Conservation Station On the Edge in the north lawn, will give visitors an up-close look at research-based practices.

It’s the place where farmers learn about recent research, and researchers learn more about the complex and critical issues farmers face. The conversations get started; trust and reliability keep them going. Come in and become acquainted with someone or something new, and pick up some Cyclone gear as you leave.

The Iowa State University exhibit at the Farm Progress Show is located at the corner of Central Avenue and Seventh Street.

PHOTO: Iowa State makes it possible to learn about bioreactors and other edge of field practices in a very personal way at field days, workshops and Farm Progress Show.


About the Authors: