Webinar Looks at Consequences and Management Options of Farmed Prairie Potholes

Join Iowa Learning Farms monthly webinar Feb. 20 at noon

February 4, 2019, 4:23 pm | Jacqueline Comito, Hilary Pierce

wet prairie pothole under stormy sky.AMES, Iowa — The Iowa Learning Farms webinar, Wednesday, Feb. 20 will cover the consequences of farming prairie potholes and management options for these common Iowa landscape features. The webinar begins at noon.

In Iowa, many prairie potholes are actively farmed. Because of their position in the landscape and their topographic and soils characteristics, prairie potholes flood frequently after rain events, even with artificial drainage. Amy Kaleita, agricultural and biosystems engineering professor at Iowa State University, will explain this flooding behavior, and the effects it has on crops and watersheds. She also will discuss options for managing these features to decrease the frequency of negative impacts.

“Some research has shown that farmed prairie potholes lose money more often than they make a profit. Because they also have significant environmental impacts, conservation-minded management of these features may provide benefits at a lower cost than changes in more productive parts of the field,” said Kaleita, whose research on precision conservation focuses on how to use publicly available or low-cost data to improve conservation decision-making within production agriculture. She hopes webinar viewers will gain a better understanding of the unique behaviors of prairie potholes and how they can best be managed in an agricultural setting.



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