The Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network staff and others will help farmers learn how to improve water quality and nutrient management at a nitrogen sidedressing field day on July 1 near Clarion in Wright County, in north-central Iowa. The Boone River Nutrient Management Initiative event will begin at 10 a.m., registration starts 30 minutes prior, at North Central Co-op's test plot, just north of Clarion near the intersection of county roads R38 and C20. Pre-registration is suggested, but not required. Send RSVPs to [email protected].
Farmers in the Boone River Watershed are encouraged to attend. The event, sponsored by Hagie Manufacturing in Clarion, is free and open to the public.
ISA On-Farm Network and Environmental Programs & Services team members will share replicated strip trial results focused on nitrogen application timing and rate adjustments. Farmers will also learn how they can participate in On-Farm Network studies, stalk nitrate testing and water quality monitoring.
Farmers urged to attend N sidedressing field day
"This field day will provide farmers information about nitrogen timing and application rates; a cornerstone of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy," says Adam Kiel, ISA's Environmental Programs & Services state water resources manager. Other speakers and topics include: Sarah Caldwell, Dow sales representative, importance of nitrogen stabilization; John Holmes, North Central Co-op agronomist, late spring nitrate test sampling and interpretation; and Bruce Voigts and Emily Funk, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation specialists, will provide an update on local water quality and soil conservation efforts.
The Boone River initiative is one of eight watershed demonstration projects in Iowa to receive more than $12 million in funding through the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and matching contributions for the next three years to support water quality improvements.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Wright, Humboldt and Kossuth counties received more than $1.8 million in public support and from industry partners to provide educational programs and cost-share funds to farmers to try nutrient reduction practices outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
Hagie, which manufactures self-propelled sprayers and equipment, will conduct demonstrations (weather permitting) featuring a nitrogen toolbar. Rachel Halbach, a Hagie agronomist, says farmers interested in enhancing their nitrogen management plan and protecting the environment should attend. Topics will revolve around nitrogen use efficiency in corn and how growers can increase yield without adding more fertilizer.
"When nitrogen is timed to crop uptake, rates can be adjusted and risk of loss is reduced. And, a yield response of 10-15 bushels per acre is possible," Halbach says.
How to estimate nitrogen losses in wet corn fields
This spring's wet conditions are similar to those in 2011. That year's example could help corn growers this year avoid nitrate loss in fields that are saturated or have standing water. And if you are wondering how much N to apply sidedress in such fields, here's some help. Iowa State University Extension soil fertility specialist John Sawyer has information and guidelines to help you figure how much N has been lost in cornfields due to this year's heavy rainfall in June. He's written an article on the subject in the ISU ICM newsletter. Click on www.extension.iastate.edu and read "Estimating Nitrogen Losses in Wet Corn Fields".