Field Day Focus Is Drainage Water Quality

Field Day Focus Is Drainage Water Quality

Iowa Learning Farms and Iowa State University Extension are co-hosting a field day focusing on water quality of tile-drained landscapes on Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. near Gilmore City in Pocahontas County.

The Iowa Learning Farms program and Iowa State University Extension are co-hosting a field day that focuses on water quality of tile-drained landscapes on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. near Gilmore City in Pocahontas County in northwest Iowa. The field day is free, open to the public and includes a complimentary evening meal.

The field day will be held at a research site, established more than 20 years ago, that originally looked at agricultural drainage wells and has been expanded to include water quality issues relating to tile drained lands. The research, conducted by several Iowa State University faculty members, examines nitrogen loss, drainage system design and how to meet crop production demands while maintaining water quality expectations.

How to meet crop production demands while maintaining water quality

Speakers at the field day include Iowa State agricultural and biosystems engineer Matt Helmers, who will provide information about drainage water quality; Iowa State agronomy professor John Sawyer and staff will speak about the effects of cereal grain cover crops on corn nitrogen management; Iowa State professor of wetland ecology Bill Crumpton will explore nitrate removal systems.

Also, Iowa State agricultural and biosystems engineer Mark Hanna will discuss planting in high crop residue systems; and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) natural resources engineer Dean Lemke will review some of the state programs addressing water quality. Also, local NRCS personnel will be on hand to answer questions about local programs. Attendees can visit a combination of speakers who interest them as they will be held simultaneously and repeated.

The site is located two miles west of Gilmore City on Hwy 3, one mile north on 320th Avenue and then one-half mile west on 510th Street.

Iowa environmental groups file notice of intent to sue the EPA  

In other water quality news, it was announced last week that three Iowa groups, the Environmental Integrity Project; Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement; and the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, have notified the U.S. Environment Protection Agency that they are going to sue the EPA.

This all started when the three groups filed a petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2007 regarding the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' (IDNR) regulation of livestock producers. The three groups claim the EPA should regulate Iowa livestock instead of the state DNR. Since the groups filed the 2007 petition, the EPA has taken no action to revoke Iowa's authority or to regulate in Iowa. Last week the groups served the EPA with a notice of intent to sue. 

"These three groups will try to increase livestock regulations beyond those currently in place. We at the Iowa Corn Growers Association will keep our members updated if and when the lawsuit is filed or if other actions take place regarding EPA involvement in Iowa regulations," says Mindy Larsen Poldberg, ICGA's governmental affairs director.

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