The regular monthly Iowa Learning Farms webinar for March will be on Wednesday, March 18, at 1 p.m. This month’s guest speaker is Dan Andersen, assistant professor and Extension specialist with Iowa State University, in the department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. Andersen will present on topics related to animal manure, including why animal manure and human waste are managed differently, the value in using manure in a crop production system, and tips and thoughts on how to get the most value from manure resources and protect water quality.
Andersen has been with ISU since 2012 and has worked with beef, swine and dairy clients on their manure management needs. He has also researched manure handling and treatment systems. Andersen has an extensive background in manure utilization, and his love for animal agriculture and the environment stems from growing up on a small dairy farm in central Wisconsin.
Anyone interested is welcome to tune in, learn, ask questions
The ILF webinars are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. They are free and all that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access. To participate, go to connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/ at 1 p.m. on the afternoon of the webinar and log in through the guest option. Webinar participants will be able to converse with Andersen by typing their questions through the chat function. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for viewing at any time. All past webinars are archived on the ILF website.
Since January 2011, ILF has hosted a webinar every month. There are over 45 webinars to view on a wide range of topics including soil erosion, cover crops, buffers, bioreactors and farmer perspectives. The webinar archives are also available in podcast through iTunes.
Plan to attend March 25 cover crop field day in Washington County
In other news, Iowa Learning Farms, along with the Iowa Cover Crop Working Group and Washington County Farm Bureau, will host a field day Wednesday, March 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Steve and Dennis Berger farm, in rural Wellman.
Speaking at this southeast Iowa field day will be host farmer Steve Berger, who will talk about his experiences using cereal rye cover crop with his no-till system. Also speaking are Iowa State University Extension ag engineers Mark Hanna and Greg Brenneman. Hanna will review equipment needs for using cover crops with no-till. Brenneman will discuss manure management for this system. Following the speakers, attendees can view the equipment on display, enjoy a complimentary meal, and go to the fields to see the cover crops, weather permitting.
Equipment to be on display includes:
• John Deere 1770NT planter with Precision Planting's CleanSweep row cleaner, DeltaForce hydraulic down pressure, and vDrive planter meter that the Bergers use to plant corn into living and terminated cover crops and to establish a good stand.
• CrustBuster All Plant drill with 10-inch spacings set up for no-till planting soybeans and cereal rye.
• Houle manure spreader equipped with VTI vertical tillage injectors.
The field day will be at the machine shed on the Bergers’ farm: 1267 Elm Ave., rural Wellman. From Wellman, take Highway 22 west for one mile, turn north onto 128th Place. Follow for a quarter-mile and turn north onto Elm Ave. The machine shed will be immediately on the right side of the road. The field day is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested. Contact Iowa Learning Farms to reserve a place for the meal at phone 515-294-8912, or email [email protected].
As part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, cover crops added to a corn-soybean rotation reduces soil erosion, reduces nitrogen and phosphorus loads, and increases soil organic matter. Research has shown that cover crops can reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses by approximately 30%. These crops, used in combination with other best management practices, will reduce point and nonpoint source pollution significantly in Iowa waters and downstream. The Iowa Cover Crop Working Group promotes the use of living cover on Iowa agricultural lands. The group provides a unified voice from academy, nonprofit, and industry sectors on the benefits of cover crops and encourages their use in cropping systems across the state. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website.