The Soil Health Partnership, along with the Iowa Learning Farms and Bremer
County farmer partner Mark Mueller, will host a cover crop and soil health field day on
Thursday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Borlaug Learning Center at the Iowa State University Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm, near Nashua. The event is free, open to the public and includes a complimentary meal.
Mueller is a speaker at this northeast Iowa field day and is a cooperator in the Soil Health Partnership demonstration network and is an ILF farmer partner. He will share his experience with cover crops and other conservation practices. Mueller is a
fourth generation farmer on a Centennial Farm near Waverly. No-tilling since the year 2000, Mueller has also added cover crops to help preserve the fragile topsoil and keep it in place during rainstorms.
Update on drainage, soil management to boost soil health
Also speaking at the field day:
• Iowa State University Extension water quality engineer Matt Helmers, who
will provide a research update of the long-term drainage plots at the research farm.
• Tyler Mitchell, agricultural specialist at the Northeast Research Farm, will provide
updates for ongoing projects.
• Elyssa McFarland, Iowa field manager for the Soil Health Partnership, will discuss management strategies to improve soil health. The field day will also feature a tour of the ILF cover crop mixtures trial plots.
The event will be held at the Borlaug Learning Center, 3327 290th St., near Nashua. From Charles City, head south on US-218 for 9 miles. Take exit 220 for IA-346 (280th St.) toward Nashua. Turn right (west) on IA-346 (280th St.) and take the first left (south) on to Windfall Ave. (gravel road). At the T-intersection, turn left (east) on 290th St. The farm is on the left (north); park in the east parking lot.
The field day is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested. Please contact SHP Field Manager Elyssa McFarland, [email protected].
What is the Soil Health Partnership? An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, the Soil Health Partnership works closely with diverse organizations including commodity groups, industry, foundations, federal agencies, universities and well-known environmental groups toward common goals. "We encourage sound soil practices combined with scientific quantification of results from farmers taking positive actions," says Nick Goeser, SHP director. "Improved crop productivity, environmental gains and economic growth are all benefits of progressive soil management strategies."
Providing food, fuel and fiber for a growing population without harming resources for future generations is one of agriculture's greatest challenges. But the nation's farmers are a resourceful lot, with many embracing innovative technology and practices to achieve ambitious strides.
About the Soil Health Partnership: The Soil Health Partnership brings together diverse partner organizations including commodity groups, federal agencies, universities and environmental groups to work toward the common goal of improving soil health. Over a five-year period, the SHP will identify test and measure farm management practices that improve soil health and benefit farmers. The SHP believes the results of this farmer-led project will provide a platform for sharing peer-to-peer information, and lend resources to benefit agricultural sustainability and profitability.
An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, SHP provides the spark for greater understanding and implementation of agricultural best practices to protect resources for future generations. For more information, visit soilhealthpartnership.org.
About the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy: The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a guideline to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus that enter Iowa's waterways. Using a suite of conservation practices such as cover crops, extended rotations, nutrient management, and edge-of-field structures such as bioreactors and wetlands will reduce nonpoint source pollution significantly in Iowa waters and downstream. For more information on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy visit nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu/.About Iowa Learning Farms: Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms are the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Conservation Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Water Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa. For more information on Iowa Learning Farms, visit extension.iastate.edu/ilf/.