Learn how to manage drainage water in your fields

Learn how to manage drainage water in your fields

Drainage water management and cover crop field day is scheduled for Sept. 10 near Woolstock.

Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers of Iowa are hosting a field day on Thursday, Sept. 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Arliss Nielsen farm, near Woolstock in north central Iowa. Also sponsoring the field day are the Iowa Soybean Association and the Boone River Watershed Water Quality Initiative.

The field day will focus on the topics of drainage water management and cover crops. Nielsen recently had a drainage system installed on 320 acres of his farm as well as a bioreactor. He, along with his contractor, will discuss the steps involved with installation and benefits of having a water drainage system and a bioreactor.

WATER QUALITY: Wright County farmer Tim Smith will share his experience of adding conservation practices on his farm to improve water quality. He's using a number of practices including cover crops, filter and buffer strips, grass waterways, reduced tillage and a bioreactor.

Farmers will share experiences of adding these practices
Wright County farmer Tim Smith will share his experience of adding conservation practices on his farm to improve water quality. Smith is using a number of practices including cover crops, filter and buffer strips, grassed waterways, reduced tillage and a bioreactor. All of these practices help reduce nutrients leaving fields and entering waterways—the goal of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Also speaking at the field day are Keegan Kult and Kellie Blair with the Iowa Soybean Association. They will share data from the ISA bioreactor project. Stefan Gailans, a researcher with Practical Farmers of Iowa, will share results of a long-term cover crop research project and a cover crop seeding method project. Also, Bruce Voigts of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will provide information on cost-share funding that's available for conservation practices. He will also give an update on the Boone River Watershed Water Quality Initiative.

This field day is free and open to the public
The field day is free, open to the public and includes a free supper sponsored by Iowa Soybean Association. An RSVP is requested for an accurate meal count. Contact the Clarion NRCS office at 515-532-2165 soon.

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 The Nielsen farm is located at 3150 Hancock Ave., Woolstock. From Eagle Grove, go south on Highway 17 for two miles. Turn east (left) onto 300th St. and go three miles. Turn south (right) onto Hancock Ave. (R33) and go one mile. The farmstead is on the east side of the road at the T-intersection of Hancock Ave. and 315th Street.

 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.

Farmer-to-farmer networking, and sharing of information
Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing. For additional information.

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and use the best management practices to improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of ILF are Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Ag, 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 visit extension.iastate.edu/ilf/.

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