Agribusiness agronomists and farmers who want information on new practices to improve soil and water quality have two opportunities in December to learn from Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach specialists. Soil and water management workshops will be held Friday, Dec. 16 at the Marshall County Extension office and Tuesday, Dec. 20 at the Carroll County Extension office. The program runs from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at both locations.
Topics covered will include enhancing soils to provide better productivity, profitability and environmental services. Practices explored will include vegetative filter strips and bioreactors. Featured speakers include Matt Helmers, ISU agricultural engineer; Kapil Arora, ISU Extension ag engineer; Mark Licht, ISU Extension field agronomist; and John Doudna, Iowa State graduate student.
"The workshop discussions will bring a clearer understanding of how bioreactors and vegetative filter strips work," says Licht. "We will also talk about some of the benefits they have outside of soil and water quality."
Certified crop advisors can earn 2.5 soil and water credits. Advance registration for the course $35. Registration at the door is $45. Registration is limited to 30 participants. Register online at www.aep.iastate.edu/swm. To register by fax or mail, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Marshall County, 641-752-1551, or in Carroll County, 712-792-2364, for a registration form.
Farmland drainage workshop to be held in Iowa Falls December 15
Subsurface drainage, commonly known as ag tile systems in Iowa, is an important part of ag production in the state. A drainage workshop on December 15 will examine various aspects of farmland drainage and cover the basics of planning a new drainage system or retrofitting an existing system.
A morning session will focus on drainage design concepts, economics and long term benefits of tiling. The afternoon session will include discussions on the implications of drainage water management, compliance with USDA-NRCS requirements, discussions on controlled drainage, bioreactors and managing drainage water quality with wetlands.
The workshop is offered at Ellsworth Community College Ag and Renewable Energy Center in Iowa Falls. Program begins at 9 a.m. and will adjourn at 3:30 p.m. ISU Extension, industry partners and USDA/NRCS sponsor the program. Cost of the workshop is $40 if paid by Dec. 9 and includes morning refreshments, lunch and workshop materials. There is a late fee of $10. Registration is available online or by calling Hardin County Extension 641-645-4850.