Iowa State University Extension and the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) will host three field days on Sept. 8-10, highlighting soybean production under no-tillage conditions with emphasis on agronomic decisions in a no-till versus conventional tillage system.
While the adoption rate of no-tillage practices in the northern Corn Belt has been slow compared to other parts of the world, it will likely increase in the future because of high diesel fuel prices. However, no-till will not work consistently on all soil types in Iowa without yield loss, compared to a conventional tillage system. A key will be site-specific knowledge of the no-tillage system's potential benefits, says Palle Pedersen, ISU Extension soybean agronomist.
The field days are part of a large no-tillage project that was initiated in 2007 and funded by the soybean checkoff through ISA. The overall goal is to develop management recommendations for Iowa growers when producing soybeans in no-tillage conditions. The study was initiated at six locations across the state to determine how various soil types influence no-tillage recommendations.
The events will be held at the following locations:
• On Sept. 8 the field day will be part of an "All in a Day's Work" event for District 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dean Coleman farm at Humboldt. Along with Pedersen's presentation, ISU's Greg Tylka will talk about soybean cyst nematodes and ISA's Heath Ellison will discuss energy planning. ISA's state lobbyist Jill Altringer will visit with the group over lunch, which will be provided.
To get to the Coleman farm from Highway 3 in Humboldt, take Highway 169 south to the four-way stop at the high school and turn west on 4th Street SW, which is also C44. Go four and a half miles west on the C44 blacktop. The farm is on the south side of the road.
• The Sept. 9 event will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bruce Rusk Farm at Lynn Grove. From Highway 71, go west on Highway 10 for approximately two miles. Then go north approximately one mile on 180th Avenue, a gravel road. The field is across from a grain bin site. Along with Pedersen's presentation local growers will also share their knowledge about no-tillage production systems.
• The Sept. 10 field day will be held from 6 to 7:30 p,m. at the Keith De Bruin farm, 1925 205 St., Oskaloosa. The directions from Highway 163 are as follows: go east on 220th Street, then north on Independence and turn east on 210 Street and finally north on Jewel. From Highway 63 go west on 210th Street and north on Jewel. The farm is at the T-intersection of Jewel and 205th Street.