Nutrient Reduction, Strip-tillage, STRIPs At ILF Field Days

Nutrient Reduction, Strip-tillage, STRIPs At ILF Field Days

ILF and Iowa Land Improvement Contractors will host an event in Marshall County on June 25.

Iowa Learning Farms is hosting several upcoming field days that will cover topics such as choosing and using nutrient reduction strategies, how to be successful with strip-tillage and how to put conservation strips to work on your farm. You are welcome to attend.

REDUCE NUTRIENT RUNOFF: A nutrient reduction strategy field day at the LICA farm near Melbourne on June 25 will provide demonstrations of various conservation practices to help reduce the amount of nutrients and sediment entering waterways.

Iowa Learning Farms, along with the Iowa Land Improvement Contractors Association (LICA), will host a "Nutrient Reduction Strategies" field day at the LICA farm near Melbourne in central Iowa from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25. Featured topics include the demonstration of various conservation practices that help reduce the amount of nutrients and sediment entering waterways. The event is free-of-charge and open to the public, and a meal by the Marshall County Cattlemen will be provided.

Iowa's LICA is an organization comprised land contractors from all over the state who are devoted to the preservation of Iowa farmland. Members are committed to high ethical and professional standards, and the organization is one of Iowa's strongest voices in the national discussion of conservation farming. Attendees will hear about several conservation techniques that are installed on the farm.

Learn how bioreactors, wetlands remove nitrates from water
Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship urban conservationist Wayne Petersen will talk about rain gardens and their role in urban settings; ISU Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering professor Matt Helmers will discuss bioreactors, their installation and success in removing nitrates from groundwater. Also, ISU ecology professor Bill Crumpton will share information on how wetlands function in reducing nutrients from water bodies. All of these structures can be found on the LICA farm.

Additionally, the Conservation Station will be on display. The Conservation Station features a rainfall simulator that shows the effects different surfaces from agricultural and urban environments have on the displacement of rain water.

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The event site is located at 1723 290th Street near Melbourne. Go east from Melbourne on County Road E65 (290th St) for one mile. The farm is on the north side of the road. To RSVP for this event, contact Iowa Learning Farms at (515) 294-8912 or email: [email protected] by June 20. For more information about Iowa LICA, such as membership requirements or upcoming LICA events visit the LICA website. For information about Iowa Learning Farms visit the ILF website.

ILF to host strip-tillage field day in O'Brien County
Iowa Learning Farms will host a "Benefits of Strip-Tillage" field day at the farm of Tom Wagner near Primghar from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on June 23. The event in northwest Iowa is free-of-charge and open to the public, and a meal catered by Red's Café will be served. Tom Wagner and his brother Jim have been using strip-till and no-till methods since 2006. "We like the system for many reasons—time savings, fuel savings, equipment cost per acre, increased soil tilth, and soil conservation, while we maintain top end yields," says Tom.

Wagner will share his experience using strip-tillage with field day attendees. ISU Extension field agronomist Joel DeJong will also provide additional information on strip-till and no-till farming, and ISU Water Quality Program Manager Jamie Benning will describe how the benefits of strip-tillage align with the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Additionally, the Conservation Station will be on display. The Conservation Station features a rainfall simulator showing the effects that different surfaces from agricultural and urban environments have on the displacement of rain water.

The event site is located at 4236 Taft Avenue near Primghar. From Primghar, go three miles east on County Road B-40, then 3.25 miles south on County Road L-54 (Taft Ave.). To RSVP, contact ILF by calling (515) 294-8912, or email: [email protected].

For more information on Iowa Learning Farms visit the ILF website.

ILF to host prairie strips field day near Elkader
Iowa Learning Farms will host a field day at the Roverud Family Partnership Farm, Elkader, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 19. The field day will focus on using prairie strips integrated with row crops for reductions in nutrient and sediment runoff. The event is free-of-charge, open to the public, and a meal will be provided.

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The prairie strip concept comes out of the research project "Science-based Trials of Row Crops integrated with Prairies (STRIPs)." The STRIPs project is looking at the effectiveness of strategically placed prairie areas on farm fields growing row crops. On-farm research conducted at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, Prairie City, has shown that by taking just 10% of the field out of row crop production and planted with perennial prairie plants, reduces sediment movement off the field by 95%, reduces phosphorus loss by 90%, and total nitrogen loss reduction by nearly 85%.

The Roverud Family Farm has adopted this technique on several fields on their farm. Roverud farm manager Adam Rodenberg will talk about farming these fields and the benefits these prairie areas bring to wildlife, as he is also a Pheasants Forever representative. ISU ag engineer Matt Helmers will discuss the water quality benefits of using prairie strips. He leads the hydrology study portion at the STRIPs research site.

Strips are very effective at reducing nutrient loss
He will also talk about design and placement strategies for these prairie areas.

Additionally, the Conservation Station will be on display. The Conservation Station features a rainfall simulator that shows the effects the effects that different surfaces from agricultural and urban environments have on the displacement of rain water.

The event is located at 19575 Sandpit Road, just outside of Elkader. Coming to Elkader from the north on Highway 13: turn right onto North High Street, then turn right onto Sandpit Road. Coming into Elkader from the south on Highway 13: turn left onto South High Street, travel through Elkader, turning left from North High Street onto Sandpit Road. The field day site is located just beyond the County Offices building.

Please RSVP to the Clayton County NRCS office by calling (563) 245-1048 by June 13.

For more information on STRIPs visit the STRIPs web page. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms visit the ILF website.

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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 best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of ILF 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.

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