farmers at field days
WATER QUALITY: Edge-of-field practices like wetlands, saturated buffers and bioreactors are key to reducing nitrate loss from ag land in Iowa.

Don’t miss ISU field days

Put these upcoming Iowa State research farm field days on your calendar.

Through a natural biological process, microorganisms living in the various water quality systems use the incoming nitrate for respiration and reduce the nitrate levels from incoming tile drainage. Together with in-field practices like cover crops and no-tillage, these practices will help reach the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals.

Upcoming Iowa State University field days at several locations around the state will present research-based information to help farmers maximize profit and minimize nitrogen and other soil and crop nutrient losses.

Aug. 21: Northwest Iowa field day to focus on N
Iowa State University Extension will host the next in its “Focus on Nitrogen: Managing Nitrogen for Maximum Profit and Minimum Water Quality Impact” workshop series on Aug. 21 at the ISU Northwest Research Farm near Sutherland. The workshop is part of a statewide series of events this summer and fall to focus on managing nitrogen.

The event is targeted to farmers and those who advise farmers and is hosted by a team of ISU Extension field agronomists, ag engineering specialists and water quality researchers. It allows presenters to share research-based information on maximizing profitability with nitrogen management while also increasing the understanding of the practices that minimize and reduce nitrate-nitrogen loss.

Check-in and coffee will begin at 9 a.m., with the workshop starting at 9:30 a.m.

Joel DeJong and Paul Kassel, field agronomists with ISU Extension, will host the event and highlight nitrogen management strategies and water quality testing practices being conducted at the farm and the results the studies have shown. They will also discuss research on rate selection, split applications, time of application, nitrogen additives, manure nitrogen and using nitrogen in wet years.

To register for the event, contact DeJong at 712-540-1085 or [email protected]. There is a $10 registration fee, and preregistration is required in order to get an accurate count for lunch that will be provided.

CCA credits will be available to those who attend. Directions to the Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm: It’s at 6320 500th St. near Sutherland. That’s a quarter-mile east of Highway 59 on B-62, about 2 miles south of Calumet or about 12 miles north of Cherokee.

Aug. 22: Dallas Center Wetland and Saturated Buffer Field Day
Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District and Iowa Corn Growers Association, will hold a wetland and saturated buffer field day Aug. 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Tim Minton farm, rural Dallas Center. The free event includes a complimentary meal.

Edge-of-field practices like wetlands, saturated buffers and bioreactors are key to reducing nitrate loss from agricultural land in Iowa. Through a natural biological process, microorganisms living in the systems use the incoming nitrate for respiration and reduce the nitrates levels from incoming tile drainage. Together with in-field practices like cover crops and no-tillage, these practices will help reach the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals.

Field day attendees will have the opportunity to view and learn about the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program wetland installed in 2013 and the two saturated buffers installed in 2017. A demonstration by the Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Station “On the Edge” trailer will begin the program to discuss what is happening beneath the surface in saturated buffers and bioreactors.

Karl Gesch, Iowa Soybean Association, will discuss the technical design of saturated buffers and tools to help identify potential sites. Brandon Dittman, Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship, will join Minton to share information about design, installation and benefits of the CREP wetland. Walnut Creek Watershed Project coordinator Amanda Brown will provide an update on the project and share opportunities to get involved.

The field day is at Minton’s farm at 29595 240th St., Dallas Center. From Dallas Center, head east on Iowa Highway 44 for 3 miles. The site will be on the north side of the road and attendees are asked to use the far east driveway marked with a field day sign. The field day is free, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. To RSVP, contact Brown at 515- 776-4244 or [email protected].  

Aug. 23: Bioreactor Field Day set near Brooklyn
Iowa Learning Farms, partnering with Poweshiek County Soil and Water Conservation District, Iowa Soybean Association, Poweshiek County Farm Bureau and Iowa Corn Growers Association, will host a bioreactor field day 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at Roger and Louise Van Ersvelde’s farm, rural Brooklyn. The event is free, open to the entire family and includes a complimentary meal.

Field day attendees will have the opportunity to view and learn about the bioreactor installed on the Van Ersvelde farm as part of their conservation and land stewardship goals. A demonstration by the Iowa Learning Farms On the Edge trailer will discuss what is happening beneath the surface in bioreactors and saturated buffers. Keegan Kult, Iowa Soybean Association, will discuss the site selection process and technical design of bioreactors.

Landowner Roger Van Ersvelde will share information about the design, installation and performance of his bioreactor. Mindy Sieck, Little Bear Creek Watershed Improvement Project coordinator, will provide an update on the project and share opportunities to get involved.

The field day will be held at Roger and Louise Van Ersvelde’s farm at 3864 200th Street, Brooklyn. From I-80, take exit 197 toward V18 Road/Brooklyn. Travel north on V18 for 2 miles. Turn right to head east on Old 6 Road for 2.5 miles. Turn left to head north on 200th Street. The farm is on west side of the road and will be marked with a field day sign. The field day is free, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. To RSVP and for any answers you need contact Mindy Sieck 641-528-4115, ext. 3, or [email protected], by Aug. 16.  

Additional sponsors for the field day include Monsanto and USDA-NRCS.

Sept. 6: Southeast Iowa Research and Demo Farm
Farmers, farmer advisers and the public are invited to attend the ISU Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm’s fall field day at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at Crawfordsville. Crop market expectations, cover crops and weed management strategies will be covered.

The field day will feature these stops and speakers:
• Growing season review by Myron Rees, farm superintendent.

• Best management practices for farmers new to using cover crops by Mark Licht, assistant professor in agronomy and Extension cropping systems specialist, and Alison Robertson, professor and Extension specialist in plant pathology and microbiology at Iowa State.

• Weed management strategies for 2019 and beyond by Meaghan Anderson, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

• Crop market expectations by Chad Hart, associate professor in economics and Extension grain markets specialist at Iowa State.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to discuss concerns and ask questions with each of the speakers at their respective tour stops. Registration starts at 1 p.m. with the field day at 1:30 p.m. Certified Crop Advisor continuing education credits will be available. This field day is free and open to the public, no preregistration required.

To reach the farm, follow U.S. Highway 218 1.75 miles south of Crawfordsville, then two miles east on county road G-62, then 0.75 mile north. Signs will be posted to guide attendees to the event. For further information, contact Rees at [email protected].

 

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