Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District and Iowa Corn, will host a wetland and saturated buffer field day on Wednesday, Aug. 22 from 5:30-7:30 pm at Tim Minton farm, rural Dallas Center. The event is free and open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal.
Edge of field practices like wetland, 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 (CREP) wetland installed in 2013 and the two saturated buffers that were 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 Agriculture and Land Stewardship, will join landowner Tim Minton to share information about the 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 will held at Tim Minton’s farm 29595 240th St, Dallas Center. From Dallas Center, head east on IA-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 and open to the whole family, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. To RSVP please contact Amanda Brown at 515- 776-4244 or Amanda.Brown@ia.nacdnet.net.
For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit www.iowalearningfarms.org.
Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319).