Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2018

Iowa Learning Farms webinar to explore edge-of-field practices

Sep 19, 2017

AMES – Edge-of-field nitrate reduction practices such as bioreactors, saturated buffers and wetlands are receiving increased attention for the role they play in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. As these practices gain in popularity, questions linger about how these practices work and the scale of implementation required to make progress towards strategy goals.

Matt Helmers, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University and dean’s professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will discuss how to increase awareness and understanding of these practices during the Iowa Learning Farms webinar at noon Wednesday.

“For large-scale implementation of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy to be successful, we need trained individuals that can work with farmers and landowners in the private and public sectors,” Helmers said. “We need for everyone to understand where these practices are appropriate, how effective they are, and the scale and rate of practice implementation that is required.”

One of the most effective ways to convey information about edge-of-field practices is to show people how they work. Helmers will introduce the Conservation Station “On the Edge,” a new outreach tool designed to increase awareness and understanding of edge-of-field practices for both general and technical audiences.

Helmers researches the impact of nutrient management, cropping practices, drainage design and management and strategic placement of conservation practices on nutrient export from agricultural landscapes. His extension work is focused on increasing adoption of practices that have the potential to reduce downstream nutrient export.

The Iowa Learning Farms monthly webinar series will take place on the third Wednesday of each month at noon. To log in, go to: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/ at 12 p.m. and log in through the “guest” option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for viewing at any time at www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.

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