Upcoming conservation field days l August 19 update
Below is a listing of upcoming conservation field days around the state. For a complete listing of future conservation field days, click here.
Upcoming Field Days
Establishing and Grazing Legume Covers and Small Grains in and Organic System
Saturday, August 20 (12pm-3pm)
Koether Family Farm, 25996 Giard Rd, McGregor, IA 52157
Come visit with Scott and Shannon Koether and learn how they include rotational grazing, small grains and red clover in their organic field crops system.
Scott farms with his family in McGregor, Iowa, where they raise and rotationally graze cattle on cover crops and forages like sorghum. The Koethers also raise organic corn, winter wheat, oats, peas and medium red clover on their 400 organic acres. Scott and his family have been using cover crops since 2015, and bought cows in 2013 for their conventional cow-calf operation. The Koethers have also been experimenting with growing organic forage crops: They grew forage sorghum last year and hope to expand their organic forage options this year.
For more information and to register, click here by August 15.
Making Cover Crops Work: From Popcorn to Water Quality
Tuesday, August 23 (10am-12pm)
M&M Farms, 1532 365th St, Lake City, IA 51449
Mark Schleisman farms with his sons, Matthew and Landon, daughter Brandy and her husband Colby. Mark’s father, Larry, and uncles Jerry and Jim, provide extra help during planting, spraying and harvest. M&M Farms is a 5,000-acre diversified operation that includes corn, soybeans, popcorn, hogs and a cow-calf operation, custom farming and custom cover crop seeding.
Mark plants cover crops on all 5,000 of the farm’s acres and grazes cows there every spring and fall. He also uses conservation methods like no-till and strip-till, grassed waterways, buffer strips, wildlife habitat and bioreactors in addition to cover crops – practices that are all aimed at preserving water quality. Located in the North Raccoon River Watershed, Mark sees cover crops and his constructed wetland-water reuse project, which treats tile drainage, as vital pieces of his effort to protect water quality and absorb nutrients from his hog operation.
For more information and to register, click here by August 18.
Redefining the Field Edge Field Day
Wednesday, August 24 (10am-12:30pm)
16545 650th Ave, Nevada, IA 50201
Iowa Learning Farms and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a field day Wednesday, August 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30p.m. at Mark Kenney’s Farm near Nevada. The free event is open to farmers and landowners and includes a complimentary meal. A project led by Mark Licht, extension cropping systems specialist and associate professor, Iowa State University, and funded by North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, is working with Iowa farmers to convert marginal land areas prone to flooding to perennial vegetation to evaluate the profitability and explore the potential benefits to water quality, soil health, wildlife habitat and overall aesthetics.
The field day will begin with a demonstration of the Conservation Station rainfall simulator. Licht and farmer partner and host, Mark Kenney, will discuss the process of redefining the field edge from site selection to seeding and management. Adam Janke, Iowa State University extension wildlife specialist and associate professor, will highlight the wildlife research findings to date across the demonstration sites. Weather permitting, there will be a short tour of the perennial vegetation site following the complimentary meal.
For more information and to register, click here.
Cover Crop and Soil Health Field Day
Thursday, August 25 (10:30am-12:30pm)
1723 290th Ave St. Melbourne, IA 50162
Iowa Learning Farms, Marshall County Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Iowa Land Improvement Contractors Association (LICA), will host a cover crop and soil health field day Thursday, August 25 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the LICA Farm near Melbourne. The free event is open to farmers and landowners and includes a complimentary meal.
Cover crops continue to gain popularity in Iowa due to their many benefits including reduced soil erosion, weed suppression potential, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, and increased organic matter in the soil. When paired with no-tillage additional benefits include increased water infiltration and reduced erosion during heavy rain events. This field day aims to equip attendees with best management practices for establishing cover crops and maintaining yields during the transition to a higher residue system of no-tillage and cover crops.
For more information and to RSVP, click here.
Bringing Back the Edges With Precision Conservation
Saturday, August 27 (10am – 1pm)
Bobolink Prairie Farms, 1950 520th St, Cherokee, IA 51012
Join Nathan and Sarah Anderson of Bobolink Prairie Farms to hear how they’re making conservation work for them as they raise corn, soybeans, cattle small grains, hay and wildlife on their northwest Iowa family farm. Learn how practices like prairie strips can benefit water quality and wildlife, while tools like precision agriculture technologies can help you integrate conservation while improving your bottom line.
For more information and to register, click here by August 22.
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