Field Days & Events

Field Days & Events Check out upcoming field days and other events that you can attend to learn about the conservation techniques.

Cover Crop & Wetland Field Day
November 7 (12 p.m. – 2 p.m.)
Borlaug Learning Center
3327 290th St.
Nashua, IA 50658 

Event details:
Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will host a cover crop and wetland field day near Nashua on Thursday, November 7. The 12:00-2:00 p.m. event will be held at the Borlaug Learning Center. The event is free, open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal. 

Cover crops continue to grow in popularity in Iowa due to their many benefits including increased soil organic matter, weed suppression potential and reduced soil erosion. Together with edge of field practices like bioreactors, wetlands and saturated buffers are key to reducing nitrate loss from agricultural land in Iowa.  

Ben Johnson, Floyd County farmer, works together with his family to grow corn and soybeans and manage a ewe flock and feeder lamb operation. The Johnsons began no-tilling soybeans over fifteen years ago and have ten years of experience strip-tilling corn. As participants in the Conservation Learning Lab project, the Johnsons are seeding cover crops on over 54% of the nearby research watershed acres. Since 2013, the Johnsons have seeded cover crops like cereal rye, rapeseed and oats on over 400 acres to help control erosion, improve organic matter and overall soil structure.  

The field day will offer an opportunity to learn how labor availability and profitability have played into the Johnson’s decision to adopt the reduced tillage practices. Ben will also share their experiences with cover crops and discuss how they have overcome challenges. The agenda will continue with Matt Helmers, Iowa State University professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, highlighting the research behind the Conservation Learning Lab project and share the results from the two years of monitoring at the project Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) wetlands. Liz Juchems, Iowa Learning Farms conservation outreach specialist, share results from cover crop projects examining species selection, seeding techniques, water quality and soil health indicators like earthworms. Weather permitting, a field tour of nearby CREP wetland will conclude the program.  

The field day will be held at the Borlaug Learning Center, 3327 290th Street, Nashua. From Nashua, head west on IA-346/280th Street for one mile. Turn left on Windfall Avenue for 1 mile. Turn left on 290th St and the location will be on the north side of the road. Attendees are encouraged to park on the east side of the building. 

The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or email ilf@iastate.edu.

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Cover Crop Field Day

November 13 (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
Lucas Bayer Farm
2310 430th Ave
Guernsey, IA 52221 

Event details:
Join the Poweshiek County NRCS and SWCD at the Poweshiek County Field Day! Please RSVP by Monday, November 4th to 641.528.2065 ext. 3 for meal count. Contact Ben Gleason at bgleason@iowacorn.org with any questions.
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Conservation Field Day
November 19 (3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.)
Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm
3115 Louisa-Washington Rd
Crawfordsville, IA 62621 

Event details:
Farmers and those who advise them on conservation practices should consider attending a field day Nov. 19, from 3-6:30 p.m. at the Iowa State University Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm, near Crawfordsville.  

The field day, which is hosted by ISU Extension and Outreach, the STRIPS project, and the Southeast Iowa Agricultural Research Association, will feature the following topics and speakers:

  • On-farm conservation practices – Kristina TeBockhorst, ISU Extension and Outreach Ag Engineering Field Specialist.
  • Prescribed burning 101, Prairie STRIP establishment and maintenance – Tim Youngquist, ISU STRIPS farmer liaison.
  • Conservation planning and enrollment in USDA cost share programs – Tony Maxwell, Washington County NRCS.

Registration begins at 2:30 p.m., with speakers starting at 3 p.m. Weather permitting, a controlled burn will be conducted on the farm’s prairie STRIPS.   

The field day is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary meal. RSVP by Nov. 5 to ensure an accurate headcount for supper. Contact Tim Youngquist at timyoung@iastate.edu, or 712-269-0592. 

Directions to the Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm: Take Highway 218 south from Crawfordsville 1 3/4 miles, travel east on G-62 two miles, then 3/4 mile north. Watch for signs to the farm. 

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Webinar: ISU Research Focuses on Integrating Cover Crops for Grazing into Row Crop Enterprises

November 20 (12 p.m.) 

Event details:
Hear from Erika Lundy, Extension Beef Specialist and Rebecca Vittetoe, Extension Field Agronomist, to discuss how ISU research is focusing on integrating cover crops for grazing into row crop enterprises. Connect to the webinar here.
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Cover Crops for All: Thoughts on Machinery, Management and Grazing
November 20 (12 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
2156 Snyder Ave
Rose Hill, IA 52586 

Event details:
Learn how cover crops in corn and soybeans can work for you. Starting in the shop with lunch, Mike will share the latest results from his on-farm cover crop research — including a trial that investigates effects of different rye seeding dates and rates on rye biomass, soil health and corn yield. Jason Steele, a soil scientist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will present on grazing cover crops. After lunch, Mike will lead a discussion about the diverse approaches to managing cover crops, covering financial and practical aspects. We’ll then take a short walking tour to view corn and soybean fields with two years of rye.

Learn more about the field day and RSVP here. RSVPs are due by November 15.