Field Days & Events

Field Days & Events Check out upcoming field days and other events that you can attend to learn about the conservation techniques.
Strip Till and Cover Crop Seeding Demo Day
July 25 (8:30 am – 12 pm)
11342 East 4000 North Road
Hoopeston, IL 60942 

Event Details: Strip Till Field day event held at Dave Olson Farm.  

Register for the event here.


Webinar: Planning Habitat for Pollinators and Profitability
July 26 (1 pm)

Event details: Iowa’s farmers are leaders in crop production and land stewardship. They also have an opportunity to be leaders in monarch conservation. This webinar will identify all the steps you should consider when planning your own pollinator project and discuss how targeted conservation plantings for monarchs and other pollinators can be a win-win on your marginal acres.

Speakers: Joshua Divan and Kelsey Fleming, Pheasants Forever

The webinar will provide the opportunity for participants to ask questions.

At any time before the webcast, please click here to test your computer’s ability to participate. 

Pre-register and receive reminder e-mails by clicking here.

Contact Ed Kordick, IFBF Commodity Services Manager ( ekordick@ifbf.org) for more information. 


Lake Springfield Soil Health Field Day
July 26 (8:30 am – 12 pm)
14606 Bab Rd
Auburn, IL 62615   

Event Details: Join us to learn about soil health on Dave Moose’s farm. Donna Brandt from the University of Missouri Soil Health Assessment Center will lead a soil pit demonstration. Speakers include Catherine O’Reilly from Illinois State, Kim Isermann with Soil Health Partnership, a local farmer panel discussion.  

Registration begins at 8:00 am. Meeting runs 8:30 am- 12 pm. 

Register for the event here.


Vermilion Headwaters Field Day
July 26 (4 pm)
35395 E 1100 North Rd
Chatsworth, IL 60921  

Event Details: Join the Vermilion Headwaters Watershed, American Farmland Trust and the Soil Health Partnership for their summer meeting. Topics include Strip Till systems and Soybean Cyst Nematode research with Cover Crops. Register for the meeting here.


National Strip-Tillage Conference 2018 in Iowa City, IA | IAWA
July 26 – July 27 (all-day)
Marriott Coralville Hotel & Conference Center
300 E 9 th St
Coralville, IA 52241 

Event Details: Join hundreds of fellow strip-tillers at the 5th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference in Iowa City, Iowa, July 26-27, 2018.

This is a unique, one-of-a-kind learning experience assembling the best strip-tillers, agronomists and researchers together in one location to share cutting-edge ideas, techniques and strategies to raise your level of strip-till profitability, efficiency and efficacy.

Click here to learn more about strip-till and other water quality and soil health solutions at work.

The 5th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference offers 7 general session speakers, 12 Strip-Till Classrooms and 20 invaluable Strip-Till Roundtables. Just as important is the chance to profit from unlimited hallway networking with the most innovative, forward-thinking minds in strip-till during this late-July event in Iowa City!

This will be one of the topics, headed by professor of soil science Harold van Es. Harold van Es is also chair of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Cornell University. 

Treating “sick soils” isn’t as simple as applying a Band-Aid or injecting an antibiotic. A permanent path to recovery requires a thorough diagnosis and an incremental plan.

Harold van Es has been digging into the dynamics of developing healthy soils and strong biological activity. His team developed the Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Health (CASH) framework, which includes the measurement of 16 soil health indicators that represent important processes in the soil. CASH can be used to identify specific problems related to physical, biological and chemical concerns in the soil, and CASH reports allow for targeted management approaches.

He will discuss how different management practices impact biological, physical and chemical indicators and what strip-tillers can learn from those variables to improve soil biology.
Register now online  or by calling (262) 782-4480. You may also register additional farm/family members. Contact Customer Service if you are organizing a group of 10 or more. You may register additional people from your farm or family for $224 each. Price for registration will automatically adjust. (You will have the opportunity to review your order before purchase.)


Cover Crop Field Day
July 31 (9 am – 12:30 pm)
1552 365 th St
Lake City, IA 51449

Event Details: Join Iowa Corn for this one of a kind Cover Crop workshop. Hear from growers that are implementing these conservation practices on their own farms. RSVP’S are appreciated by calling JanelleKracht with Iowa Corn at 515-229-9980 or jkracht@iowacorn.org by July 25 th

Topics will include: Soil Conservation, Solar Power, Cover Crops and Grazing, all practices for your farm that improve soil health and improve your cash flow.  

Schedule: 9 am – 10 am
Cattle and Cover Crops – benefits of Cover Crops for Cattle Grazing
Mark Schliesman Farm
1552 365 th Street, Lake City, Iowa
10 am – 10:15 am
Travel to Dwight Dial Farm
3505 Langley Avenue, Lake City, Iowa
10:30 am – 11:30 am
Soil Conservation and Solar Power – benefits of using Cover Crops & Solar Power on your farm
Dwight Dial Farm
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch and Question/Answer period
Steak Sandwiches grilled by the Calhoun County Cattlemen


Learn About Agriculture’s 4RS 
July 31 (9:30 am – 2:45 pm) 
Iowa State University FEEL Farm 
1928 240 th St
Boone, IA 50036  

Event Details: The Right nutrients in the Right amount, in the Right place, at the Right time. PLUS, the conservation farming practices that support the 4RS.

RVSP to Sue Health, sheath@iasoybeans.com or 515-334-1021. Registration is FREE, but spots are limited to 150 people. Lunch will be provided.

Learn about:

  • Advances in conservation and nutrient stewardship
  • Edge of field practices to improve water quality
  • New approaches to variable rate nitrogen

6 CEU credits available


Emerging Farmers Forum 2018 at Pinhook Farm
August 1  – 2 (all-day)
Pinhook Farm
2983 230 th St
Clarinda, IA 51632  

Event Details:
The Emerging Farmers project is a proactive approach to address the need to reach out to emerging farmers and future landowners. It defines an emerging farmer as someone with ties to agricultural land who would like to return to the farm as an operator or have a voice in its management.


A goal of this innovative project is to help address a variety of social factors influencing the adoption of conservation practices and assist emerging farmers in the creation of a sustainable business plan for their operation. To learn more about conservation practices visit here.

The application deadline is Wednesday, May 16 – space is limited so apply today! All applicants will be notified of their application status by June 1, 2018. The Emerging Farmer Forum is an all-expense paid two-day cabin stay. You can apply here.

Partners Include: Iowa Learning Farms, Seth Watkins, Nathan Anderson, Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development, Beginning Farmer Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa. 


McNay Research Farm Annual Field Day
August 7 (3:30 pm)
McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm
45249 170th Ave
Chariton, IA 50049  

Event Details: The 2018 field day of the Iowa State University McNay Memorial Research Farm southwest of Chariton will provide updates on grazing cover crops, summer annual and alfalfa trials, pasture renovation and Canadian thistle control. 

Joe Sellers, extension beef specialist with Iowa State University, said the Aug. 7 event will provide plant-based information, the latest in selected beef cattle research projects at the farm, Iowa Beef Center cow systems project, and some local on-farm soil health demonstrations. 

“Presenters are from Iowa State staff, Lucas County NRCS and Prairie Creek Seeds who will offer information and results from a variety of beef-related and soil-related research,” Sellers said. “There’s no cost to attend and no preregistration is necessary. The program starts at 3:30 p.m. at the farm, and includes a grilled burger dinner prepared and served by the Lucas County Cattlemen’s Association.” 

The annual field day offers the opportunity for beef producers and others to hear and see the latest information from research projects, trials and demonstration fields at the McNay Farm.

The McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm is located at 45249 170th Ave., Chariton. For more information and to RSVP for the field day program, contact Sellers by phone at 641-203-1270 or email sellers@iastate.edu, or call the farm at 641-766-6465. 

Note: All event attendees should follow Iowa State livestock farm visitor policies:

  • There is a five-day waiting period prior to visiting Iowa State University livestock farms if you have traveled outside the United States.
  • If you have visited another livestock farm, you are asked to change clothing and footwear.
  • Visitors are not allowed to bring food to the research farms.

If you have any questions, please call the Research and Demonstration Farms office at 515-294-5045 or read the Foot and Mouth Advisory.  


Saturated Buffer Field Day 
August 7 (5 pm – 7p pm)
Paustian Farms 22480 70 th Ave
Walcott, IA 52773 

Event Details: Iowa Learning Farms, along with Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District and Iowa Natural Resource Conservation Service, will host a saturated buffer and soil health field day on Tuesday, August 7th from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Paustian Family Farm, rural Walcott. The event is free and open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal. 

Mike Paustian returned to the family’s heritage farm in 2008 which encompasses nearly 1,400 acres and a 1,200 sow farrow-to-finish hog operation. For the past five years, Mike and his father, Kent, have incorporated soybeans in to their rotation and utilize no-till and minimum tillage on their crop acres. They will have their planter and low disturbance manure injector on site to share how these tools help reduce soil erosion and improve soil health. 

In addition to reducing tillage, the Paustian’s have begun adding cover crops to hold soil in place, while scavenging nutrients from the soil and fall applied manure. Their goal is to build long term soil health and organic matter in their fields. They have used primarily cereal rye and oats on about 400 acres for over six years. Taking the next step to reduce nitrate loss from their farm, Mike installed a saturated buffer just north of his home.

The workshop agenda will feature the new Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Station On The Edge that includes both a saturated buffer and bioreactor model to demonstrate how these edge of field practices can reduce nitrate losses to Iowa waterways. Jason Steele, NRCS Soil Scientist, and Steve Berger, Washington County Farmer, will lead a discussion on the importance of soil health and practices like no-till and cover crops that can help improve and protect soil health. 

The field day will begin at the saturated buffer site located at 22480 70th Avenue, Walcott. From I-80 take exit 284 toward Walcott/Plain View. Go north on N Plainview Road past the I-80 truck stop for 1.6 miles. Head east on 230th Street for one mile. Turn right on 70th Avenue and travel south for 0.5 miles. Look for field day signs directing you to the site. In case of rain, the field day will be held at 6520 215th Street, Walcott. The workshop is free and open to the whole family, but reservations by August 3 are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. For reasonable accommodations and to RSVP please contact Justin Bisinger at (563) 391-1403 Ext 3 or Justin.Bisinger@ia.usda.gov.  


Focus on Nitrogen Field Day 
August 8 (9:30 am – 2 pm)
Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm
3321 290 th St
Nashua, IA 50658 

Event Details: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a workshop titled Focus on Nitrogen: Managing Nitrogen for Maximum Profit and Minimum Water Quality Impact on Aug. 9 at the Iowa State Northeast Research Farm near Nashua. The workshop is part of a statewide series of events this summer and fall that focus on managing nitrogen. 

The event is targeted to farmers and those who advise farmers and is hosted by a team of ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists, ag engineering specialists and water quality researchers. Presenters will 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. 

Hosted by one of the country’s most prestigious water quality research facilities, the event will begin with a field tour by Ken Pecinovsky, Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm superintendent. The tour will highlight nitrogen management strategies and water quality testing practices being conducted on the farm. 

Brian Lang and Terry Basol, field agronomists with ISU Extension and Outreach, will discuss nitrogen fertilizer recommendations for corn, split application of nitrogen and cover crops pertaining to making crop production decisions. The event will conclude with a manure applicator distribution demonstration and nitrogen management discussion as it relates to manure by Basol and Kapil Arora, agricultural engineering specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

The program runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm’s Borlaug Learning Center.

A free lunch also is provided to those who attend, but pre-registration is required in order to produce an accurate number of meals. To pre-register, call the Borlaug Learning Center at 641-435-4864. In addition, CCA credits have been applied for. 

Directions to the Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm: From Nashua at the junction of Hwy 218 (Exit 220) and County Road B60, go west on B60 1.1 miles to Windfall Ave., then south 1 mile to 290th St., then east 0.2 miles to the farm.


Cover Crop Field Day 
August 8 (5:30 pm – 7:30 pm)
Roland Community Center
208 Main Street 
Roland, IA 50236

Event Details: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a cover crop, water quality and cost share field day on August 8 in Roland. 

The workshop will be held at the Roland Community Center and run from 5:30-8 p.m. It will allow ISU Extension and Outreach specialists to share research-based information on how cover crops can improve nitrogen management while also increasing the understanding of practices that minimize nitrate-nitrogen loss. 

The evening will begin with complimentary meal and will feature presentations from water quality researchers and local farmers. Hilary Olson, soil conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, will provide an update on cost share program available to farmers who implement nitrogen management practices. Representatives from Practical Farmers of Iowa will also be on hand to share incentive opportunities through a project with food processing company ADM. 

Tim Couser, a farmer from Nevada, will talk about his experiences incorporating cover crops into his corn and soybean operation. The event will conclude with a field visit to an Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Learning Lab project that is studying how implementation of conservation practices can reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loss at the watershed scale in Iowa. The project is specifically focused on the adoption of practices like cover crops that reduce the movement of nitrogen and phosphorus on a large percentage of the watershed’s agricultural land. 

The field day is free and is open to the public. In order to get an accurate head count for the meal, please RSVP to Iowa Learning Farms by calling 515-294-5429 or via email at ilf@iastate.edu. There are 1.5 hours of soil and water CCA credits available to attendees.

The event is sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach, Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers of Iowa. 


Edge of Field Conservation Field Day  
August 9 (9 am – 11:30 am)
1900 160 th St
Spirit Lake, IA 51360 

Event Details: Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Prairie Lakes Conference and Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District, will host a wetland, saturated buffer and bioreactor field day on Thursday, August 9th from 9:00-11:30 near the Okoboji View Golf Course, near Spirit Lake. 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 rotate through three stations. One of the stations will be led by Matt Helmers, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, and will feature the new Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Station On The Edge that includes both a saturated buffer and bioreactor model to demonstrate how these edge of field practices can reduce nitrate losses to Iowa waterways.  Staff from the Okoboji View Golf Course will lead a station to discuss the wetland restoration and creation project they participated in on the grounds. The final station will be led by Chris LaRue, Iowa DNR, and Heather Jobst, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, to share details about the larger project in the area to create and restore wetlands. The meal will be held at Pub 19 at Okoboji View Golf Course following the program. 

The field day will held on public land located at 1900 160th St. Spirit Lake. From Spirit Lake, head west on Hwy 9 for 3 miles. Turn south on IA-86 S just west of West Okoboji Lake and travel 1.1 miles. Turn west on to 160th St for 0.4 miles and the site will be on the south side of the road 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 Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or ilf@iastate.edu


Andrew Reuschel Cover Crop Diversity and Soil Health
August 9 (8 am – 10:30 am)
2881 N 2500 th Ave
Golden, IL 62339 

Event Details: Speakers and topics will include:

  • Andrew Reuschel- Farm Cover Crop Tour
  • Nick Seiter- University of Illinois Field Crop Entomology
  • Abigail Peterson- Soil Health Partnership

Register for the event here.


Cover Crop Field Day
August 14 (4 pm – 8 pm)
Wilcox Farms Inc.
3550 170 th St
Correctionville, IA 51016  

Event Details: The purpose of this field day is to share information and education about incorporating cover crops into a sustainable farming system. Discussion will include the benefits of cover crops and soil health. There will also be a Q&A session. 

Dinner provided. 

RSVPs requested. This event is free, but RSVPs are requested to Woodbury County Soil Water Conservation District at (712) 943-6727, ext. 3 by August 1. 

Topics will include:
•  Managing for soil health
•  How to deterimine if your soils are healthy
•  Demonstrations including the slake test and rainfall simulator
•  Science behind soil health movement
•  Cover crop plots available for viewing
•  Seeding 

Directions:
From Correctionville: Take U.S. 20 west and turn south onto County Road L21. In 1.5 miles, turn east on 170th Street and continue for 0.5 mile. The farm site is on the south side of 170th Street. Note: Do not enter the event from the east using Lucas Avenue.


Visit Cover Crop Farmer Expert at the Farm Progress Show
August 28 – 30
Farm Progress Show, Varied Industries Tent Booth 9515
1827 217 th St
Boone, IA 50036  

Event Details: Visit the PFI booth at the Farm Progress Show, Aug. 28 – 30. Practical Farmers of Iowa staff and cover crop farmer experts will answer production questions and share practical advice at the booth. Visit to learn more about cover crops as part of a conventional or organic corn-soybean system. Hear how cover crops can be used for livestock grazing; for better manure handling and weed control; and planted as part of a diversified system that includes small grains. Get your specific cover crop questions answered; view live potted cover crops; browse informative cover crop-related resources – and more! 

Tickets must be purchased to enter the show, but parking is free and all booths are free to visit once inside the show. Visit farmprogressshow.com for more details.

Schedule: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Tuesday and Wednesday)

8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Thursday) 

Event Questions: Sarah Carlson – sarah@practicalfarmers.org Twitter: @hmgrwn1

Directions: The event will be held at the permanent Farm Progress Show site, located at the intersection of U.S. 30 and IA Hwy 17 northeast of Boone.

From U.S. 30: Take Exit 137 toward Madrid. Head north off the exit and go about 0.5 mile; you should see signs directing you.

Kirk Kimble Water Quality Site
September 4 (9 am – 1 pm)
Cover Crop Plot Field
County Road 500 North
Toluca, IL 61369 

Event Details: Speakers and topics will include:

  • Conservation Farming Economics – PCM
  • Soil Health and Water Quality   

Register for the event here


Cover Crops: Seeding Techniques & Soil Health
September 6 (8 am – 10:30 am)
Brown Farm
9762 Park Road
Decatur, IL 62526 

Event Details: Topics will include:

  • Cover Crops: Seeding Techniques & Soil Health

Register for the event here.


Cover Crops and On-Farm Conservation
September 6 (10 am – 1 pm)
2790 Jersey Ave.
Marble Rock, IA 50653  

Event Details: Come learn about the advantages of long-term no-till and cover crops. Discover how machinery modifications to accommodate deep-banding of fertilizer after planting can be successful when using cover crops . Dennis will share details about multiple Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practices, including those that foster habitat for upland game, pollinators and forests . Erin Hodgson, extension entomologist with Iowa State University, will share research her team is conducting on the role of host-plant resistance for soybean aphids, and how this can be an effective pest management practice .  

Topics will include: cover crops + no-till, on-farm conservation and host-plant resistance for soybean aphid.  

DIRECTIONS: From Marble Rock: Take 270th Street / County Road B60 east for 1 mile to Jersey Avenue / Co Rd T34 and turn right (south). In 1 mile, look for the farm on the left (east) side of the road

From Greene: Take IA Hwy 14 north for 3.5 miles to 280th Street, turn left (west) and travel 2 miles. Turn right (north) on Jersey Avenue / Co Rd T34; the farm is on the right (east) side of the road.  

RSVP for meal to: Debra Boekholder at debra@practicalfarmers.org; (515) 232-5661 by Monday, September 3.


Cover Crops + Small Grains = A Perfect Pair for Soil Health and Water Quality
September 10 (2:30 pm – 5:30 pm)
Bent Gate Farm
2311 N Ave
Stanton, IA 51573  

Event Details: Explore the possibilities of adding a small-grains crop to your rotation, which allows a wider use of cover crops to cut down on needed inputs for the next corn crop. You will learn how to successfully integrate grazing with cover crops. We'll also discuss water quality in Iowa and sample nitrate concentrations coming out of tile lines from the small-grains field. Come find out how small grains and cover crops can work together for better soil and water quality! 

Dinner provided by the Mills / Montgomery County Cattlemen 

Topics will include:
• Cover crops after small grains 
• Cattle nutrition
• Soil health and water quality with small grains and cover crops
• Nitrogen application timing
• No-till soybeans into living rye 

Directions: From Stanton: Take Frankfort Street / County Road H42 west out of town. This turns into 225th Street and curves south through an underpass; the farm is 0.6 mile farther.


Greg Thoren 2018 Field Day
September 14 (12 pm – 3:30 pm)
South side of Stockton, IL, on Route 78
Head south of Stockton Illinois on Route 78. On south edge of town plots will be on west side of road. 

Event Details: Speakers and topics will include:

  • Dr. Jerry Hatfield with USDA-ARS

Register for the event here.