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OCTOBER 2019 STEWARDSHIP ADVOCATE UPDATE

Posted on 10/22/2019 at 07:39 AM by Iowa Corn

MONTHLY UPDATE FROM BEN GLEASON, IOWA CORN SUSTAINABLE PROGRAMS MANAGER

 

Happy Harvest!  I’ve heard reports of wet crops and stuck combines, but I have good news.  Iowa State University has released a new study detailing the benefits of updating ag drainage systems.  Many drainage systems are old and don’t have the capacity to properly drain our soils for today’s crops and climate.  ISU professor of agronomy, Michael Castellano said, “We have this enormous infrastructure investment that’s deteriorating and needs to be updated.  If we update it the right way, we can benefit crop production and the environment.”  This update will improve drainage and crop yields and reduce nitrogen loss by incorporating practices at tile outlets such as wetlands, bioreactors, and saturated buffers.  Click here for more information about the study.

 

This is not a new idea.  The Iowa Wetland Landscape Systems Initiative began over a decade ago with five pilot sites that improved drainage and incorporated wetlands to improve yields and a variety of environmental outcomes.  Iowa Corn has been working with ISU and the Iowa Department of Agriculture for several years to gather nutrient application data in these five drainage districts to help evaluate the benefits updated drainage including reduced ponding in fields, improved nitrogen use efficiency, and improved water quality.

 

While you’re considering drainage improvements to deal with wet fields, also consider adding conservation practices (there’s cost share funding available) to get the many benefits of improved yields, water quality, and other conservation improvements.

 

                                                                               

Two bioreactors under construction to treat an updated tile system in Central Iowa.

 


FARMER TO FARMER: LET'S TALK Soil nutrient management

 

Stuart Swanson of Wright County talks about how he manages the nutrients in his soil and other conservation practices he uses on his farm. 


 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Oct. 29: Soil Sessions, Webinar

Nov. 5-6: Soil Fertility Conference, Des Moines

Nov. 7: Good Farm Neighbor Award, Woodbury County

Nov. 7: Cover Crop and Wetland Field Day, Nashua

NoV. 8: Cedar River Coalition Meeting, Cedar Falls

Nov.12: Southfork Watershed Meeting, Iowa Falls

Nov.13: Cover Crop Field Day, Guernsey

Nov.19: Research & Conservation Field Day, Crawfordsville

Nov. 20: Cover Crop Field Day, Rose Hill

Nov. 21: English River Watershed Meeting, North English

Dec. 4-5: Integrated Crop Management Conference, Ames

Dec. 18-19: Cover Crop Boot Camp, Ames

Jan. 3-30: Crop Advantage Series, 14 locations across Iowa


 

LATEST INFORMATION:

USDA Conservation Reserve Program Payments Headed to Producers

Ducks Unlimited CEO Visits Iowa’s Newest Wetland

Don’t Panic:  You Can Still Plant a Cover Crop

Ten Takeaways from Summer Field Days

IDALS Offering Crop Insurance Incentives for Cover Crops

A Recipe for Success with Soil Sampling

Tillage Practices Impact Soil Structure During a Challenging Harvest

Cover Crops:  Where Do I Start?

What a Community in the Heartland Can Teach Us About Resistance Management

Seventh Circuit Sides with Landowner in Wetlands Determination Case

 

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