New field days on the docket

IMG_0998Iowa Learning Farms has added several field days to our calendar. We hope you can find one near you to attend!


Today! July 17: Smeltzer Iowa Learning Farm, Otho
4:00-6:00 pm
One mile south of Otho on County Road P59

This field day was originally scheduled for mid-June but due to the wet spring and late planting, it was moved to later in the summer. We don’t think there would have been much to see if it had not been rescheduled.

The field day will focus on strip-till and no-till compared to conventional tillage as well as using cover crops on corn-soybean acres. To view the differences, a soil root pit will be in place to compare root structures of these crops when the soil surface is treated differently,

The Smeltzer Farm is truly a learning farm, with conservation practices and structures in place on this small acreage. Not only does the farm have row crop demonstrations, there are cover crop plots and edge-of-field nutrient management areas including a bioreactor and buffers. The stream that runs through the Smeltzer Farm has had its banks and the oxbow restored. Portions of the farm are in native prairie.  The Conservation Station will be there, too, for folks to visit to learn about soil and water quality.

July 24: Triple C Farms Pasture Walk, Leon
6:00 pm
Two miles west of Leon, near the intersection of Highway 2 and County Road J-34

Triple C Farms, run by brothers Todd, Chris and Paul Coffelt, serve as hosts for a pasture improvement field day. The Coffelts will highlight their changes to the pasture made with EQIP cost-share dollars. Decatur SWCD staff will be on-hand to discuss the EQIP program for pasture improvement and a supper is included.

July 30: Soil Health Workshop, Albert City
4:00-6:00 pm
Ag Partners building
30 East Main, Albert City

This indoor field day will include talks about improving soil health through strip-till/no-till and cover crops. The agenda includes Clarion-area strip-till farmer Tim Smith; Sarah Carlson, Practical Farmers of Iowa, will talk about the benefits of cover crops; ISU Extension Field Agronomist Paul Kassel will provide information on soil fertility. Buena Vista and Pocahontas Counties MRBI coordinator Anita Patrick will update the group on the local projects. There will be a Q and A session with a local farmer panel too.

August 1: Cover Crop Field Day
Arlyn Kauffman farm, Weldon
5:00 pm
25705 120th Street, Weldon

Farmer and host Arlyn Kauffman has been using cover crops on his land for some time. The ield day will focus on the challenges of growing cover crops in southwestern Iowa and northwestern Missouri. Guest speaker David Otte is a cover crop expert from Kahoka, Mo. Also on the agenda is Sarah Carlson, with Practical Farmers of Iowa, and NRCS staff member Lori Schwalbe will review cost-share opportunities for cover crop usage.

The field day includes a complimentary evening meal immediately after the farm tour. Attendees are asked to meet at the field first, located at 25705 120th Street, Weldon. From Weldon, take R48 (250 th Ave.) south out of town two miles to 120th Street. Turn left (east) and travel ¾ mile to the field site. The meal will be at Kauffman structures, 25186 Popcorn Road (J22), located one mile south of the field site. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers of Iowa are sponsors for the field day.

August 4: Field Day at Abbe Hills Farm, Mt. Vernon
4:00 pm
Laura Krouse’s Abbe Hills Farm
825 Abbe Hills Road, Mt. Vernon

Krouse operates a 72-acre farm, growing vegetables for a local CSA that feeds about 200 families. She will offer tours of her gardens, cover crops, wetland, prairie, and more. Also, Wayne Peterson, urban conservationist with IDALS,  will be on hand to talk about things a suburban land owner can do to help improve water quality on their property and in their community. The Conservation Station will be there, too. Its rainfall simulator shows the effects of rainfall on several different surfaces including intense tillage, perennial vegetation and permeable pavers.

Watch for more events scheduled August through November. Details coming soon!

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