October 28 Webinar: Cover Crops for Better Corn and Soybeans

Integrating cover crops into corn and soybean cropping systems is the topic of the October 28 Iowa Learning Farms webinar.

Sarah Carlson, image courtesy of Practical Farmers of Iowa

Learn how cover crops can be a win-win for cash crops and the environment. During this webinar, Sarah Carlson, Strategic Initiatives Director at Practical Farmers of Iowa, will share research results about how cover crops can help farmers grow better corn and soybean crops, while also protecting water quality and improving soil health.

“Cover crops are not just good for water quality and soil health but should also be a part of the crop production decision-making discussion,” said Carlson, who will explain the economic benefits of using cover crops.

Carlson works to transfer agronomic research about cover crops and small grains through supply chain projects, articles, blogs and presentation materials, while working to improve the support for cover crop and small grain research.

Webinar Access Instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before 12 pm CDT on October 28:

Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser: https://iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172

    Or, go to https://iastate.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172 

Or, join from a dial-in phone line:

    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923

    Meeting ID: 364 284 172

The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Hilary Pierce

Vote for the Fall Colors Found Art People’s Choice Winners!

There were so many beautiful entries to our Fall Colors Found Art contest and we need your help awarding People’s Choice!

You can vote for your favorite adult and youth entries on our Facebook page.

To vote, use 👍 and ❤️ for your favorites.

Adult

Youth

Voting ends at 10 am on Friday, Oct. 23—winners will be announced that afternoon!

Hilary Pierce

October 21 Webinar: Sustainable Weed Management Solutions for Iowa Corn and Soybean

Iowa Learning Farms will present a webinar, “Sustainable Weed Management Solutions for Iowa Corn and Soybean” at noon Wednesday, October 21, featuring ways to integrate non-chemical tactics to manage herbicide-resistant seed banks.

“Herbicide resistance is a threat to sustainability and profitability of corn and soybean production,” said Prashant Jha, associate professor and extension weed specialist at Iowa State University.

During the webinar, Jha will explain new integrated weed management strategies and how to incorporate them into current weed management plans for reduced herbicide inputs and long-term profitability and sustainability of Iowa corn and soybean production.

The non-chemical tactics covered will include cover crops, reduced row spacing, and harvest weed seed control technologies for long-term management of herbicide-resistant weed seed banks.

Jha’s research focuses on improving the understanding of weed biology and ecology to develop effective, integrated weed management strategies in corn and soybean production systems of Iowa and the Midwest.

Webinar Access Instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before 12 pm CDT on October 21:

Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser: https://iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172

    Or, go to https://iastate.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172 

Or, join from a dial-in phone line:

    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923

    Meeting ID: 364 284 172

The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) has been approved for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Hilary Pierce

The Halo Effect: Do Short-Term Watershed Project Successes Lead to Long-Term Continued Successes?

Our webinar on Wednesday focused on a project that assessed the long-term continued success of three different voluntary watershed management approaches.

Jamie Benning and Dr. Jacqueline Comito, both with Conservation Learning Group, shared an overview of the project and discussed how the short-term and long-term success of watershed management projects can be assessed. For the project three watersheds where different watershed management projects have been implemented were compared to nearby watersheds that have not had recent watershed management projects.

Slide from Benning & Comito’s presentation showing their criteria for short-term success
Slide from Benning & Comito’s presentation showing their criteria for long-term success

In the summer of 2018, Benning and Comito conducted listening sessions with farmers and landowners in the three watersheds with watershed management projects. During 2019, they surveyed farmers and landowners in the watersheds, and compared each watershed to a nearby, similar watershed. The comparison was done both in terms of resources that farmers and landowners can access and land characteristics.

Their assessment of the success of the watershed projects showed that although the projects had a degree of short-term success, that this did not necessarily translate to long-term success.

The halo effect and watershed projects, slide from Benning & Comito’s presentation

Benning and Comito then asked the webinar participants to consider if it’s possible to build a better watershed project, one that supports both short-term and long-term success. To learn more about this research project, watch the full webinar here!

Join us on Wednesday, October 21 for the webinar “Sustainable Weed Management Solutions for Iowa Corn and Soybean” with Prashant Jha, associate professor and extension weed specialist at ISU.

Hilary Pierce

October 14 Webinar: The Halo Effect: Do Short-Term Watershed Project Successes Lead to Long-Term Continued Successes?

A project that assessed the long-term continued success of three different voluntary watershed management approaches is the topic of the Iowa Learning Farms webinar scheduled for noon on Wednesday, October 14.

Jacqueline Comito

This project, funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, looked at differences in structural practice adoption and through quantitative analysis of practices in the watershed and qualitative assessment of farmers’ attitudes and behaviors toward water quality, conservation and participation in watershed projects.

In order to assess the effectiveness of the three different voluntary watershed management approaches, the team evaluated three sets of comparison HUC 12 watersheds, three HUC 12 watersheds where different watershed projects have been implemented and three nearby HUC 12 watersheds that have not had recent watershed projects.

Jamie Benning

Through mailed surveys and listening sessions, Jamie Benning and Dr. Jacqueline Comito, both with Conservation Learning Group, listened to farmers and landowners in the three watersheds about their current farming practices. Do these watersheds who were successful in the short-term benefit from a “halo effect” in the long-term? Benning and Comito will also discuss recommendations to improve water quality improvement efforts in Iowa.

Conservation Learning Group is a collaborative team to advance training, outreach, and research across land uses and production systems to increase overall sustainability of agricultural and natural systems for multiple generations to come.

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before 12:00 pm CDT on October 14:

Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser: https://iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172

    Or, go to https://iastate.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172 

Or, join from a dial-in phone line:

    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923

    Meeting ID: 364 284 172

The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Hilary Pierce

Water Rocks! Fall Colors Found Art Contest

Water Rocks! and Artworks Studio invite everyone to get outside, enjoy the fresh autumn air, and express their creativity with what they find along the way by participating in the Fall Colors Found Art Contest!

Participants will create works of art from natural items they find in the great outdoors. The contest is open now through October 19 and features adult and youth entry groups. For complete contest rules and to upload a photo of your artistic creation, visit waterrocks.org/fall-colors.

Online voting through the Water Rocks! Facebook page for the People’s Choice winner in each age category and consideration by a judging panel will take place October 20-22. Winners will be announced October 23!

We have lots of fabulous prizes to give away, so get outside, appreciate the beauty of nature, and create your found art masterpiece today!

Hilary Pierce

Iowa’s Wild Weather Year: From Drought to Derecho

The wild weather this year was the topic of our webinar on Wednesday, September 30.  Dr. Justin Glisan, the State Climatologist of Iowa explained the formation of the drought and its expansion across western Iowa, as well as the short and long-term impacts of the drought on the growing season and crop production. He also discussed the severe derecho which moved through Iowa on August 10th, producing widespread damage.

Glisan gave a climatological summary of 2019, and explained the 2020 monthly summaries that are available. 2019 was the 12th wettest year on record in Iowa, with every county having up average precipitation over the year. 2020’s monthly precipitation show more months with precipitation deficits and flash drought conditions began to form from mid-May to mid-June. Flash drought forms over weeks instead of over months to years like seasonal drought.

2020 Monthly Precipitation, image from Glisan’s presentation

The below average precipitation amounts across the state added to long term precipitation deficits that have stacked up over years. These dry conditions have led to low soil moisture and near record dryness across western Iowa, where corn and soybeans are affected by moisture stress. As dry conditions persisted, drought worsened throughout July and August with the peak of the current drought occurring in early September.

Development of the drought, image from Glisan’s presentation

During the webinar, Glisan also explained the August 10 derecho event. A derecho is a widespread, convectively induced straight-line windstorm. He explained derecho formation and how the storm on August 10 developed into a derecho and strengthened as it moved across the state. The derecho held together for 770 miles over 14 hours, starting in South Dakota and eventually dissipating as it moved into western Ohio.

The path of the derecho, image from Glisan’s presentation

To learn more about the drought, derecho, and the impacts of both, watch the full webinar here!

Join us at noon on Wednesday, October 7 for a webinar titled “Choosing an Edge-of-Field Practice: Decision Trees Can Help” with Chris Hay, Sr. Manager Production Systems Innovation, Iowa Soybean Association.

Hilary Pierce

September 30 Webinar: Iowa’s Wild Weather Year: From Drought to Derecho

Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Wednesday, September 30 at noon about Iowa’s weather in 2020.

“With 95% – 99% of Iowa experiencing abnormal dryness or drought and 57 counties affected by the derecho, most Iowans have been impacted by this year’s wild weather,” said Dr. Justin Glisan, the State Climatologist of Iowa. During this webinar, Glisan will discuss initial drought formation and expansion across western Iowa, as well as the short and long-term impacts of the drought on the growing season and crop production. Additionally, he will discuss the severe derecho which moved through Iowa on August 10th, producing widespread damage in rural and urban areas, including the extreme drought region in west-central Iowa.

As State Climatologist of Iowa, Glisan’s responsibilities include quality control of Iowa weather observations, weekly recommendations to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and weekly and monthly climate summaries for state stakeholders. Glisan also advises the Secretary of Agriculture on climatological matters that impact the agricultural sector, such as how trends in precipitation and temperature are changing. Iowa’s weather and climate observations, which date back to 1872, help tell the story of Iowa agriculture and how resilient and innovative the state’s farmers are and have been.

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before 12:00 pm CDT on September 30:

Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser: https://iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172

    Or, go to https://iastate.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172 

Or, join from a dial-in phone line:

    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923

    Meeting ID: 364 284 172

The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Hilary Pierce

Iowa Flood Center Floodplain Mapping Programs

Iowa Learning Farms hosted a webinar on Wednesday about floodplain mapping done by the Iowa Flood Center (IFC). These maps, created in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, show the probability, extent, and depth of flooding for every Iowa stream that drains more than one square mile.

After flooding in 2008 across the state of Iowa, the IFC was established and tasked with creating flood inundation maps. IFC has worked to create flood inundation maps for communities and statewide inundation maps. Additionally, IFC has developed floodplain map libraries in specific communities that translate National Weather Service forecasts into inundation maps that help individuals anticipate how forecasted flood conditions may affect their property.

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Community level flood inundation maps

The community flood inundation maps can be explored by both river stage and annual chance of flood events, which can help provide important information for someone who is looking at purchasing property in a floodplain. The maps can also show the buildings that would be affected by a flood and estimate the cost of damage to the structure and contents. The statewide inundation maps are based on very detailed topography data across the entire state.

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Communities where flood inundation maps have been created

During this webinar, Witold (Witek) Krajewski, Director of IFC, explained the two different types of flood inundation mapping done by IFC and how they can be used. He also described how the maps are created and what information is needed.

To learn more about the IFC flood inundation maps, watch the full webinar here!

Join us next week, on Wednesday, September 30, for a webinar titled “Iowa’s Wild Weather Year: From Drought to Derecho” presented by Dr. Justin Glisan, the State Climatologist of Iowa.

Hilary Pierce

September 23 Webinar: Iowa Flood Center Floodplain Mapping Programs

Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Wednesday, September 23 at noon about floodplain mapping done by the Iowa Flood Center.

Following the historic floods of 2008, the State of Iowa established the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa’s IIHR–Hydroscience & Engineering. Among its many flood-related activities, IFC develops flood inundation maps to support planning and mitigation efforts across the state. During this webinar, Witold (Witek) Krajewski, Director of IFC, will explain the floodplain mapping and floodplain map libraries created by IFC.

In cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, IFC developed floodplain maps showing probability, extent, and depth of flooding for every Iowa stream draining more than one square mile. IFC has also developed floodplain map libraries in specific communities that translate National Weather Service forecasts into inundation maps that help individuals anticipate how forecasted flood conditions may affect their property.

Image source: Iowa Flood Center

“Understanding flood risk is important to effectively managing property,” said Nathan Young, Associate Director of IFC. “Floodplain mapping is a valuable tool for anticipating and communicating immediate and long-term flood hazards.”

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before 12:00 pm CDT on September 23:

Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser: https://iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172

    Or, go to https://iastate.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172 

Or, join from a dial-in phone line:

    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923

    Meeting ID: 364 284 172

The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Hilary Pierce