STRIPS field day 2015

Field Day at farm of Richard and Diana Sloan

Iowa Learning Farms, along with the STRIPS project and the Iowa Cover Crop Working Group, hosted a field day on Thursday, June 18, at the Dick and Diana Sloan farm, rural Rowley. The STRIPS project, Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips, is at Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge, Prairie City. The project focuses on planting a small percentage of a field into strips of perennial prairie plants to reduce soil erosion, water runoff, and to create habitat for pollinators. Iowa farmers are now applying this conservation practice on their own fields for the benefits that the research results have shown.

For more information see the Iowa Learning Farms web page.

DSloan speaks


Top photo: During the field day, the three dozen visitors make a short trek to the prairie strips on Dick Sloan’s farm. Above, Dick gave a brief history of his experiences with cover crops and prairie strips.


AgriNews features Cedar River
Coalition bus tour

AgriNews writer Jean Casper-Simmet rode along with some 75 people on the Cedar River Coalition’s tour of  conservation practices on several farms in the middle Cedar River watershed.

Cedar River Coalition tour.
Cedar River Coalition tour.

The goal of the Middle Cedar Partnership Project is to establish connections with individual farmers to enhance adoption of practices that will improve soil health, improve bankside and downstream water quality, potentially limit peak downstream flows and enhance the long-term viability of producers…”, she wrote.

For the full story, read Jean’s article at http://www.agrinews.com/news/iowa_news/cedar-rapids-is-partnering-with-farmers-to-reduce-nitrate-levels/article_c5f44af6-fc70-5cb7-ba96-174e92f4911c.html


Introduction to denitrifying bioreactors

Subsurface drainage makes Iowa’s productive fields possible, but also impacts Iowa’s water quality, in particular by carrying nitrate into streams and rivers. Woodchip bioreactors are one practice that can help reduce the amount of nitrate in field drainage water.  Video and still photographs from several northeast Iowa bioreactor sites. Published on Feb 12, 2015

Denitrification bioreactor webinar available

A July 29, 2014 webinar, created by Jamie Benning and Chad Ingels of Iowa State Outreach and Extension and Keegan Kult of the Iowa Soybean Association can be viewed at the webinar.

The webinar was created for the Miller Creek Water Quality Improvement Project on the west side of the Cedar River watershed and northwest of Lime Creek. The MCWQI Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/MillerCreekWQIProject.

Dick Sloan appears on IPR ‘Ripple Effect’

Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa summer series, “Ripple Effect”, has been examining various aspects of Iowa’s environment. Dick Sloan joined the water quality conversation on Monday, July 21.

Listen to the archived edition: Talk of Iowa

 …and is featured in AgriNews

Jean Caspers-Simmet interviewed Dick Sloan about his approach to resilient farming for the July 22 issue.  Plus there’s a interview with Chad Ingels on the resilient farming conference that will be held in Ames August 5-7.

Lime Creek watershed efforts in the news

Educational and conservation efforts in Lime Creek watershed are featured in the March 8, 2014, issue of Iowa Farmer Today.  To read the article, visit http://www.iowafarmertoday.com/news/crop/nutrient-management-a-gradual-evolution/article_3041bf72-a487-11e3-9870-0019bb2963f4.html

Lime Creek tile line project

A Lime Creek Watershed Improvement Association project proposal, “Monitoring Nutrient Losses from Tile-Drained Fields in the Middle Cedar River”,  is a two-year project that began July 1, 2013 following approval by the State Soil Conservation Committee.

PDF of proposal: SSCC RD Proposal Cover Page_LC

More . . . on the grant and the project, including a July 23 front-page story by Orlan Love of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, on our “News” page.

• • •

Agricultural and urban flooding
on IPR’s Talk of Iowa

(April 2013) After two major flooding events for Iowa in 1993 and 2008, and a number of significant flooding events in-between, Iowans need to ask hard questions about how we have altered our environment.

Iowa Public Radio’s “Talk of Iowa” discussed agricultural and urban flooding,  looking at changes we’ve made to our landscape that has made it more prone to flooding.  The program also discussed both the damage flooding can cause, and some innovative ways farmers, homeowners and city planners can prevent flooding or at least minimize the damage it can cause.

State Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids, Co-founder of the Iowa Flood Center Larry Weber, and Mark Rasmussen, Director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture join the conversation.

To hear a podcast, follow this link: http://iowapublicradio.org/post/preserving-iowas-soil-after-flooding

Cover Crops and 2012 Field Day at Richard Sloan farm

For information on the Dick Sloan’s use of cover crops and the field day held in August 2012, visit the Lime Creek ‘News’ and ‘Special Projects’ pages.