A collaborative partnership between researchers with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Iowa State University has produced a string of notable water quality studies that have influenced conservation research and practice nationwide.
There is a risk of elevated fall soil nitrate levels due to dry conditions this growing season. Dry conditions affect soil N cycling in several ways, resulting in excess residual nitrate in the soil profile after fall harvest and the potential for substantial N leaching with late fall or spring precipitation. An article, "Water Quality Impacts of Cover Crop Following a Drought" shares relevant data from research at two sites, with recommendations for how to minimize the risk of nitrate-N loss when rainfall occurs. Co-authors: Matt Helmers, INRC Director; Brian Dougherty, ISU Agricultural Engineer; Emily Waring, graduate student, agricultural and biosystems engineering. Published by Iowa Extension and Outreach - Integrated Crop Management.
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University announces funding for 11 new water quality and nutrient management projects for 2020-2021.
“This round of projects represents over $1.3 million for water quality research,” said Matt Helmers, Iowa Nutrient Research Center director and professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State. “We are pleased that the projects reflect a number of the research priorities developed last year with a broad range of stakeholders, including farmers. These include supporting research on new nutrient-reduction technologies or cropping systems, developing better understanding of in-stream processes and examining potential unintended consequences of conservation practices.”
The Iowa Water Center and Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University will jointly fund research to explore the linkages between water quality and social well-being for Iowa communities.
The 2018-2019 Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (INRS) annual report was released today by Iowa State University, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The findings reveal increased farmer, landowner and community engagement, use of conservation practices and funding invested in soil health and water quality projects.
"Farm News" interview with Iowa Nutrient Research Center Assistant Director Kay Stefanik about the importance of wetlands and the roles they play in Iowa's landscape. Article (June 19, 2020) by Kriss Nelson.
Fifteen years of wetlands research by Iowa State University – a study thought to be the largest and longest running project of its kind in the country – clarifies their performance as highly beneficial systems for reducing nitrogen pollution.
Kay Stefanik, Assistant Director, Iowa Nutrient Research Center, discusses the ecological services wetlands provide in the Iowa agricultural landscape, in a blog post for the Iowa Learning Farms/Conservation Learning Group.
“Farmers and landowners are important partners who help make it possible to test research in different farming and geographic situations,” said Matt Helmers, director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University. “Rob Stout and Eric Hoien are two excellent examples of cooperators whose support has benefited INRC-related water quality research."
AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University seeks new proposals for research that can help landowners, farmers, agribusiness and others improve water quality by reducing nitrate and phosphorus in the state’s waterways.
The INRC Spring Seminar Series, "Water Research Past, Present and Future" will not take place as scheduled in March and April, due to campus efforts to reduce the potential for COVID-19 exposure. INRC plans to reschedule the presentations when conditions allow (details to be announced later).
Over the past couple of weeks, I have had the opportunity to attend two events that have left a distinct impression—what really struck me is the creativity and passion for conservation and sustaining rural communities.
-- Matt Helmers, Conservation Learning Group blog post, March 12, 2020.
A new, online Iowa water quality research map has been launched by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University. The “zoomable” map, at http://www.cals.iastate.edu/inrc/map/ shows locations of water quality research projects around the state, including projects funded by the INRC through Iowa State, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.
A survey of Iowa landowners conducted by Iowa State University suggests that adoption of conservation practices has increased slightly since 2012, and that ongoing trends in land ownership and management are likely barriers to a number of conservation practices.
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center (INRC) at Iowa State University launches a set of seminars on “Water Research Past, Present and Future,” beginning Wednesday, Jan. 22.
INRC Director Matt Helmers was among the expert panelists discussing water quality and implementation of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy with farmers at the Farm Bureau's annual meeting in Des Moines. Article by Rod Swoboda in Wallace's Farmer, Dec. 13, 2019.
New research shows that “multi-purpose oxbows” can effectively reduce nitrate-nitrogen, earning them a spot in the Iowa Nutrient Research Strategy’s menu of conservation options.
“I am pleased to announce the latest round of projects represent more than $2.03 million in funding for water quality research,” said Matt Helmers, Iowa Nutrient Research Center director and professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State.
Cover crops are known to protect soil and water quality, but they also can offer valuable livestock feed, according to Iowa State University research.
As the percentage of rented farmland in Iowa continues to grow, farmers see a steady shift in who is responsible for what happens on the land.
USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have announced new policies within crop insurance that will provide added flexibility for managing cover crops, beginning with the 2020 crop year.
The national The Municipal magazine (June 2019) highlights Iowa's efforts to reduce nutrient pollution, with interviews of Dan McIntosh, Southern Iowa Rural Water Association general manager, and Matt Helmers, Iowa Nutrient
AMES, Iowa – Kay C. Stefanik, a water quality researcher at Ohio State University, has been hired as the new assistant director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University. She will begin work in Iowa on July 8.
Iowa Learning Farms interview with Iowa Nutrient Research Center Director Matt Helmers is part of ILF's Faces of Conservation series, highlighting key contributors to ILF, offering their perspectives on the history and successes of this innovative conservation outreach program.