Agricultural Drainage Researchers to Meet Aug. 13 in Minnesota

July 23rd, 2002

AMES, Iowa - Progress on water quality linked to agricultural drainage will be reported at an August forum of Iowa and Minnesota researchers.

The third annual Minnesota-Iowa Drainage Research Forum, to be held Aug. 13 in Fairmont, Minn., will feature reports on ongoing research and will foster collaboration between the two states in addressing agricultural drainage issues.

The forum will include presentations by Iowa State University researchers James Baker and John Sawyer, as well as Dan Jaynes of the USDA National Soil Tilth Laboratory at ISU and Dean Lemke of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Baker and Jaynes will review Iowa studies on managing cropland and agricultural drainage to reduce the potential for surface and groundwater contamination. They also will relate how the results can be applied not only to agricultural drainage wells, but wherever subsurface drainage is used. Sawyer will speak on the development and use of the Iowa Phosphorus Index, a tool to help farmers identify practices to reduce phosphorus losses from their fields. Lemke, who works closely with ISU researchers on drainage concerns, will report on wetland mitigation and other issues when new drainage outlets are provided so that agricultural wells can be closed.

The keynote speaker will be University of Minnesota soil scientist Gyles Randall, who will address the future sustainability of corn and soybean production.

The day after the forum, Aug. 14, an agricultural drainage and water quality field day will be held at the University of Minnesota's Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton, Minn.

The forum will be held from 1:30 to 7 p.m. in the Holiday Inn, Fairmont, Minn. Registration is $15 for the afternoon program only, or $30 that includes an evening banquet. For more information, call Gary Sands, (612) 625-4756, or Lowell Busman, (507) 835-3620. For more information on the Aug. 14 field day, call Jeff Strock, (507) 752-7372.

Contacts: 

James Baker, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, (515) 294-4025

Brian Meyer, Agriculture Communications, (515) 294-0706