On-farm Conservation Methods and Wetland Research Field Day Aug. 24

August 9th, 2004

The On-Farm Conservation and Water Quality Field Day will be held Aug. 24 at the Iowa State University Swine Nutrition Farm near Ames.

Field demonstrations on water quality research and on-farm conservation projects will begin at 9 a.m. Several speakers will present information on the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) farmable wetlands, wildlife management, drainage, nitrate reduction, tillage research, vegetative filters and water quality monitoring.

The demonstrations will be held on a site that is currently enrolled in the CRP program. Kent Berns, Iowa State farm superintendent, said Iowa State enrolled 21 acres in the program to help reduce nutrient and sediment loss.

"The CRP farmable wetland program gave us an alternative that didn't sacrifice profitability," Berns said. "We rarely produced a crop on 20 percent of the area enrolled in the program and another 20 percent only produced a partial crop. We were incurring production costs of $120 to $160 per acre for those areas with little or no return."

The site will be enrolled in the farmable wetlands program for 15 years. After maintenance costs are subtracted the net income will be $137 per acre per year. Iowa State uses the revenue from the farm to support research activities at other locations.

Alan Lange, a soil conservation technician with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), will explain how to enroll in the CRP Farmable Wetlands Program. The program supports landowners interested in protecting watersheds and retaining profitability. A free CD, "Strategic Siting of On-Farm Wetlands" prepared by the Iowa State sociology department, also will be available.

Sponsors for the field day include Iowa State, the Squaw Creek Watershed Coalition, the Boone County Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Prairie Rivers Resource, Conservation and Development program.

The Boone County Cattlemen will grill and serve hamburgers for lunch. To get to the research farm from Lincoln Way go north on R-38 one mile, turn west on 220th Street, go one-half mile and turn north on XL Ave. and go three-quarters of a mile.

Contacts: 

Kent Berns, Research and Demonstration Farms, (515) 294-6103, krberns@iastate.edu
Lois Wright Morton, Sociology, (515) 294-2843, lwmorton@iastate.edu
Barbara McBreen, Communications Service, (515) 294-0707, barbmc@iastate.edu