ILF Webinar: Agricultural Climate Resilience through Water Management and Soil Conservation

This Iowa Learning Farm Conservation Webinar will feature Rick Cruse, professor of agronomy and director of the Iowa Water Center at Iowa State University. Cruse was raised on a farm in Northeast Iowa and has been engaged with Iowa farmers while working at Iowa State University for over 40 years. His research, teaching and extension efforts address management impacts on soil erosion, water and crop production.

Cruse will highlight factors and practices which affect agricultural climate resilience. He will focus on the importance of water and water management and discuss actions including draining excess water, capitalizing on water sourced from shallow groundwater, and maximizing water infiltration and storage through improving soil health.

“Water and water management are the most fundamental components of climate-resilient farm plans,” says Cruse. “We are eager to help Midwest farmers gain a better understanding of the underutilized water resources that they may already have and how those resources can substantially improve their climate resilience.”

Shortly before noon CST, click the link below or type this web address into your internet browser:

Honoring Leopold’s Legacy: Building a Future for Iowa Webinar

March 22 presentation by Page County, Iowa farmer and conservationist Seth Watkins will provide insights on building toward a more sustainable future

The Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) conservation webinar taking place March 22 at noon CDT will feature Seth Watkins, owner of Pinhook Farm in Page County Iowa. Watkins has been a leading advocate for soil and water conservation efforts across Iowa and was the recipient of the 2022 Iowa Leopold Conservation Award.

In the webinar, “Honoring Leopold’s Legacy,” Watkins will discuss conservation efforts in Iowa, agricultural practices and practical methods being employed to improve the future that all stakeholders are building together. He will share his philosophy and approaches to farming that have been honed over some 40 years and will share lessons learned from successes and failures. Watkins will also address the importance of taxpayer supports for farming and the importance that farmers respond to those supports in ways that regenerate resources, restore water quality and provide healthy food.

A staunch advocate of land stewardship, Watkins once said, “If we’d stop subsidizing the wrong things, we wouldn’t have to subsidize the right things… We probably wouldn’t need price supports if everyone found the most appropriate land use per acre. We must look at and listen to our land, responding to what makes it healthy and productive, and what does not.”

Participants are encouraged to ask questions of the presenters. People from all backgrounds and areas of interest are encouraged to join.

DATE: Wednesday, March 22, 2023

TIME: noon


Shortly before 12:00 pm CT, click the link below or type this web address into your internet browser:

Or, go to and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172

Or, join via phone:

    Dial:  312-626-6799

    Meeting ID: 364 284 172

The webinar will also be recorded and archived. All archived webinars are available on the ILF website, so that they can be watched at any time.

ILF has applied for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) for attending this webinar. Those who participate in the live webinar are eligible. Information about how to apply to receive the credit will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Upcoming Webinars in the Series:

Next week: Wednesday, March 29, 2023, One Block at a Time: Community-driven planning and equitable adaptation through multi-benefit green infrastructure, Kara Salazar, Purdue University 

March 29: Kara Salazar, Purdue University

April 5: TBD

April 12: Gabriel Johnson, Iowa State University

April 19: Matt Helmers, Iowa State University

Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Linking Soil Management to Stream Eutrophication

In the webinar, “Directly Linking Soil Management and the Eutrophication of Iowa Streams,” McDaniel will draw on research outcomes to highlight the complex interaction of stream morphological characteristics, history of nutrient inputs, and tile water quality to assess stream eutrophication (overabundance of nutrients.) McDaniel will also share the water collection and analysis process and discuss factors such as historical nutrient conditions and background that can influence the impacts on a given waterway.

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Soil Erosion: Who Controls Its Future?

With rising commodity prices and increasing recognition of land as a stable investment, agricultural land values have experienced unprecedented increases as evidenced by Iowa recently documenting a $20,000 per acre agricultural land sale. Rising land values and high commodity prices have many implications ranging from limiting opportunities for beginning farmers to devaluing the implementation of conservation practices; potential income losses associated with either real or perceived reduced commodity production drive the conservation practice devaluation. In selected situations, conversations suggest practices are removed simply for operator convenience. From a myopic economic perspective conservation is a cost to the producer or land owner and not an investment in the property.

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