This field day aims to equip attendees with best management practices for establishing and managing cover crops. Cover crops offer many benefits to farmers and landowners, including reduced soil erosion, weed suppression potential, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, and increased organic matter in the soil.Continue reading
Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Assessing Soil Health in the Des Moines Lobe
Iowa Learning Farms Webinar April 5 2023 will discuss a study conducted by Soil Health Institute in the Des Moines Lobe of Iowa.Continue reading
Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Quantifying and Managing Residual Soil Nitrogen
The Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) conservation webinar taking place Feb. 22 at noon CST will feature Greg LaBarge, field specialist, agronomic systems department, The Ohio State University. LaBarge conducts research and outreach on nutrient management and water quality issues through The Ohio State University Extension. His work focuses on the application of 4R (Right Source, Right Time, Right Rate, Right Place) management of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in row crops, and conservation practices which help limit downstream impacts of nutrients leaving farm fields.
Iowa Learning Farms is an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach conservation and water quality education program.
In the webinar, “Quantifying and Managing Residual Soil N after Corn,” LaBarge will highlight research conducted to help measure residual nitrogen in soil after harvest and discuss management techniques such as cover crops which have proven to limit transport of nutrients to waterways. He will also discuss edge of field losses and additional conservation practices that mitigate nutrient losses.
“Having sufficient nitrogen (N) is critical to supporting maximized crop yields, but our studies are showing a significant amount of residual N in the soil after harvest,” said LaBarge. “Research has shown that the use of cover crops after corn is an effective way to capture residual N as organic matter and improve soils. Identifying and encouraging the deployment of additional practices which keep that N in the field is important to achieving both long-term economic and environmental goals.”
Participants are encouraged to ask questions of the presenters. People from all backgrounds and areas of interest are encouraged to join.
Webinar Access Instructions
To participate in the live webinar, shortly before noon CST Feb. 22:
Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser: https://iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172
Or, go to https://iastate.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172
Or, join from a dial-in phone line:
Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923
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:
Up Next: Wednesday, Mar. 1Citizen Scientists and the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) Network, with Justin Glisan, Bureau Chief and State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
March 8: Adam Janke and Kay Stefanik, Iowa State University
March 15: Daniel Kaiser, University of Minnesota
March 22: Seth Watkins, Page County Farmer
Technology for Soil and Water Conservation Practices
Soil and water conservation has long been recognized as a critical need for Iowa, the country, and the world. Two of the most important soil and water conservation ‘tools’ are terraces and grass waterways.Continue reading
Human-induced Soil Change in Iowa: Two Contrasting Examples
The crops of Iowa yielded 100’s of trillion of calories in 2012. Those calories are feeding 100’s of millions of chickens, pigs, cattle and other livestock. They also help fuel millions of vehicles.Continue reading
Life in the Soil: Who Cares?
We all should care! Without life in the soil, there is no life above soil. Yes, the soil is composed of many, many living, breathing organisms.Continue reading
What Soils are Made of and How They Develop
Soil is defined as media that supports plant growth and plant development. A soil consists of solids and spaces between the solids (voids). The solids include inorganic and organic materials. Inorganic materials include minerals such as quartz, feldspars, and mica.Continue reading
Bohn Selected as a Recipient for the Iowa Water Center’s Research Grant Competition
Ames, Iowa – The Iowa Water Center (IWC) annually administers a statewide grant competition known as the IWC Graduate Student Research Competition.
The purpose of this funding is to help graduate students to complete additional research objectives beyond the scope of their current work, with an emphasis on submitting their research to peer-reviewed publications.
Meyer Bohn is one the recipients, along with three other graduate students across Iowa. Each recipient will receive funding for various different research studies.
Bohn’s research focuses on mitigating soil and water degradation.
There are several programs for predictive agroecosystem modeling that are used to target solutions for soil and water quality issues in Iowa, but these models can be sensitive to soil input data. Soil maps that are available now use outdated information and lack the spatial resolution necessary for precision agroecosystem modeling. That is where Bohn comes in.
Bohn, along with his research advisor, Dr. Bradly Miller, have presented the idea of making soil maps through Digital Soil Mapping (DSM). The duo currently has a DSM project running in Story and Boone Counties, and are looking to widen their research to a “quad-county” study, including the counties: Osceola, Clay, Emmet and Dickinson.
There are two main purposes of this study. First, to create an updated soil map that can accurately target soil properties and spatial resolution. Second, to test the spatial models’ transferability used to construct the digital soil maps for their soil variation prediction capability in the greater Des Moines Lobe area.
Get to know Meyer Bohn, a PhD student at Iowa State University.
Bohn is originally from North Dakota and chose to attend Iowa State University for not only the unparalleled agriculture work and research performed there, but also because of his advisor, Dr. Bradley Miller. Dr. Miller is an assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University and is considered by many as one of the leading digital soil mapping researchers in the field.
Bohn also explained the benefit of living in Iowa as a soil scientist with an emphasis in digital soil mapping.
“Iowa is a particularly important place for improving soil map accuracy and precision. Our understanding of how soil properties vary in space has crucial implications for agricultural production and water quality. Iowa’s agricultural wealth and prosperity stems directly from the state’s rich abundance of inherently fertile prairie soils. This great wealth coincides with a critical responsibility, finding the balance between intensive agricultural production while sustaining soil and water quality.”
With the knowledge Bohn holds on the current state of soil maps, he knew that his research plans could make a significant improvement to the foundation of water and soil research throughout Iowa. This led him to apply for the IWC Graduate Student Research Competition.
Bohn shared that his favorite part of the research process is field work.
“I get to travel across the state sampling soils with a hydraulic probe mounted on the back of a pick-up truck,” said Bohn. “I get to see soils in ways that a textbook or journal article could never articulate, and I’ve met some incredible people along the way. The farmers of Iowa are some of the most genuine and charitable people I’ve ever met.”
Bohn also mentioned that he likes to focus on the cartography part of his research process. Cartography is the work of drawing out maps. Bohn shared that mastering the art of cartography was necessary to accurately communicate his research results. Although reaching the final product he is satisfied with can be challenging, it is very rewarding.
When Bohn isn’t in the field researching soils or perfecting maps, he enjoys being in the outdoors, such as camping, fishing, hunting and hiking. He also plays the guitar, and shared that if he ended up not being a soil scientist, he would have probably become a country music singer. On behalf of Iowa’s soil and water quality, we are so glad he chose the career that he did.
Texas: Drought, Fires and Soil and Water Conservation
I was glad for the opportunity the Soil and Water Conservation Club offered me to write about the conditions in Texas this year, and their connection to soil and water conservation. I will provide some background information first, then I will share some current statistics, followed by implications on regional soil and water conservation issues.Continue reading
Soil Resilience and Climate Change
There is a continual dialog about the food required to feed a population of nine billion people by 2050 and the changing climate and the impacts on food production and food security.Continue reading