Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Understanding and Improving Farmers’ Edge-of-Field Perceptions

The Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) conservation webinar taking place May 8 at noon CT will feature Wendong Zhang, Ph.D., extension economist and assistant professor in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. Zhang’s research focuses on issues related to the interplay between agriculture and the environment, the U.S. farmland market, as well as the global trade implications of Chinese food and agricultural demand.

In the webinar, “Decoding Iowa Farmers’ Understanding of Edge-of-Field Practices,” Zhang will draw on the outcomes from a recent report assessing edge-of-field (EOF) practice knowledge and adoption to illustrate current EOF practice adoption rates and adoption willingness, perceived environmental benefits, and barriers to adoption among Iowa farmers. He will also offer suggestions on effective education strategies which were shown to be embraced by landowners and farmers—and improved effectiveness of communication and message comprehension.



Focus on the Future – May 8th

The Iowa Nutrient Research Center continues its spring 2024 seminar series, Focus on the Future. Join current and recent graduate students as they discuss their studies and their experiences as early career researchers.

On May 8th, the seminar topics are:

1) Evaluating Wildlife Responses to Working Land and Water Conservation 

Presenter: Michael Rohde, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Advisor: Adam Janke

Iowa’s urbanized and agricultural landscape has caused water quality degradation and loss of species. Conservation groups are working to protect these resources, but they often lack coordination. To provide insight on the impact of water quality conservation on wildlife. He will provide estimated occupancy of key Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) across Iowa informed by the Iowa Multiple Species Inventory and Monitoring (MSIM) long-term dataset and the simulated various scenarios of water quality conservation using the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) to estimate potential effects of water quality conservation on the distribution of SGCN in Iowa.

2) Managing Crop Residue to Reduce AONR (Agronomic Optimum N Rate) for Water Quality

Presenter: Alexandria Logan, Department of Agronomy. Advisor: Michael Castellano

With renewed interest in using crop residue as biofuels and increasing yields, research aiming to understand the effects of residue management on the soil nitrogen cycle is necessary. This research evaluates crop residue management’s influence on optimum nitrogen rates, focusing on the subsequent corn crop.

The presentations are from 3:10-4:00 p.m. and take place online and at 1306 Elings Hall on the Iowa State University campus.

2024 Conservation Drainage Network Annual Meeting

This is a must-attend event for anyone passionate about conservation drainage.

Targeted Outcomes:

  • Raise awareness of the importance of agricultural water management to farm profitability, local, regional, and national initiatives to advance soil health, water quality, watershed restoration, risk reduction and climate resiliency goals.
  • Strengthen understanding of drivers for practice implementation and identify impediments to conservation drainage practice adoption.
  • Prioritize information needs (i.e., research gaps) to address risks.
  • Understand how to advance conservation drainage as an integral component of managing food production, regenerative agriculture, and terrestrial water supplies under changing climate conditions.
  • Advance conservation drainage implementation.

A New Look At An Old Way to Fix Broken Lakes

This Midwest Greater Lakes Partnership presentation will illustrate the need for a more robust lake scientific study design that accurately quantifies glacial lake health as the first step in lake restoration, which is a team sport.

Jerry Sweeten, Senior Restoration Ecologist — Ecosystems Connections Institute, LLC, will present examples where nutrient and sediment monitoring were conducted to prioritize tributaries for restoration. Leveraging these data have helped to designate the lake in the National Water Quality Initiative and direct increased funding to on-the-ground conservation.

Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Deploying Large-scale Green Infrastructure Projects Requires Public-Private Collaboration

The Oct. 11 presentation by Craig Clarkson of ISG, Inc. will discuss the importance of public-private partnerships in implementing green infrastructure as an integral part of urban development.

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Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Water Quality Wetlands in Iowa

“Wetlands have something to offer just about anyone, whether you are an avid birder or interested in water quality and conservation, IDALS’s efforts to promote wetland growth in Iowa delivers benefits to all Iowans,” said Wulf. “Participants in this webinar should gain a better understanding of the importance of water quality wetlands to Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy and how these crucial systems impact water quality.”

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