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Iowa learning farms to host field day near Dike on Sept. 6

August 28, 2016
Reinbeck Courier

Ames, Iowa-Iowa Learning Farms, along with the STRIPS project, will host a field day on Tuesday, September 6th. The 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. field day near Dike is free and open to the public. It will include with a complimentary meal.

The field day will highlight the installation of a saturated buffer and future seeding of prairie strips north of J. H. Roadman Memorial Park near Dike. Morgan Troendle, with Hertz Farm Management, oversaw the installation of the practices and will share information on the planning and implementation process. Researchers from the STRIPS and saturated buffer teams will also be in attendance to discuss the project results and answer questions about each of the practices. A representative from UNI Tallgrass Prairie Center, who will seed the prairie strips this fall to minimize effects of residual herbicide in the soil, will be on hand to discuss prairie establishment and maintenance. The field day will include a field tour of the site to take a closer look at the prairie strips and saturated buffer.

The STRIPS project, Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips, focuses on planting a small percentage of a field into strips of perennial prairie plants to reduce soil erosion, water runoff, and to create habitat for pollinators. Iowa farmers are now applying this conservation practice on their own fields for the benefits that the research results have shown.

Saturated buffers extend the many benefits of streamside buffers, such as removal of sediment, phosphorus and pesticides while providing more abundant wildlife habitat. A saturated buffer diverts a portion of the drainage water into lateral drainage tile installed along the buffer, increasing the shallow groundwater level and providing nutrient removal. With the addition of the saturated buffer portion, additional nitrate is removed from the groundwater through denitrification and plant uptake, improving downstream water quality.

The field day site will be at the J. H. Roadman Memorial Park, located 1.5 miles west of Dike on County Road D-19 (160th St.). The park is located on the north side of the road.

The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or email



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