The Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here tour visited a field day at the Iowa State University (ISU) Drainage Research and Demonstration Project near Gilmore City, Iowa. The field day was sponsored by Iowa Learning Farms, Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and Iowa Corn. The research site is owned by the Pocahontas Soil and Water Conservation District.
Over 30 years of drainage water quality research has been conducted at the facility. This long-term research has been essential to the design and implementation of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The nutrient reduction performance of many practices such as cover crops, wetlands, and nutrient management have been evaluated at the site.
“Research and data are the foundations on which we developed Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy. I want to thank our partners at Iowa State University who are continuously testing and measuring the soil health and water quality practices listed in the Strategy to make sure the work we’re doing in targeted watersheds is effective,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “I am also grateful for the researchers at ISU who are studying new practices and developing different applications that may help us work more efficiently and cost-effectively as we continue to expand the water quality projects happening around the state.”
“ISU water quality research provides important information to help farmers adopt new water quality practices and also to adapt practice management to increase the benefits for the cash crop and water quality,” stated Stu Swanson, an area farmer and district two director for the Iowa Corn Growers Association. “Field days like this are great opportunities to share this important research.”
The ISU Drainage Research and Demonstration Project has been instrumental in developing options for closing ag drainage wells, monitoring the performance of nitrate removal wetlands, and evaluating the impacts of drainage, nutrient management, and cover crops. After 30 years, the site continues to provide valuable information for Iowa farmers and landowners.
About the Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here Campaign
The campaign, created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Soybean Association and Newsradio 1040 WHO aims to raise awareness about the conservation work underway all across Iowa. It also highlights opportunities for both rural and urban residents to use soil health and water quality best practices and play an active role in conservation projects happening in their communities.
During the Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here campaign, The Big Show will visit locations throughout the state showcasing the people and practices that are having a positive and measurable impact on water quality. The conversations with farmers, landowners, agribusinesses and community leaders will be broadcast on Wednesdays during The Big Show airing from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. on WHO and 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. on WMT.
The Clean Water in Iowa Starts Here campaign is a collaborative effort between a dozen public and private partners, including Agri Drain, Hagie Manufacturing, Hands on Excavating, Heartland Co-op, Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Montag Manufacturing, Practical Farmers of Iowa, The Nature Conservancy and TruTerra.