The Iowa Learning Farm will host a field day at the Clay County Growers demonstration site near Spencer, Iowa, on Tuesday, July 7, beginning at 5:15 p.m. with field tours beginning at 5:30. The field day will focus on crop residue management and conservation farming practices, including no-till and strip-till, for optimum results.
The Clay County Growers are cooperators with the Iowa Learning Farm (ILF). Paul Kassel, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension field agronomist, represents the group and will offer information about their demonstration site. ISU Extension Agricultural Engineer Mark Hanna will provide tips on adapting planters to enable planting into no-tilled fields. Hanna will also provide information about strip-till and there will be strip-till equipment on display. At the beginning of the program, attendees will tour no-till fields at the Allen and Javotte McCarty farm, the Richard Harves and Stephanie Essick farm, and the Russ and Cindy Kress farm.
In 2008, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Division of Soil Conservation, launched a district initiative in the counties of Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Clay, Palo Alto and Pocahontas, offering farmers incentives to try no-till or strip-till for the first time on up to 200 acres. Participants in the initiative have the opportunity to work with I-FARM--a free, web-based whole-farm planning and management tool that helps evaluate costs and benefits of altering tillage, fertilizer input, and residue removal practices on their farms. More information about this initiative and I-FARM will be available at this event.
The field day includes a complimentary evening meal served by the Clay County Cattlemen. The event is free and the public is invited to attend, but an RSVP is recommended. Please call the Clay County Extension office, 712-262-2264, to register for this event. The field day is sponsored by the Iowa Learning Farm in cooperation with the Clay County Growers Association and Clay County Extension.
The Clay County Grower demonstration site is located south of Spencer on Highway 71, approximately 7.75 miles south of the Highway 71/18 intersection. Look for the Clay County Growers Association sign on the west side of Highway 71.
The Iowa Learning Farm takes a grassroots approach offering innovative ways to help all Iowans have an active role in keeping our state's natural resources healthy and not take them for granted. A goal of the Iowa Learning Farm is to build a Culture of Conservation, encouraging the adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF staff are working together to identify and implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable.
Iowa Learning Farm is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources; in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.