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research plots
IN THE FIELD: The Conservation Learning Lab is a project that’s looking at the impact of in-field conservation practices beyond the research plots.

How well do nutrient reduction practices work?

Tune in to Iowa Learning Farms webinar and find out how in-field water quality practices are performing.

Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar Nov. 14 discussing the innovative Conservation Learning Lab project that is key to understanding the impacts of in-field conservation practices beyond the research plot scale.

Anyone interested can tune-in to this free webinar at noon that day. The webinar will be archived for later viewing.

This webinar is a remote training opportunity for all stakeholders, including watershed coordinators, who are working with farmers and landowners on watershed improvement projects and implementation of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Using practices to reduce nutrient loss
Matt Helmers, professor in the Department of Ag and Biosystems Engineering and director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University, will describe the need for research at the scale at which water and nutrients are delivered to the streams, as is being done with the Conservation Learning Lab project. This project is providing the opportunity to examine how in-field conservation practices impact nutrient loss with water.

Through one-on-one conservation planning meetings with farmers, the project team has helped the cooperator-farmers implement cover crops, strip tillage and Conservation Reserve Program practices on their land. Pre-implementation and preliminary post-implementation water quality data will be shared from ongoing monitoring within the project areas.

“This research is critical to understanding the impacts of in-field management beyond the plot scale,” Helmers says. “Examining the results of large-scale adoption of practices at delivery-scale is critical to meeting the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals. It’s also important to note the high amount of time and human capital needed to get farmer and landowner adoption of conservation practices at the level of implementation we need.”

The Iowa Learning Farms webinar series takes place on the third Wednesday of the month. To watch, go to and click the link to join the webinar shortly before 12 p.m. on Nov. 14 to download the Zoom software and log in option.

The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at

Source: Iowa State University

TAGS: Education
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