Using new farmland drainage practices for water quality improvement will be the focus of a workshop Dec. 18 in Fort Dodge in north-central Iowa. Anyone interested in what’s new with field drainage, installing drainage tile and related drainage practices is urged to attend.
The daylong program will be held at the Iowa State University Extension Webster County office, 217 S. 25th St., Suite C12, Fort Dodge. Participants will learn essential information for designing and planning the use of new water quality practices, such as bioreactors, control structures, saturated buffers and wetlands.
System to improve water quality
While the economic benefits of tiling are well recognized, there are also environmental impacts from tile drainage that need to be considered. These new technologies can be useful in minimizing the negative environmental impacts.
The workshop also qualifies for certified crop adviser credits. A sign-up sheet for the credits will be available the day of the workshop. Completion certificates will be available after the workshop concludes, for application toward professional development hours or continuing education units.
Registration begins at 8 a.m., with the morning session starting at 8:15 a.m., which will focus on drainage water quality practices addressing nutrient reduction in the Upper Midwest, woodchip bioreactor sizing and layout, water table management with shallow tiles, and installation of control structures.
Sizing and layout key steps
Matt Helmers, Iowa State University Extension ag engineer, will discuss the sizing and layout of wood chip bioreactors. Kapil Arora, ag engineering specialist with ISU Extension, will review the nutrient reduction practices available to use in the new systems.
Chris Hay, senior environmental scientist with the Iowa Soybean Association, will conclude the morning with information on managing drainage with control structures.
The afternoon session will begin with Tyler Groh, postdoctoral research associate in Natural Resource Ecology and Management at ISU, discussing site selection and the design of saturated buffers. The day’s event will close with Arora presenting on siting wetlands for small watersheds.
Reserve your spot
Register by contacting the ISU Extension office in Webster County at 515-576-2119 or email@example.com. Registration is $150 and includes morning refreshments, lunch and workshop materials. The cost increases to $175 if registering after Dec. 13.
Each participant should bring a laptop computer equipped with a USB drive. Microsoft Excel software used for designing select practices will be provided on a thumb drive. All laptops must have Excel pre-installed to run the spreadsheets and to perform design calculations. Use of laptops will be limited to practices using the spreadsheets for making design calculations.
This workshop is presented by ISU Extension, the Iowa Soybean Association, and USDA Agricultural Research Service.