Yesterday, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey highlighted a few of the activities that will be focused on promoting collaborative, research-based strategies to improve water quality during the 2016 Farm Progress Show, held Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 in Boone. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will join a variety of public, private, educational and other partners to educate farmers about additional activities they can do on their farm to help better protect water quality.
“The Farm Progress Show is the largest outdoor farm equipment show in the U.S. and presents a great opportunity for us to reach out to farmers and have a conversation about the water quality efforts underway statewide,” Northey said. “Farmers, agribusinesses, ag organizations, our research institutions and many other partners are engaging in the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and will be showcasing new tools and the latest research during the Farm Progress Show.”
Some of the water-quality-focused activities available at the Farm Progress Show include:
Conservation Central (booth 817) will have a cover crop demonstration plot with nine different strips showcasing different species and seed mixes that can be used in Iowa. The Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District Soil Health trailer will as be on site at Conservation Central and includes soil health tests, tools, pictures and other visuals to educate farmers.
Conservation Central partners include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Conservation Districts of Iowa, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and several other partners that will have a wide variety of information available on water quality and conservation tools that farmers can use.
To help identifying economic development opportunities associated with achieving the goals of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) will announce the development of an action plan focused on accelerated implementation water-quality-based conservation practices. The announcement will be at 10 a.m.on Tuesday, Aug. 30th in the media tent (booth 742).
Practical Farmers of Iowa (booth 9513) will have experienced cover crop farmers available daily to answer cover crop production questions. Each of the farmers have expertise in different aspects of cover crop usage. A full list of farmers and additional information is available at www.practicalfarmers.org.
Elsewhere on the show grounds, the Iowa Corn Growers Association (booth 26N) will hold soil health and water quality panel discussions with farmers and other stakeholders at 2 p.m. daily. Northey will participate in the panel on Tuesday, Aug. 30th.
Showcased at the Iowa Soybean Association booth (booth 754) during the three-day event will be a working model of a bioreactor to display the carbon-based system processes nitrate in tile water and reduces the amount of nutrients leaving the farm.
The Iowa State University exhibit (booth 718) will include table-top models, interactive online landscapes, a conservation station, and researchers with a wealth of experience to bring the practices outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy to life for visitors. The demonstrated research looks at the performance of current and emerging nutrient management practices, provides recommendations on implementing the practices and shares the development of new practices. The possibility of splashing about in water adds a playful feature to learning about bioreactors and saturated buffers.
Visit CleanWaterIowa.org to learn more about collaborative, research-based effort to improve water quality. Iowans can also follow @CleanWaterIowa on twitter or “like” the page on Facebook to receive updates and other information about the ongoing Iowa Water Quality Initiative.
The 63rd Farm Progress Show, the largest outdoor farm equipment show in the United States, will be held August 30, 31 and September 1, 2016, in Boone, Iowa. The mission of the Farm Progress Show is to provide an interactive venue for North American and International farmers, agribusiness officials and agriculture companies to network, gain cutting-edge information, and conduct business. The show hosts around 600 exhibitors during the three-day event. More information can be found at www.FarmProgressShow.com.