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Improving water quality through drainage practices workshop

Participants will learn about design and layout of drainage that improves water quality.


November 12, 2019
By Drainage Contractor

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New farmland drainage practices for water quality improvement will be the focus of a workshop Dec. 18, 2019 in Fort Dodge, IA.

The daylong program will be held at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Webster County office, 217 S. 25th St., Suite C12, Fort Dodge, IA. Participants will learn essential information for designing and planning new water quality practices, such as bioreactors, control structures, saturated buffers and wetlands.

While the economic benefits of tiling are well recognized, there are also environmental impacts from drainage. These new technologies can be useful in minimizing negative environmental impacts.

The workshop also qualifies for Certified Crop Adviser credits. A sign-up sheet for the credits will be available on the day of the workshop. Completion certificates will be available after the workshop concludes for application toward Professional Development Hours or Continuing Education Units.

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Registration begins at 8 a.m., with the morning session starting at 8:15 a.m. The morning session 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.

The morning session 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.

Matt Helmers, professor and extension agricultural engineer in the department of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State, will discuss the sizing and layout of woodchip bioreactors.

Kapil Arora, agricultural engineering specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will review the nutrient reduction practices.

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, post-doctoral research associate, NREM-ISU, discussing site selection and the design of saturated buffers. The event will close with Arora presenting on siting wetlands for small watersheds.

Registration can also be done by contacting the ISU Extension and Outreach Webster County office at 515-576-2119, or lcline@iastate.edu. Registration is $150 and includes morning refreshments, lunch and workshop materials. Registration cost increases to $175 if done 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.

The workshop is presented by ISU Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Soybean Association, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.