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On-farm research utilizes drainage to study water-quality


February 6, 2017
By High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal

Iowa State University’s 13 Research and Demonstration Farms around the state have served for decades as models of agricultural and scientific progress for Iowa’s farmers and landowners – the same holds true for the goals of Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

For years the university’s agricultural researchers have used the farms to study and demonstrate the effects of conservation practices to preserve water quality, keep soils productive and improve the environment. The work has been conducted on acres devoted to research and those not currently in research plots, but devoted to producing crops or sustaining livestock.

The ISU research farms strive to serve as models of stewardship by implementing practices on fields, field edges and streamside borders. By practicing what they preach, these farms inspire visitors to do the same. The Nashua farm has implemented and maintained many conservation practices, including cover crops, buffers and bioreactors. Its water quality plots – each drained by a separate tile drainage line in a long-term monitoring project – was initiated in 1988, with funding from the Leopola Center for Sustainable Agriculture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.| READ MORE

 

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